English Literature GCSE: Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias

Hip-Hop star Akala and poet Hannah Lowe explore Shelley’s poem ‘Ozymandias’ and how it illustrates the transience of power.

The clip uses Anthony Gormley's artwork "Another Place" on Crosby Beach to highlight the themes of change and the strength of nature.

They make links between the poem and the concerns of creating and controlling life depicted in the novel Frankenstein, written by Shelley's wife Mary.

Young poets discuss the language and meaning of the poem.

This clip is from the series Between the Lines: The Romantics.

Teacher Notes

Discuss the poem’s content, ideas, language and structure. What emotions are evoked?

Pupils could look into context, compare alternative interpretations of the poem and explore Shelley’s world, and the influences behind his poem/poetry.

Curriculum Notes

Romantic poetry is a key requirement on the new English Literature GCSE syllabus being taught from 2015 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.