“I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert… near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Shelley uses the effect of personification to communicate the idea of hubris.
“a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command”
this quotation describes the sculpted face of a shattered statue whose face imply’s that it is sneering although a statue cannot sneer as it is not a human and a sneer is a human action. Shelley describes this statue as a person as it literally represents a specific person of value once upon. This person but speaking about this person/statue as having a sneer. A sneer is an action of over confidence in someone a symbol of someone knowing their power. By talking about the sneer of the statue it therefore talks about the hubris of the person the statue represents. This poem therefore represents the hubris in humanity and how all human beings have this sense of confidence and knowing of power.
The idea of hubris shown in this text can relate to that presented by some of our world leaders, and their overconfidence with their power. Just like in Ozymandias a “sneer of cold command” describes these leaders well. The fact that the American leader Donald Trump is so used to getting his way that he is unwilling to back down and this is reassured by the fact he knows he has more power than anyone else. Just like in the poem of Ozymandias, it all leads to nothing but a vast desert of nothingness. This nothingness is the possible Nuclear fallout and it’s remains.