You are on page 1of 24

This article was downloaded by: [Indian Institute of Technology Madras]

On: 08 April 2012, At: 00:43


Publisher: Routledge
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered
office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
European Romantic Review
Publication details, including instructions for authors and
subscription information:
http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/gerr20
Ozymandias, or De Casibus Lord
Byron: Literary Celebrity on the Rocks
Hadley J. Mozer
a
a
Department of English, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL, USA
Available online: 09 Nov 2010
To cite this article: Hadley J. Mozer (2010): Ozymandias, or De Casibus Lord Byron: Literary
Celebrity on the Rocks, European Romantic Review, 21:6, 727-749
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10509585.2010.514494
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
Full terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-
conditions
This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any
substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,
systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.
The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation
that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any
instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primary
sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,
demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or
indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
European Romantic Review
Vol. 21, No. 6, December 2010, 727749
ISSN 1050-9585 print/ISSN 1740-4657 online
2010 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/10509585.2010.514494
http://www.informaworld.com
Ozymandias, or De Casibus Lord Byron: Literary Celebrity on
the Rocks
Hadley J. Mozer*
Department of English, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL, USA
Taylor and Francis Ltd GERR_A_514494.sgm 10.1080/10509585.2010.514494 European Romantic Review 1050-9585 (print)/1740-4657 (online) Original Article 2010 Taylor & Francis 21 6000000December 2010 HadleyMozer hmozer@flagler.edu
Though rarely discussed in such terms, Ozymandias represents a monumental
moment in the so-called Shelley-Byron debate or conversation. Noting the
failure of source studies to account convincingly for the origins of the facial
features of Ozymandias, this paper argues that the pharaohs frown, / And
wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command are suspiciously Byronic, evoking the
physiognomy of the Byronic hero and of Byron himself as portrayed in the widely
circulated portrait of 181415 by George Henry Harlow. In other words, this paper
argues that Ozymandias is a portrait or rather a word-bust of that early-
nineteenth-century literary colossus known as Byron. By depicting that colossus
decapitated and in ruins, Shelley, who felt dwarfed by the genius and celebrity of
Byron, prophesies the day when the sun would finally set on the literary empire
of the poet whom he despaired of rivaling. Long a routine stop on the grand tour
of British Romantic literature, Ozymandias now asks to be revisited as a de
casibus poem i.e. a poem on the falls of the mighty that does not merely
warn despots about the vanity of their pride and ambition but that also lectures
Lord Byron on the vanity of his literary celebrity.
on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read. (Percy Shelley, Ozymandias, 181718)
Many of them [young readers obsessed with Lord Byron] practised at the glass, in the
hope of catching the curl of the upper lip, and the scowl of the brow, which appear in
some of his portraits. (Thomas Babington Macaulay, Edinburgh Review, June 1831)
Over the years the complicated relationship that Percy Shelley and Lord Byron
struck up at the base of the Swiss Alps in the summer of 1816 has triggered an
avalanche of scholarly interest. Thus far, however, scholarship exploring the friend-
ship, rivalry, and mutual poetic influence of the two poets has had little to say about
Shelleys famous sonnet Ozymandias.
1
This critical silence is not particularly
surprising given the apparent historical and geographical distance of the poems Egyp-
tian subject matter and its lack of any explicit reference to Byron. Nevertheless, it is
my contention that Ozymandias represents a monumental moment in what Charles
E. Robinson and William D. Brewer have styled, respectively, the Shelley-Byron
debate or conversation
2
; for I believe that Lord Byron cuts a figure,
3
as Keats
might put it, in Ozymandias or better, that Shelley cuts a figure of Lord Byron in
*Email: hmozer@flagler.edu
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

