I’ve been thinking a lot about Percy Bysshe Shelley and Ozymandias and I have come to two conclusions: Shelley was a nihilist and there is something wrong with me. It’s like I go around apologizing to inanimate objects when I run into them. Still.
Anyway, the whole idea of Ozymandias is that this mighty king no longer exists, that his legacy was just as mortal and decayed as he was. You have to wonder if Shelley intended to leave his own legacy or if he also intended his work to disappear when he died. The irony that hundreds of thousands of college students still read his work every year is so rich.