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Product_catalog : School : LitLink : Grade12 : Shelley
Interactive Literature Selections

Literary Tools
Character. A character is a person who figures in the action of a literary work. As you read “Ozymandias,” note the details Shelley uses to develop his character.

Irony of Situation. Irony of situation is when an event occurs that violates the expectations of a character, the reader or the audience. Observe the use of irony in “Ozymandias.”

Terza Rima. Terza rima is a three-line stanza of the kind used in Dante’s Divine Comedy, rhyming aba, bcb, cdc, etc. This is a very difficult rhyme scheme to sustain and “Ode to the West Wind” is thought by many to be one of the finest examples of terza rima written in English.

Personification. Personification is a figure of speech in which an idea, animal, or thing is described as if it were a person.

Reader's Resource
The first selection, “Ozymandias,” deals with an ancient king of Egypt and is a classic statement of the fleeting nature of worldly pomp and glory. Ozymandias is the Greek name for Ramses II, who reigned in the thirteenth century BC. During his sixty-seven-year reign, Egypt acquired unprecedented splendor. On his statue, which prompts the sonnet, is inscribed, “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Published in 1818, the sonnet is ironic in tone.

Ode to the West Wind” was written in a single sitting near Florence, Italy on a mild, windy day in early fall—October 25, 1819. In keeping with Romantic ideals, the poem calls upon a force of nature to inspire the poet’s creative endeavors. Considered a prime example of the poet’s passionate language and symbolic imagery, the ode invokes the spirit of the West Wind, “Destroyer and Preserver.” This ode is important because it introduced a new stanzaic form composed of five sonnets, each of which has four tercets (units of three lines each). The rhyme scheme is based on Italian terza rima, rhyming aba, bcb, cdc, and ded followed by a rhyming ee couplet.

Complete a graphic organizer like the one below to note the instances in which Shelley imbues the west wind and other aspects of nature with human characteristics, motives and emotions.

readers journal
In what ways does power change people?

When you feel weak or discouraged, how do you find renewed confidence or spirit?

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