Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein   Percy Shelley's "Ozymandias" uses the Greek form of the name for Ramses II, the supposed Egyptian Pharaoh of the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. Ramses II, of the 19th Dynasty, was the last of the Egyptian Pharaohs to have a major building program; gigantic statues of Ramses have been found all over Egypt. This poem is about the vanity of human endeavors, which time will erase; it pictures a broken statue lying in the desert, half buried in the sand. The legs no longer hold up the statue's trunk, and the shattered head, though it still has a "sneer of cold command," was "mocked" by the artist who had been commissioned to create the statue. This is all that remains of the once all- powerful king; hence, the inscription on the pedestal—"Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"—is totally ironic. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily