General Information

The poem is the story of the discovery in the desert of a fallen monument to Ozymandias as told to the speaker of the poem who himself has not seen the monument.

Instructors’ Teaching Experience

This poem is typically well liked by my students as it is a “straight-forward” poem that is easy for most of them to understand. The message of the poem is one that most often characterized as “all things will pass” or “nothing lasts forever.” When this conclusion is reached, I like to turn the moral on them and ask them if they think about that with regard to the United States of America. This turn always gets them going. [LeDon Sweeney,]

Classroom Strategies

I always teach this poem when I teach Watchmen since one of main characters, Adrian Veidt, used Ozymandias as his masked adventurer name. I don’t mention this when I teach the poem so I can see if anyone makes the connection. By the end of Watchmen, I ask my students if they think Moore chose the name Ozymadias for any special reason and whether the poem has any bearing on how we should interpret the graphic novel’s conclusion. [LeDon Sweeney,]