Nothing lasts forever. Glory, reputation, conquests or occupations, everything will come to an end eventually. This ambiguous ode carries between its folds heaps of philosophical matters.
Scholars really tired themselves giving different interpretations for this poem and many others. I believe that the beauty of a poem lies in the multiplicity of its interpretations by each person. Everyone has his own vision and saying about what he reads, sees or hears and there is no right or wrong when it comes to analyzing a poem.
However, one line really catch me up, “The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.” it’s obvious that the poem talks about a king named Ozymandias , where what left of his statue speaks of himself. However, that particular line is a political kind of philosophy. It tells (from my personal view) that leaders, kings, emperors whomever got an authority on people, don’t have to like, love or show empathy toward their people. Call me Machiavellian, I do not care. But at the end of the day what really matters is “the heart that fed” not the“hand that mocked”. The end is what really matters here.
The line reminded me of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. They were men of principles, they did a lot of bad things to their people, mocked them explicitly and implicitly, but at the end of everyday they gave them a life that is surly better than the life they are living right now. And to me, this matters.
The poem holds a lot of symbolic and imagery content. The title of the poem itself is a metaphor from another name to Ramses II. There is a lot of death in the poem; the death of the king and its people or civilization and the death of the statue itself, it was like a lyric from Rains of Castamere, “Now the rains weep o’er his hall; and not a soul to hear” it’s just epic. The poem gave a life to the statue, it is the one whose telling the story not the traveler, the traveler’s job was more of pointing out the events that led to the destruction of the statue, and nevertheless if you concentrated in the statue it will reveal itself for you.