Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

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In early 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Horace Smith conceived a friendly sonnet-writing competition: who could write the best sonnet on King Ramses II? Smith, a successful stockbroker, was managing Shelley’s finances at the time, and Shelley knew him to be a poet as well. The friends each published a sonnet entitled “Ozymandias” in The Examiner: Shelley’s appeared on January 11, under the pen name Glirastes, and Smith’s on February 1. Literary history has declared Shelley the winner. Shelley’s sonnet is consistently anthologized, while Smith is usually referenced only in relation to Shelley. Shelley published a revised version of his sonnet in the Rosalind and Helen volume in 1819, and Smith republished his in Amarynthus (1821) under the title, “On a Stupendous Leg of…

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Citation: Reno, Seth. "Ozymandias". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 July 2012 [, accessed 28 May 2024.]

34180 Ozymandias 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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