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Notes on Ozymandias

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  1. Notes on Ozymandias Mr. Cleon M. McLean A.P. English Ontario High School

  2. Grammar • Rather than say “obviously,” which has a ring of arrogance and offense, simply say “clearly,” which works as a euphemism • vis-à-vis means “facing one another,” or “in relation to” • tete-a-tete (French for “head to head”) means a private conversation or interview, usually between two people • “in full stead” also means “in the face of…”

  3. FYI • “Ozymandia” is a Romanic poem • Another word for poet is bard. The Bard is Shakespeare • What is the distinction between “speaker” and “subject” in a poem? Speaker=telling the poem; subject=person or thing around whom/which the poem is centered • Which is better to say: • The author uses symbols… (blue=correct) • The author uses symbolism…

  4. FYI • What is wrong with the following: • This poem shows solitude… • This poem has synecdoche… • (both of the above are TELLING (which is a weak way to write), instead of SHOWING (which is a strong way to write)…you show by explaining HOW/WHY) • Why quote the entire inscription on the statue? The reader of your essay will also have a copy of the poem

  5. Spelling • Because we “write,” we have “writing”…NOT “writting” • JUDGMENT is spelt without an “e” after the “g”…unlike “judge” • dessert—a condiment you eat after a main course. E.g., cheese cake, ice-cream • desert—a barren land mass

  6. from Sophocles’ “Antigone” • “Creon. My voice is the one voicing giving orders in this city! • Haimon. It is no city if it takes orders from one voice. • Creon. The state is the king! • Haimon. Yes, if the state is a desert.” In the above excerpt, King Creon clearly demonstrates his unbridled arrogance, which is checked with Haimon’s retort.

  7. On the essay • What is awkward about the following: • Shelley is able toshow how nature… • No need to comment on the aesthetics of the work or the mastery of the author. Everything we cover in this class is classical or of literary merit, so just focus on the how and why of the work. • Why not state that Ramses II’s hubris is undone by the winds of time?

  8. On the essay, continued • Literary terms to know and use: • Synecdoche and metonymy • Denotation and connotation • Symbols are effective because while their denotative meanings are secure (de facto), their connotative meanings are fluid—ebbing and flowing with time itself. • Romantic ideas in “Ozymandias”: • Exotic landscape • First person experience • Ruins from antiquities • Solitude • Nature’s creative and destructive forces