LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
1. Give the chacacter-sketch of king Ozymandias as depicted in the poem.
Ans : King Ozymandias considered himself to be the king of kings. He ruled over his empire with a firm hand. He fed his subjects but regarded them as inferior. He was boastful of his power and considered himself to be above all. He believed that no one will ever be able to equal his achievements. He considered himself to be blessed with extraordinary powers. The king was so intoxicated with power and passion that the welfare of his people was never his consideration. He believed himself to be above law and destiny. Ironically his statue and the surroundings proved just the opposite. He believed himself to be even greater than other kings — the Emperor of all.
2. Suppose by a miracle Ozymandias visits planet Earth and comes across his statue in that dilapidated state. He is dejected and awakens to the realisation of a life frittered away for materialistic and political gains. In a state of regret he pens down his thoughts in the form of a diary entry. Write the diary for him.
Ans : Dear Diary,
Traversing over the desert, I was dumbfounded with great shock when I discovered that my statue was lying broken, without head and body, in an eroded state. Imagine my reaction. I had considered myself above all, I was the greatest, the mightiest, and I believed that the coming generations would worship or pay respect to my statue. The condition of my statue pained me. All my achievements, my confidence in my power was razed to the ground. There were sands and loneliness around. No one seemed to remember my greatness. May be I was wrong. I should have devoted my life to the welfare, looked after my people with compassion and care, maybe then the fate of my statue would have been different.
3. After reading the poem, what is the lesson ingrained in it for the rest of mankind? Discuss.
Ans : Power, position, pelf should be used for the welfare of mankind. History may record one’s territorial achievements but if one wins the hearts of people, then that is real victory. One must command respect and not demand it. Many times sages and saints are respected more than mighty kings. So one must never misuse power and might. Time is a great leveller. So glorious deeds should be committed to get respect from posterity. Shelley also demonstrates the fact that art and language long outlive the other legacies of power. Real power is in winning hearts and not in ruling the weak and the needy.
4. Describe the picture of Ozymandias that emerges in your mind after reading the poem. How was his dream of perpetuating his memory reduced to dust?
The poem Ozymandias illustrates the vanity of human greatness. Comment. [C.B.S.E., 2012 (T-2)]
Ans : King Ozymandias considered himself to be the king of kings. He ruled over his empire with a firm hand. He fed his subjects and regarded them as inferior. He was arrogant and highly conceited, and believed that no one will ever be able to equal his achievements. He was so intoxicated with power that the welfare of his people was never his consideration. He believed himself to be above law and destiny.
But now his shattered statue, half buried in sand, the waste and ruins around prove that the time has levelled his fame and work. The ruins around the statue bear the testimony to the fact that nothing lasts forever. This is the true destiny of man. He is insignificant before the power of time. The poem illustrates the vanity of human greatness. It depicts, that one must command respect and not demand it. One must never misuse power and might. Glorious deeds should be committed to get respect from posterity. Real power lies in winning the hearts and not in, ruling the weak and needy.