Isaiah 14 and Ozymandias

Isaiah 14 reminded me of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley called Ozymandias.

Mighty is capitalized, but the original shows most proper nouns are capitalized, so not indicating that this is directed at God. But it could be based on the pompous statements.

Studying this poem online shows that Ozymandias was a known name for Ramses II in Egypt. I don’t remember learning that in high school.

The poem covers the transience or temporary nature of rulers and even civilizations. Look and despair could mean “I’m too big for you to beat” or “it’s all gone, nothing lasts”.

Pride – is it necessarily bad? Maybe in light of the cruel sneer and passions coupled with great authority that lead us to see Ozymandias as a tyrant, not just a powerful ruler.

All that striving does seem pointless as so little survives beyond on generation.

It seems civilizations that try to expand and conquer others fall more quickly than those content within their border. Even when invaded they eventually re-form. Like Israel after exile, and the soviet satellites with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Art isn’t necessarily about resembling as much as recording or even interpreting.

The vagueness of the encounter between the poet and the traveler reminds me of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

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