Ozymandias Death Be Not Proud Analysis

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Death is unknown, death is feared, and death is letting go. Many poets, and many people have attempted to confront death. In Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias,” the speaker confronts death with a belief that it overpowers the most powerful people. The poem uses imagery to show how power is lost by Ozymandias after death. In John Donne’s “Death be not proud,” religion is used to overpower death. While both poems attempt to confront and control the inevitability of death, the poems differ in their ability to do so. In the poem “Ozymandias” the character of Ozymandias wants to confront and control death, but is ultimately unsuccessful in doing so. Ozymandias was a powerful Egyptian ruler, known as the “King of Kings” (Shelley 10), as it is written on the pedestal of his statue. In an attempt to live on after his death, and in a sense, control death, a sculptor created a “vast” (2) statue in his honour. However, the speaker implies Ozymandias’s power is gone as soon as he dies, for the statue is now “two vast…show more content…
Donne does not want the readers to fear death as it is only a consequence of illness, war, accidents, and suicide. Donne’s speaker states that death does not cause someone to die; rather “poison, war, and sickness” (Donne 10) causes death. The message portrayed in “Death be not Proud” is that physical death is not final, and therefore it is not powerful and should not be feared. This contradicts the implications of death’s power in “Ozymandias.” Instead, Donne personifies death in order to show its lack of power: “Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men” (Donne 9). The speaker is referring to death as slave; he wants death to feel powerless since it does not take over nor decide when somebody dies. The personification of death as a slave clearly establishes the speaker’s power over
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