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1. Percy Shelley, Ozymandias (1818)
About this Lecture
In this module, we explore Percy Shelley’s ‘Ozymandias’, focusing in particular on the multitude of voices in the poem (“I”, “a traveller”, “a shattered visage”, “its sculptor”), the various contrasts (visual vs. aural, past vs. present, memory vs. forgetting, etc.), and the powerful and enduring idea of the Waste Land in poetry.
In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores the fifteen poems that make up the 'Power and Conflict' cluster for GCSE English Literature (AQA). Each poem is read in detail, with a short commentary highlighting aspects of language, style, themes, motifs, and so on. In the case of Shelley's 'Ozymandias', for example, we think about the multitude of voices in the poem and the idea of the 'waste land' in the history of poetry. When we come to 'My Last Duchess', we focus on the dramatic monologue form and the contrast between the character of the Duke and his "last Duchess". And so on for the whole collection.
The poems discussed in this course are:
1. Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias (1818)
2. William Blake, London (1794)
3. William Wordsworth, Extract from The Prelude (1798-1850)
4. Robert Browning, My Last Duchess (1842)
5. Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade (1854)
6. Wilfred Owen, Exposure (1917)
7. Seamus Heaney, Storm on the Island (1966)
8. Ted Hughes, Bayonet Charge (1957)
9. Simon Armitage, Remains (2008)
10. Jane Weir, Poppies (2009)
11. Carol Ann Duffy, War Photographer (1985)
12. Imtiaz Dharker, Tissue (2006)
13. Carol Rumens, The Émigrée (1993)
14. Beatrice Garland, Kamikaze (2013)
15. John Agard, Checking Out Me History (2007)
John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.
Cite this Lecture
McRae, J. (2018, December 20). Power and Conflict (AQA Poetry Anthology) - Percy Shelley, Ozymandias (1818) [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/power-and-conflict-aqa-poetry-anthology/percy-shelley-ozymandias-1818
McRae, John. "Power and Conflict (AQA Poetry Anthology) – Percy Shelley, Ozymandias (1818)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Dec 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/power-and-conflict-aqa-poetry-anthology/percy-shelley-ozymandias-1818