728 H.J. Mozer
this ekphrastic sonnet describing the ruined statuary of a sneering megalomaniac who
thought his Works and fame would endure forever. In other words, I will argue here
that Shelleys statue of Ozymandias is something of a veiled portrait or rather, a
word-bust of that early-nineteenth-century literary colossus known as Byron, a
slippery term that simultaneously gestures toward the poet George Gordon, Lord
Byron; his most famous literary self-representation, the Byronic hero; and the highly
commercialized literary empire known as Byronism, which was so heavily invested in
iconographic representations (mostly portraiture, but some sculpture too) of the poet.
Consequently, I will also argue that Ozymandias should be revisited by adventurous
literary travelers as a de casibus poem i.e. a poem on the falls of the mighty that
does not merely warn despots about the vanity of their pride and ambition but that also
lectures Lord Byron on the vanity of his literary celebrity by prophesying the day
when his literary empire, Byronism, will finally lie in ruins a prospect that no doubt
compensated Shelley for his own lack of success compared to the extraordinary clat
of his friend and rival.
Dwarfed by Byron
Written in genial competition with fellow poet Horace Smith, who produced a sonnet
in the same vein,
4
Ozymandias was composed sometime in December 1817 or early
January 1818 and published in Leigh Hunts Examiner under the pseudonym
Glirastes on 11 January 1818, approximately a year and a half after Shelley had met
the (in)famous Lord Byron in Switzerland in the summer of 1816. Given the apparent
parameters of the sonnet competition (i.e. the Egyptian theme), Shelley probably did
not set out with the intention of grappling with Byron in Ozymandias. Nevertheless,
at some point in the process of putting a face on the megalomaniacal pharaoh,
Shelleys thoughts seem to have gravitated toward Byron, whose ghost continued to
haunt Shelley throughout 181617, as Robinson has demonstrated in his discussion of
Shelleys correspondence and The Revolt of Islam and Julian and Maddalo, poems
composed, respectively, before and after Ozymandias, and which clearly engage
with Byron (Robinson 6162, 67, and Chapters 4 and 5). Though the early phase of
their relationship was amicable, Shelley was savagely critical of Byron at least
privately almost from his first acquaintance with the aristocratic poet, as is clear
from Shelleys letter of 17 July 1816 to Thomas Love Peacock:
Lord Byron is an exceedingly interesting person, & as such, is it not to be regretted that
he is a slave to the vilest & most vulgar prejudices, & as mad as the winds? I see
reason to regret the union of great genius, & things which make geniuses useless. For a
short time I shall see no more of Lord Byron, a circumstance I cannot avoid regretting
as he has shewn me great kindness, & as I had some hope that an intercourse with me
would operate to weaken those superstitions of rank & wealth & revenge & servility to
opinion with which he, in common with other men, is so poisonously imbued. (Reiman,
Shelley and His Circle 7: 28)
Nevertheless, despite these reservations Shelley recognized that Byron was destined
for greatness, telling him in a letter of 29 September 1816 that he was chosen out
from all other men to some greater enterprise of thought and admonishing him about
his proper relationship to fame:
It is not that I should counsel you to aspire to fame. The motive to your labours ought to
be more pure, and simple. You ought to desire no more than to express your own
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 729
thoughts; to address yourself to the sympathy of those who might think with you. Fame
will follow those whom it is unworthy to lead. (Shelley, Letters 507)
Ultimately, Shelleys acute awareness of Byrons genius occasioned considerable
self-doubt, and Shelley could not help but feel small after placing Byron atop such a
high pedestal. Shelley actually confessed this sense of inadequacy to Byron himself
in a letter of 17 January 1817: though I have not seen you for six months,
writes Shelley, I still feel the burden of my own insignificance and impotence
(Shelley, Letters 530). Exacerbating Shelleys inferiority complex, as Reiman points
out, was the continuing gap between [Shelleys] and Byrons contemporary reputa-
tions as poets, a fact that undoubtedly galled [Shelley] greatly, in spite of his own
generous praise of Byrons genius (Shelley and His Circle 7: 47). As that gap
increased, so too did Shelleys ambivalence about, and sense of inferiority to,
Byron. In the Preface to Julian and Maddalo (1819) Shelley would offer sincere
praise and harsh criticism of Byron (Count Maddalo), singling out pride as the most
salient of his flaws:
He is a person of the most consummate genius, and capable, if he would direct his ener-
gies to such an end, of becoming the redeemer of his degraded country. But it is his
weakness to be proud: he derives, from a comparison of his own extraordinary mind with
the dwarfish intellects that surround him, an intense apprehension of the nothingness
of human life His ambition preys upon itself I say that Maddalo is proud, because
I can find no other word to express the concentered and impatient feelings which
consume him (120)
5
A few years later Shelleys sense of inferiority to Byron would erupt in Adonais
(1821), where Byron, who had slain the Scotch reviewers earlier in his career while
fighting his way to the top, takes center stage in the procession of mourners at Keatss
funeral as The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame / Over his living head like Heaven is
bent, / An early but enduring monument (26466), while Shelley remains on the
periphery as a nobody and the victim of reviewers: Midst others of less note, came
one frail Form, / / He came the last, neglected and apart; / A herd-abandoned deer
struck by the hunters dart (27197). By January of 1822 Shelley felt so abject writ-
ing in Byrons shadow that he spoke of himself as a worm and Byron as God in
a despairing fragment titled Lines to _____ (Sonnet to Byron in some editions),
which, according to Reiman and ONeill, marks [Shelleys] complete capitulation in
the face of Byrons success (247):
If I esteemed you less, Envy would kill
Pleasure, & leave to Wonder & Despair
The ministration of the thoughts that fill
My mind, which, like a worm whose life may share
A portion of the Unapproachable,
Marks your creations rise as fast & fair
As perfect worlds at the creators will,
And bows itself before the godhead there.
But such is my regard, that, nor your fame
Cast on the present by the coming hour,
Nor your well-won prosperity & power
Move one regret for his unhonoured name
Who dares these words. The worm beneath the sod
May lift itself in worship to the God. (Reiman and ONeill 251)
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

730 H.J. Mozer
Composed several years before the more explicit engagements with Byron in Julian
and Maddalo, Adonais, and Lines to _____, in the same year that Shelley divulged
his feelings of insignificance and impotence to Byron, Ozymandias registers
Shelleys emerging ambivalence about, and sense of inferiority to, his friend and rival,
whose face, I will argue, is hidden in the rocks right before our very eyes.
The Face that Launched a Thousand Source Studies
Like the smile on the Mona Lisa, the shattered visage of Ozymandias with its
frown, / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command has long intrigued specta-
tors. More to the point, the face has proven to be particularly elusive in the dizzying
hunt for Shelleys source(s) for the poem. Clearly, the face of Shelleys Ozymandias
is not that of the massive bust of Ramses II that Richard Holmes, in his otherwise
excellent biography of Shelley, mistakenly claimed had arrived in England in the
autumn of 1817 and served as the inspiration for Shelley and Horace Smith, who
supposedly saw the bust on their trips to the British Museum (410). As Toby Venables
has revealed, Shelley never actually saw the bust: its arrival was delayed until the
spring of 1818, after the publication of the poem and after Shelley had permanently
left England (18).
6
But even if Shelley had seen the bust, it could not have provided
him with the facial details in question: still part of the collection of Egyptian antiqui-
ties at the British Museum, the colossal bust of Ramesses II (a.k.a. The Younger
Memnon) sports what Venables describes as the most serene and Buddha-like of
smiles (18) and what the British Museum describes on its Website as a serene
smile (Colossal Bust of Ramesses II), not a sneer. Nor is the face in question to be
found on the broken-off bust of the other shattered colossus of Ramses II that could
have been found at the Ramesseum in Shelleys day (and that still lies there today).
Never having traveled to Egypt, Shelley could not have seen the colossus firsthand;
moreover, as Johnstone Parr points out, even secondhand contemporary accounts of
the colossus could not have provided Shelley with the facial details for Ozymandias
because erosion had rendered the face of the bust nondescript by 1817: In Shelleys
day the face of the head was so obliterated that no one could have discerned a frown,
a wrinkled lip, or a sneer of cold command (3233). Neither, then, of these two
famous shattered colossi presumably the most likely candidates for ekphrastic
description supplied the physiognomy for Shelleys pharaoh.
Nor does Shelley seem to have lifted the face of Ozymandias from some other
Egyptian statuary described or sketched in one of the histories, travel accounts, or other
sources that might have been available to him. Though scholars have unearthed provoc-
ative accounts of Egyptian ruins featuring broken-off busts and scattered limbs remi-
niscent of some of the details in Shelleys sonnet, no compelling candidate for the face
itself has surfaced.
7
True, in 1962 H.M. Richmond revealed he had found an illustration
in the first edition of Richard Pocockes A Description of the East, and Some Other
Countries (London, 1743) that purported to represent the upper part of a statue of
Ozymandias at Thebes and that depicted a severed bust full face and lying deeply
sunk in the sand with an expression that Richmond described as indeed cold and
brutal (69). However, several scholars have taken exception to Richmonds charac-
terization of the face. And the cold and brutal face? writes Venables, Well, perhaps
we could settle for noncommittal. The drawing hardly fits Shelleys description at
all (21). Rodney Stenning Edgecombe also dismisses Pococke as a source for the face,
describing the expressions on the images of Memnon and Ozymandias contained in a
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 731
Dutch translation of Pococke as benign and equally bland, respectively (95).
Having examined the plates in Pocockes first edition myself (vol. 1, plate accompa-
nying p.107), I concur with Venables and Edgecombe: Pocockes Ozymandias bears
little resemblance to Shelleys sneering pharaoh, the formers countenance striking me
as flat, detached, and morally neutral.
Of course, according to some scholars all such efforts to excavate the face of
Shelleys pharaoh from the ruins of Egypt are categorically futile because ancient
Egyptian statuary did not depict the pharaohs with features like frown[s], wrinkled
lip[s], or sneer[s]. D.W. Thompson appears to have been the first to point this out
that is, in reference to Ozymandias stating rather matter-of-factly, We now
know that the Egyptians did not sculpture their kings in such fashion (63). Echoing
Thompson, Christoph Bode writes, Shelley gives the statue a face that is definitely
not a pharaohs: frown, wrinkled lip, sneer, all indicative of inward passions thats
nowhere near the mild, almost Buddha-like serenity we know from the statues of
Egyptian pharaohs, especially of Ramses II (144). Similarly, Anne Janowitz states
that the image of passion on Shelleys Ozymandias is unlikely to have been
observed on the actual Egyptian statuary being shipped to England [in Shelleys day].
The head of the Young Memnon, for example, is characteristically impassive in
expression (487). More recently, John Rodenbeck has also made reference to the
smiling expressions on statuary of Ozymandias (126). It seems unlikely, then, if not
impossible, that the face of Shelleys pharaoh derives from any authentic Egyptian
statuary.
Consequently, some scholars have resorted to archetypal readings of Ozymandiass
physiognomy, treating the frown, wrinkled lip, and sneer as constituents of a
generalized physiognomy of tyranny. [T]he face in the sonnet, writes Thompson, is
not that of an Egyptian king, but that of Shelleys tyrant, a Godwinian monarch
whose character has been ruined by court-life (63). For Bode, the face in the sonnet
is more suggestive of an archetypal villainous oriental despot like Sardanapalus,
by Delacroix, than the pharaohs depicted in ancient Egyptian statuary (144). (Here
I cannot help but interject that Bode is of the devils party without knowing it:
Delacroixs painting is actually an illustration of Byrons late drama Sardanapalus,
whose semi-autobiographical protagonist is a late incarnation of the Byronic hero.)
Janowitz reads the face of Ozymandias as an invit[ation] [to] the reader to recreate
the once entire colossus in terms that he or she will understand instead of the stiff
motifs of Egyptian statues, the reader will imagine a tyrant who has a sneer and
whose passions survive the devastation of time (487). For such critics the face of
Ozymandias is the face of Tyranny, not of an historical individual, Egyptian or other-
wise. Nevertheless, as archetypal as the menacing and haughty facial features of the
pharaoh may be, they are also distinctly Byronic.
One more scholarly take on the physiognomy of Ozymandias merits consideration
before moving on, however. Unconvinced that Shelley fashioned his pharaoh
after Pocockes, Edgecombe has argued that Shelley unconsciously drew on
Judeo-Christian iconology (95), especially the severed head of Goliath, the
attribute of David in a good many paintings, and also the head of Holofernes in
comparable tableaux of Judith (97). It is clearly from the Goliath/Holofernes tradi-
tion, Edgecombe confidently asserts, and not from Pococke that Shelley has drawn
the idea of a frown / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command (9798). Having
examined 33 and 28 works in the Judith/Holofernes and David/Goliath traditions, I
would agree that Ozymandias has affinities with these two Christian iconographical
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

732 H.J. Mozer
traditions more so with the latter than the former but not that they supply the phys-
iognomy of Shelleys pharaoh. Severed heads abound, of course, in both traditions,
occasionally lying at the feet (David/Goliath) or dangling near the legs (Judith/
Holofernes) of the slayer, evoking scenes somewhat reminiscent of Ozymandias.
Nevertheless, the face of the respective villains often remains unpictured, either
because the head is turned away from the spectator, is lying face-down in the ground,
or is tucked away as spoil in a sack; moreover, when the face is pictured, it is often
just as likely to appear peaceful (e.g. the sleeping Holofernes), terrified or excruciat-
ingly pained (e.g. Holofernes being decapitated), zombie-like and expressionless
(both villains, dead), or even humbled in death (both villains). With all due respect to
Edgecombe, the frown, wrinkled lip, and sneer of Ozymandias are not clearly
from the Goliath/Holofernes tradition, with which Shelley may or may not have even
been very familiar (Edgecombe makes no attempt to document Shelleys exposure to
this tradition; familiarity is assumed, and the influence occurs unconsciously).
To sum up, then, scholars have searched high and low for the origins of
Ozymandiass unforgettable physiognomy in the British Museum, in the sands of
Egypt, in textual sources that might have been available to Shelley, in the realm
of archetypal evil, and in several Christian iconographical traditions. But theres
something about that sneering face that seems to have slipped though the fingers of
scholars something that gives this Byronist a sense of dj vu.
Byronic Physiognomy: The Byronic Hero, Byron and the Harlow Portrait
Indeed, the frown, / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command of Ozymandias
strike me as suspiciously Byronic, partially reproducing a constellation of facial
features that distinguish both the Byronic hero and Byron himself (or at least one of
the most compelling personas or images often taken by members of the public to be
Byron himself, i.e. the 181415 portrait by George Henry Harlow). Let us begin
with art (the Byronic hero) and then move on to life (George Gordon, Lord Byron),
not that these categories are discrete in Byrons case.
Debuting in Childe Harolds Pilgrimage 12, catapulting to even greater stardom
in the serialized Oriental Tales, returning in cantos 3 and 4 of Childe Harold as well
as in Manfred, and making scattered appearances in the Byron corpus thereafter, the
Byronic hero was distinguished not only by his aristocratic origins, checkered past,
and melancholy (if not misanthropic) disposition, but also by a trademarked physical
look
8
that usually included some combination of the following: a curled lip; a
scowl, bitter smile, or sneer; a prominent brow; dark, curly hair; fair skin; a penetrat-
ing, mesmeric gaze; and a haughty countenance whose cold, detached, or stone-like
front often betrays the vestiges of former passions. The most elaborate portrait of the
Byronic hero probably appears in The Giaour, whose hero is described by a fisher-
man narrator as possessing a sallow front / scathd by fiery passions brunt
(19495), an evil or glazed eye (196, 240), a fearful brow (231), skin as pale
as marble oer the tomb (238), and a haughty mien (256). Later in the poem,
another voice, presumably that of the poet, fleshes out the physiognomy of the Giaour
even further:
Dark and unearthly is the scowl
That glares beneath his dusky cowl
The flash of that dilating eye
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 733
Reveals too much of times gone by

Oft will his glance the gazer rue
For in it lurks that nameless spell
Which speaks itself unspeakable
A spirit yet unquelled and high
That claims and keeps ascendancy,

others quail beneath his look,
Nor scape the glance they scarce can brook.
From him the half-affrighted Friar
When met alone would fain retire
As if that eye and bitter smile
Transferred to others fear and guile
Not oft to smile descendeth he,
And when he doth tis sad to see
That he but mocks at Misery.
How that pale lip will curl and quiver!
Then fix once more as if for ever
As if his sorrow or disdain
Forbade him eer to smile again.

But sadder still it were to trace
What once were feelings in that face
Time hath not yet the features fixed,

The common crowd but see the gloom
Of wayward deeds and fitting doom
The close observer can espy
A noble soul, and lineage high. (83269)
Toward the end of the passage, the narrator tropes the Giaour as a grand architectural
ruin (no vulgar tenement) that commands the attention of the spectator more insis-
tently than the most picturesque (the roofless cot) or sublime (the tower by war or
tempest bent) of decaying edifices (87382). Almost immediately thereafter, Byron
directs our gaze, yet another time, back to the stony faade of his threateningly
mesmeric hero: Lo! mark ye / / That livid cheek, that stoney air / Of mixed
defiance and despair! (9058).
The same face and demeanor resurface elsewhere in the Byron corpus. Conrad, the
hero of The Corsair, possesses a rising lip that reveals / The haughtier thought it
curbs, but scarce conceals (1.2056), a stern glance (1.214), a laughing Devil in
his sneer (1.223), and a frown of hatred (1.225), all of which are complemented by
a temperament far too proud to stoop (1.255). The eponymous hero of Lara is
distinguished by his Coldness of mien (1.70), a brow of gloom (1.197), a smile
that often witherd to a sneer (1.299300), and a countenance expressing a vital
scorn of all (1.313). Finally, the Childe Harold of canto 3 exudes a guarded cold-
ness (82) and remains [p]roud though in desolation (107). In short, the Byronic
hero is something of a sublime human ruin a ruin amidst ruins, as Byron would
later put it so memorably in Childe Harold 4.25 distinguished by several facial
features that later appear on the face of Shelleys pharaoh.
So much for the Byronic hero. But what of Byron himself? Before proceeding,
let me explain that the postulate Byron himself requires quotation marks because,
as many Byronists would agree, there is no fixed or essential (Beevers 2) physical
appearance or core personality of Byron that has been captured by a single image or
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

734 H.J. Mozer
biographical account. Byrons physical appearance varied dramatically throughout his
life because of an eating disorder, his experimentation with dress and costume, the
natural processes of aging, and the vicissitudes of life. Moreover, he took an impish
delight in striking different poses in different company, sometimes with the intention
of mystifying his future biographers and disrupting the emergence of a stable
biographical account of himself. Finally, the various contemporaries who have
bequeathed us their (sometimes conflicting) impressions of Byron inevitably
perceived him through their own subjective lenses. Consequently, literary historians
are left with a notoriously slippery biographical subject.
9
To say, then, that Shelley
sculpts a portrait of Byron himself, in body or spirit, oversimplifies the matter.
Nevertheless, one particular persona or image of Byron the haughty, sneering
aristocrat tended to predominate in the popular imagination and was frequently
taken to be Byron himself, and it is this Byron that Shelley caricatures in his
sonnet. For convenience I will refer to this Byron as the sublime misanthrope, an
epithet purportedly coined by Byron in a conversation with Lady Blessington in which
he mused upon the contradictory accounts his future biographers would inevitably
produce given his overabundance of that Protean quality mobilit: One will represent
me as a sort of sublime misanthrope Another will portray me as a modern Don
Juan; and a third as an amiable, ill-used gentleman, more sinned against than
sinning (Lovell, Lady Blessingtons 220). Here is a striking portrait of the sublime
misanthrope painted in words in 1814 by the most famous early nineteenth-century
portraitist in England, Thomas Lawrence, a keen observer of faces (and, as Clubbe
points out, a convert to Johann Caspar Lavaters pseudo-science of physiognomy
10
):
Lavaters system never asserted its truth more forcibly than in Lord Byrons
Countenance, in which you see all the character. Its keen and rapid Genius its pale
Intelligence its profligacy and its bitterness, its original symmetry distorted by the
Passions, his laugh of mingled merriment and scorn. The forehead, clear and open,
the brow boldly prominent, the Eyes bright and dissimilar, the Nose finely cut, and the
Nostril acutely formd the Mouth well formd but wide, and contemptuous even in its
smile; falling singularly at the corners, and its vindictive and disdainful expression,
heightend by the massive firmness of the Chin, which springs at once from the centre
of the full under Lip, the Hair dark and curling, but irregular in its growth.
All this presents to you the Poet and the Man (Layard 9495)
Unfortunately for posterity, Lawrence never got to paint Byron in anything but
morphemes (Clubbe 33).
However, one of his pupils, George Henry Harlow (Clubbe 39; Beevers 66),
successfully formalized this particular image of the poet for generations to come in a
sketch undertaken in 181415.
11
Described by Beevers as the first wholly Romantic
Byronic image (68) and the first truly public portrait of Byron, created with a mass
market instead of a private patron in mind (70), Harlows portrait of Byron acquired
instant vogue when an engraving of it by Henry Meyer appeared in Henry Colburns
The New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register in July 1815 (Peach, Portraits
69; Beevers 66; Kenyon Jones, Fantasy 115).
12
As Beevers explains, The dramatic
touch [of the portrait] is largely achieved by showing Byron in near profile from a
standpoint which has the effect of making the viewer look up at him. This effect is
enhanced by the poets glance, which is directed downwards away from the viewer
and, it would seem, all other observers (67). Complementing the downward-gazing
eye are a slight frown (Peach, Portraits 66) and a full lower lip that make the poet
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 735
appear pouty (Stocking 79n11), aloof (Clubbe 39), brooding (Kenyon Jones,
Fantasy 131), and self-indulgent and disdainful (Beevers 68), his persona commu-
nicating an air of aristocratic hauteur and boredom (Hyman 226). In what appears
to be a calculated exercise in self-fashioning presumably a collaborative effort by
both artist and sitter the portrait presents Byron as if he were Childe Harold, the
Giaour, or Lara in the flesh (Beevers 68; Hyman 226). In the opinion of Henry Angelo,
the fencing instructor who encouraged Byron to sit to Harlow, the portrait ascribed to
Byron a proud, downcast look that was not in the least a trait of the original
(Angelo 2: 131), but for many members of the public, especially those who had never
seen the original (and perhaps even for some who had), the Harlow/Meyer image
represented the real (or something very close to the real) Lord Byron.
After the image debuted in Colburns magazine, Meyer produced a more refined
version for publication in Cadell and Davies The British Gallery of Contemporary
Portraits (Beevers 73; see also Peach, Portraits 69). Published on 30 January 1816,
the second Meyer engraving came on the heels of the separation scandal Lady Byron
had left Byron on 16 January offering the public an image of Byron that titillated
presumably because of its apparent confirmation of the worst suspicions regarding
Byrons dubious character and alleged crimes (Beevers 74). Before long, demand for
images of Byron was so high that cheap pirated versions of the Harlow/Meyer image
cruder and coarser versions by anonymous engravers began to spread like wild-
fire (Beevers 74). In one such example the quality of the engraving is so poor that the
facial features [of Byron] have degenerated to a degree suggestive of utmost deprav-
ity (Beevers 7476).
As the Muse of literary biography would have it, Shelley knew the Harlow/Meyer
engraving quite well and he even appears to have taken special note of the imposing
image of Byron offered therein. In her letter to Byron of 29 September 1816, Claire
Clairmont Byrons ex-lover and Mary Shelleys step-sister relates a humorous, but
telling, anecdote about the response of the Shelley mnage to an engraving of the
image included in what appears to have been an edition of Poems on His Domestic
Circumstances (1816):
We have got the pretty purple poems of Albes [Albe was Claires pet name for Byron]
the portrait dear has made you look so proud it almost frightens one even to peep. We
use it to frighten little Will [Percy and Marys infant son] when he is naughty, telling him
the great Poet is coming. (Stocking 77; see also, 7980n11)
Six months later, in March of 1817, Percy Shelley wrote to his publisher, Charles
Ollier, requesting a special print of the engraving:
Mr Hunt has, I believe, commissioned you to get me a proof impression of a print done
from a drawing by Harlowe of Lord Byron: I said that it should be framed in oak, but
I have changed my mind and wish it to be finished in black. (Shelley, Letters 536)
In Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries (1828), Leigh Hunt recounts telling
Byron of an incident in which Mrs. Hunt, while visiting the Shelleys, was shown a
copy of the Harlow engraving and asked for her opinion of it, upon which she
remarked that Byron resembled a great school-boy, who had had a plain bun given
him, instead of a plum one, while Hunt himself refers to the engraving as the fastid-
ious, scornful portrait of him [Byron], affectedly looking down (46). Whether
Shelley acquired the print for himself or, as Richard Holmes (369) and Annette Peach
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

736 H.J. Mozer
(Portraits 70) claim without offering any evidence, was acting on behalf of Claire;
Claires anecdote about the great Poet and Hunts anecdote about his wifes visit
with the Shelleys suggest that Claire, Mary, and Percy were highly amused with the
affectedly Byronic mode of self-representation on display in the portrait a mode
that aggressively advertises Lord Byron as the prince of poets, more to be feared than
loved.
Of course, Shelley could have encountered the sublime misanthrope in other
venues besides the Harlow/Meyer engraving. This Byron makes a cameo, for exam-
ple, in Caroline Lambs Glenarvon (1816), an anonymous roman clef whose epon-
ymous villain sports telltale Byronic facial features (e.g. the proud curl of the upper
lip expressed haughtiness and bitter contempt [12021; ch. 35]; the contemptuous
sneer of his curling lip [148; ch. 42]; etc.). Clearly, as Glenarvon evinces, by 1816,
a sneer, curled lip, and haughty demeanor were widely recognized evocations of
Byron and the Byronic hero.
Given Shelleys relationship with Byron and the ubiquity of the Byronic look,
Shelleys ascription of a frown, / And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command to
Ozymandias should be seen as a deliberate attempt to Byronize the pharaoh, to bring
Byron into apposition with Ozymandias. The purpose of said Byronization?
Presumably, to critique Byron for a number of sometime attitudes that were anathema
to Shelley e.g. egotism, aristocratic entitlement, gloom, and misanthropy and to
cut down to size the monolithic literary celebrity who had dwarfed Percy Shelley, who
had still not found anything like the critical or popular success enjoyed by Byron.
Undoubtedly, the mode of attack involves caricature, not strict mimesis: Shelleys
bust is not a dead ringer (physically or temperamentally) for that elusive signified
Byron himself, but an unflattering caricature of Byron, exaggerating the sneer and
haughty demeanor of the Byronic hero and the Harlow engraving, as something even
more malignant than the sublime misanthrope the sublimest misanthrope, if you
will. Kelvin Everest has also noted a hint of caricatured exaggeration on the
pharaohs face, considering this touch to be the sculptors revenge upon the despot
(31). Everest is right, of course, about the caricature and revenge, only the sculptor
and pharaoh should be read not just as categorical representatives of poets and tyrants,
but as alter egos for Shelley and Byron, reflecting the latters ambivalence about and
sense of inferiority to the former.
The Art of Image Management: Byronic Portraiture and the Thorvaldsen Bust
If the frown, wrinkled lip, and sneer of Ozymandias signify Byron, the
pharaohs obsession with monuments to himself evokes the image management
driving the profitable industry known as Byronism, which was so dependent upon
visual representations of the poet.
13
By the time Shelley was writing Ozymandias,
the production and reproduction of Byrons image had been in high gear for several
years, and Byron had sat sometimes on his own initiative and sometimes at the
request of others to numerous painters and one famous sculptor to produce images
of himself for both private use and public consumption. Byron usually attempted to
retain control of his image by hand-picking the artists for whom he would sit, strik-
ing Byronic poses that recalled his fictional heroes, and officially sanctioning or
vetoing images for use by Murray or others. (Of course, Byronism occasionally spun
out of control, and unauthorized images of the poet inevitably found their way into
circulation.)
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 737
Among the highlights of Byron iconography up to this time were the following:
George Sanderss 1809 nautical portrait (on display at the artists studio for about a
year in 180910 and temporarily housed at John Murrays in 1813);
14
the two 1813
portraits by Richard Westall (one of which was exhibited at the New Gallery in Pall
Mall in 1814 and one of which inspired numerous adaptations including a hack job
by Thomas Blood that gained wide circulation in James Aspernes The European
Magazine for January 1814);
15
the well known Thomas Phillips cloak or open
collar portrait of 181314 (which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1814 and
which generated an entire family of Byron replicas);
16
Phillipss 1813 three-quarter
length portrait of Byron in Albanian dress (also exhibited at the Royal Academy in
1814, enjoying a prominent position in the exhibition and attracting significant atten-
tion);
17
the aforementioned 181415 profile by Harlow (adapted for sanctioned use,
but also frequently pirated, poorly);
18
and a series of miniatures by the Italian painter
Girolamo Prepiani in 1817.
19
Obviously, Shelley would not have been familiar with
all of these images, especially the private portraiture; nevertheless, Shelley would
have frequently encountered engravings of Byron in editions of his poetry and in
popular magazines, witnessing firsthand the proliferation of Byron iconography and
the self-fashioning being conducted therein.
20
Equally pertinent to the present discussion is that Byron sat for his first bust approx-
imately six or seven months before Shelley composed Ozymandias. Sometime
between 29 April and 20 May 1817, at the behest of his friend John Cam Hobhouse,
Byron sat to the renowned Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen at his studio in
Rome (Adams 20507; Beevers 82). Though preceded by a letter from Hobhouse to
Thorvaldsen, Byron appeared the first day in his atelier without any previous notice,
wrapped up in his mantle, and with a look which was intended to impress upon the
artist a powerful sentiment of his character, as an English visitor to Thorvaldsens
studio recounted the sculptors saying (Thorwaltzen 232). Byron was an unruly sitter
and struck an affectedly Byronic pose, as the aged Thorvaldsen told his friend Hans
Christian Andersen, who reports the sculptors reminiscence:
Oh, that was in Rome, said he [Thorvaldsen], when I was about to make
Byrons statue; he placed himself just opposite to me, and began immediately to assume
quite another countenance to what was customary to him. Will not you sit still? said I;
but you must not make these faces. It is my expression, said Byron. Indeed? said I, and
then I made him as I wished, and every body said, when it was finished, that I had hit the
likeness. When Byron, however, saw it, he said, It does not resemble me at all; I look
more unhappy.
He was, above all things, so desirous of looking extremely unhappy, added Thor-
waldsen, with a comic expression. (Andersen 170)
Notwithstanding Byrons posturing, his lordships head impressed the sculptor, at least
according to Hobhouse, who reported in his letter to Murray of 7 December 1817, the
artist worked con amore, and told me it was the finest head he had ever under his hand
(Smiles 1: 391). Shortly after the sitting, Hobhouse asked Thorvaldsen to crown the
bust with laurels la the great military leaders of Rome the same style that
Thorvaldsen had used for his bust of Napoleon (Beevers 92). Somewhat chagrined by
the pretentiousness implicit in sitting for ones bust (to Thorvaldsen no less), Byron
objected to the proposed addition in his letter to Hobhouse of 20 June 1817: I protest
against & prohibit the laurels which would be a most awkward assumption and
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

738 H.J. Mozer
anticipation of that which may never come to pass. Besides they belong to the butch-
ers & not to the ballad-singers (Byron, Letters 5: 243). Hobhouse deferred to Byron,
but proved to be merely temporizing: when the marble comes to England,
Hobhouse told John Murray in the letter of 7 December, I shall place a golden laurel
round it in the ancient style, and, if it is thought good enough, suffix the following
inscription, which may serve at least to tell the name of the portrait and allude to the
excellence of the artist, which very few lapidary inscriptions do (Smiles 1: 391).
When the bust, long delayed, finally arrived in England in late October 1821 (Adams
210), it was without Hobhouses inscription, a rather lackluster quatrain (Adams 207
8; Beevers 93); only Byrons name appeared on the herm, having been placed there
by Thorvaldsen or one of his underlings (Beevers 93).
True, Shelley never saw the Thorvaldsen bust. By October 1821 Shelley had
already left England permanently and been residing in Italy for several years.
Nevertheless, Shelley certainly could have heard of the bust prior to composing
Ozymandias. (And my argument is not that Ozymandias engages in ekphrastic
description of the Thorvaldsen bust, which lacks the Byronic sneer, but that the
pharaohs obsession with reproducing his own image gestures toward Byronic image
management, which had recently made the jump from portraiture and engraving to
statuary.) Though Byron does not broach the topic in any letter to the Shelleys, and
neither of the Shelleys mentions the bust in their letters or journals, news of the sitting
could have easily reached Shelley. During the time between the Thorvaldsen sitting
and the composition of Ozymandias, Shelley, who was residing in Marlow, received
visitors from London and made several lengthy visits to the metropolis,
21
where the
latest intelligence about Byron would have been readily available. After all, Murray
and the Albemarle circle routinely circulated information about Byron as it became
available, and Murray had heard of the sitting as early as 4 June 1817 thanks to Byron:
Torwaltzen has done a bust of me at Rome for Mr. Hobhouse which is reckoned
very good he is their best after Canova (Byron, Letters 5: 235). If Murray did not
tell Douglas Kinnaird and Scrope Davies about the sitting shortly thereafter, it is clear
that Hobhouse had told them by 7 December (see Smiles 1: 391). Clearly, by early
July 1817 Shelley knew, at the very least, that Byron had recently been in Rome:
I called on [Samuel] Rogers the other day, Shelley wrote to Byron on 9 July, and
heard some news of you, viz. that you had been to Rome, and that you had returned
to Venice (Shelley, Letters 546). That Shelley would not have also heard about
the Thorvaldsen sitting sometime before he began composing Ozymandias in
December 1817 or early January 1818 is indeed hard to imagine. Nevertheless, even
if word of the sitting had not reached Shelley by then, Ozymandias still appears to
criticize Byron for the vanity of the image management sustaining his literary empire,
of which Shelley would have been fully aware with or without knowledge of the
Thorvaldsen bust.
22
With its allusion to the tense vis--vis between the despotic pharaoh and the
commissioned sculptor who mock[s] i.e. imitates and/or ridicules the
passions on his subjects face, Ozymandias may even spoof the strange dynam-
ics that characterized many of the sittings involving Byron. As Kenyon Jones demon-
strates, Byron was a notoriously unruly and affected sitter, his behavior with
Thorvaldsen being the rule rather than the exception (Fantasy 12425); and many
of Byrons encounters with artists, writes Kenyon Jones, seem to have involved
something of a struggle for mastery between the artist and sitter (Introduction 19).
In his memoir on the miniaturist James Holmes, who painted Byron on numerous
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 739
occasions (perhaps as early as 1809 and certainly by 181516), Alfred Story reports
Holmess recollections of Byrons behavior at their sittings:
Thus when he [Byron] was sitting for his portraits, he could seldom continue seated or
be still for more than a minute or two at a time. He would be for ever moving about, now
rising and going to the window, now suddenly taking up a stick and beginning to fence.
When the artist [Holmes] remonstrated and said he could not paint while he was moving
about like that, he would exclaim with a frown, O blood and guts, do get on! and
resume his seat for a brief space. (Story 50)
The painter William Edward West, for whom Byron sat in 1822, described the poet as
a bad sitter who assumed a countenance which did not belong to him, as though he
were thinking of a frontispiece for Childe Harold (Lovell, His Very 297). That such
posturing occurred routinely at sittings is also suggested by the comments of contem-
poraries such as Robert Charles Dallas, who described the poets facial expression in
the Phillips portraits of 181314 as one of haughtiness and affected dignity never
once visible to those who ever saw him (qtd. in Walker 1: 80). By all accounts, then,
a typical sitting with Byron appears to have involved a considerable amount of self-
fashioning and eccentric behavior on the poets part that necessitated no small amount
of patience on the artists. Though Shelley was not present at any of Byrons sittings
prior to composing Ozymandias, Regency England was certainly small enough for
stories of Byrons demeanor at sittings to have reached Shelley, particularly given
the commerce between their circles; of course, it would not have required much of
Shelley simply to imagine the dynamics between artist and sitter at a sitting involving
Lord Byron.
De Casibus Lord Byron
Undoubtedly, as various scholars have pointed out, Ozymandias owes a tremendous
debt to Volneys The Ruins, A Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires (1791) for its
reflections on ruins and the rise and fall of civilizations. Nevertheless, I would argue
that Shelleys concern with the fall of Ozymandias is also indebted to the de casibus
literary tradition inaugurated by Boccaccios De casibus virorum illustrium (135660;
revised 1373), the title of which literally means on the falls of illustrious men but
was translated into English by John Lydgate as Fall of Princes (1494). A genre that
flourished in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance, and that scholars have
traditionally approached in terms of its relationship to tragedy, de casibus literature,
as Paul Budra explains, is a form of history writing that concatenate[s] a series of
annal-type biographies of individuals whose lives demonstrate a pattern of metaba-
sis or a change in fortune from good to bad in order to illustrate the vanity of
pride, fame, and ambition in light of the brevity of human life, which is assumed
within the Christian framework of the de casibus tradition to be a consequence of the
Fall of Man (13, 1718). Often overtly political in intent, de casibus literature some-
times combined the Frstenspiegel (Mirror for Princes, or counsel book) format
with the exemplary mode to offer a polemical reading of history (Budra xiii; see also
19), taking stock of reigns past and instructing rulers both present and future in proper
governance. The genre boasts a rich tradition in English literature that includes Chau-
cers The Monks Tale, the de casibus tragedy of the Middle Ages and Renaissance,
Lydgates Fall, George Cavendishs Metrical Visions (155254), and the various
sixteenth- and seventeenth-century editions of A Mirror for Magistrates (a
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

740 H.J. Mozer
chronological extension of Lydgates work incorporating noteworthy individuals in
British history), among others (Budra 42, 7, 19). By the time Shelley composed
Ozymandias, the sun had largely set on the genre, though a new edition of A Mirror
for Magistrates, edited by Joseph Haslewood, had been published in 1815 (Budra 19).
Certainly, Shelley departs from the de casibus tradition in Ozymandias in
several important ways. First and foremost, Ozymandias does not affirm a Christian
vision of history; the worldview implicit in Shelleys sonnet is more Volneyean, more
existential all we are is dust in the wind, as Kansas famously put it. Furthermore,
Shelley does not resort to the heavy-handed moral rhetoric (Budra 34) prevalent in
de casibus literature; instead, he leaves it to the reader to intuit the point from the irony
inhabiting the conclusion (the description of the barren desert, which undermines
Ozymandiass boast about his Works). This too: Ozymandias does not amass a
succession of lives but instead presents an individual case study what Budra would
call a frame if it were part of a series (33) that exemplifies the de casibus theme.
But present that theme (i.e. the fall of the mighty) Ozymandias does, and the poem
has palpable affinities with the de casibus tradition, despite its liberties with the genre.
Though not usually couched in such terms, the standard, political reading of
Ozymandias is essentially a de casibus reading running something like this:
Ozymandias is a warning to kings and tyrants past, present, and future; both
domestic and foreign that their power will eventually fade, their lives come to an
end, their legacies be forgotten. If we attend to the Byronic physiognomy of the
pharaoh, however, Ozymandias acquires a strikingly new complexion as a de casi-
bus poem. The poem no longer exclusively prognosticates the falls of political princes
and their kingdoms but also foretells the fall of a particular literary prince and his
empire: i.e. Byron and Byronism. Like Ozymandias himself, his crumbling statue, and
his long-decayed architectural Works; Lord Byron, his handsomely bound poetical
works, and the literary/cultural empire known as Byronism will also one day
succumb to the ravages of Time. Ozymandias morphs from Frstenspiegel, a mirror
for princes, to something of a Dichterspiegel, or a mirror for poets, lecturing Lord
Byron illustrious man and prince of poets on the vanity of his literary celebrity
and future fame.
Making the de casibus tradition a particularly apposite vehicle for Shelleys
lecture to Byron, and imbuing it with additional irony, is that Byron had already
claimed to have learned the de casibus lesson from his favorite case study in contem-
porary European history: the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. In stanza 17 of
Childe Harolds Pilgrimage 3 a poem Shelley knew well (and the manuscript of
which Shelley, acting as Byrons courier, had delivered to John Murray in 1816 after
returning to England from Switzerland) Harold finds himself at Waterloo in a scene
that, as Rodenbeck has also noticed, seems almost to anticipate Ozymandias (133)
with its concern about there being no colossal bust at the field to commemorate the
battle:
Stop! for thy tread is on an Empires dust!
An Earthquakes spoil is sepulchered below!
Is the spot markd with no colossal bust?
Nor column trophied for triumphal show? (17.14548)
Several stanzas later Byron offers a de casibus meditation on Napoleon, the recently
fallen prince in whom Byron saw himself reflected (particularly after the scandal and
self-exile of 1816):
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 741
How in an hour the power which gave annuls
Its gifts, transferring fame as fleeting too!
In pride of place here last the eagle flew,
Then tore with bloody talon the rent plain,
Pierced by the shaft of banded nations through;
Ambitions life and labours all were vain;
He wears the shattered links of the worlds broken chain. (18.15662)
Fallen, yes, but sublimely so Napoleon as well as Byron. Returning to the theme in
stanza 40, Byron finally puts a face on the ruined emperor one that resembles the
artist as much as (if not more than) the sitter:
Ambition steeld thee on too far to show
That just habitual scorn, which could contemn
Men and their thoughts; t was wise to feel, not so
To wear it ever on thy lip and brow,
And spurn the instruments thou wert to use
Till they were turnd unto thine overthrow. (40.35358)
Ascribing the Byronic look to Napoleon, Byron is presumably issuing, vicariously,
a mea culpa of sorts, owning up to his own Napoleonic pretensions and acknowledg-
ing that he has been the careful pilot of [his] proper woe as he puts it in Epistle to
Augusta. But Ozymandias suggests that Shelley was not buying it, that Shelley
believed the great Poet had not really submitted himself in all proper humility to the
de casibus trajectory of life.
Ozymandias Reception Posterity
One of the implications of the reading of Ozymandias offered here is that Shelleys
sonnet is a case study in the rampant malaise among Romantic writers that Lucy
Newlyn has dubbed the anxiety of reception and a significant contribution to what
Andrew Bennett has christened the Romantic culture of posterity. In nicely dove-
tailing scholarship, Newlyn and Bennett have argued that many Romantic-period writ-
ers suffered from anxiety about their reception because of pressures attending the
increasing commercialization of the literary marketplace (e.g. stiffer competition; a
growing sense of alienation from a rapidly expanding, increasingly unfamiliar audi-
ence; mounting pressure to defer to public taste; etc.). To allay these anxieties many
writers sought refuge in a Romantic ideology of genius whose central assumption
was that the truly great artist might suffer neglect among his contemporaries but
would ultimately be vindicated by posterity. Wordsworth probably furnishes the best
example of this phenomenon with his prefaces, supplementary essays, and sundry
paratexts, which bemoan the debased tastes of the age militating against a proper
appreciation of his poetic experiment and implicitly or explicitly hold out hope for
his ultimate vindication by posterity. Shelley could strike this chord too, most memo-
rably in A Defence of Poetry (1821), which defers poetic fame to a later date: Even
in modern times, no living poet ever arrived at the fullness of his fame; the jury which
sits in judgement upon a poet, belonging as he does to all time, must be composed of
his peers: it must be impanelled by Time from the selectest of the wise of many gener-
ations (516). Nevertheless, Shelley had grave doubts about how he would fare in the
future. Unlike the self-assured Wordsworth, who remained fairly confident of future
exoneration, Shelley, as Bennett points out, expressed acute anxiety and ambivalence
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

742 H.J. Mozer
over his contemporary and future reception (16465; emphasis added). Shelley
repeatedly articulates the Romantic ideology of poetic neglect, explains Bennett, but
is ambivalent in his predictions for his own future name. As [Newman Ivey] White
comments, Shelleys letters consistently professed the indifference of a man who felt
himself already sentenced to nothing but neglect or abuse (16465). Ozymandias
symptomizes the anxiety of reception that so often plagued Shelley, aroused specif-
ically by his nagging sense of inferiority to the best-selling Lord Byron.
This anxiety is registered first and foremost by Shelleys primary alter ego in the
poem, the anonymous sculptor who stands in sharp contrast to the self-advertising
pharaoh. If Byrons avatar in the poem boasts of what Nicholas Mason would call a
brand name (My name is Ozymandias) as well as a significant body of (architec-
tural/poetic) Works (Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!), Shelleys repre-
sentative plies his trade in anonymous obscurity, reflecting Shelleys failure to attain
anything like Byrons meteoric success or name recognition.
23
Joining the sculptor,
however, are several other anonymous or self-deprecatingly pseudonymous figures
the traveller and the poet Glirastes (which probably means lover of the
Dormouse, Dormouse being Percys pet name for Mary [Pollin 365]) who also
function as alter egos for Shelley (particularly in his role as the author of Ozymandias)
inasmuch as they are nobodies
24
in relation to the illustrious man on whom they
report in their respective media (travel narratives and poetry). The tack that Shelley
takes in attempting to allay his anxiety about Byron is fittingly, given Byrons close
association with decaying architecture (think Childe Harolds Pilgrimage) to ruin
him,
25
to erect a statue of him and subject it to the ravages of Time, to depict the inev-
itable future fall of the literary empire of the great Poet whom Shelley often
despaired of rivaling. The consolation, then, that Shelley finds in Ozymandias is the
certainty that Byron cannot live and his poetic Works cannot endure forever, for
nothing endures forever.
Of secondary consolation, of course, is the subversive pleasure that Shelley takes
in mock[ing]
26
Lord Byron that is, in caricaturing him as the sublimest misan-
thrope with a reasonable expectation of impunity (by assuming the pseudonym
Glirastes and by camouflaging the critique of Byron in the veil of Egyptian subject
matter) and with the faint hope that his (i.e. Shelleys) own Works (perhaps even
Ozymandias itself) might one day inspire despair among the Mighty (other
rivals for poetic fame, perhaps even Byron himself). In other words, the famous
inscription on the pedestal of Ozymandiass statue (My name is Ozymandias, King
of Kings, / Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!), with its slippery pronoun
my, is a double-voiced boast
27
that asks to be interpreted in both of the following
ways: read as originating with the sitter, the boast undercuts Byrons pretensions to
permanency since all of the pharaohs Works have reverted to sand; read as having
been co-opted by the sculptor (my Works referring, secondarily, to the sculptors),
the boast articulates the hope (albeit a dim one) that Shelleys works might endure
while simultaneously celebrating the subversive artistic achievement of Ozymandias
itself, which mocks Byron right before his (and our) very eyes, subtly enough for
Shelley to maintain plausible deniability.
Consequently, Ozymandias makes a unique contribution to the Romantic
culture of posterity by (fore)telling a tale of two poets the inevitable fall of one,
and what would appear to be the continuing obscurity of another (one who is indeed
talented, but whose hopes for a potential rise seem unlikely at best). Undoubtedly,
the emphasis in the poem is on the fate of the former poet rather than on that of the
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 743
latter that is, Shelley devotes considerably more attention to Byrons fall than
to his own dubious fate but the future does not seem to bode well for Shelley.
Reflecting Shelleys awareness of his lack of contemporary celebrity as well as his
profound doubts about his prospects for future fame, the sculptor (even if he is gifted)
remains as anonymous several millennia later as he was while alive. The poem never
depicts a day when the sculptor actually manages to attain a name for himself or to
eclipse the fame of the pharaoh. All the sculptor can do is surreptitiously undermine
the pharaoh and timidly voice a faint and distant hope that his Works, which
presumably will never be recognized as his, might endure. la other exemplars of
the Romantic culture of posterity say, Wordsworths Essay, Supplementary to the
Preface (1815) or Shelleys own A Defence of Poetry (1821) Ozymandias appeals
to Time for vindication, but Time does not seem particularly inclined to grant Percy
Shelley the laurels; Time merely topples decapitates, in fact the illustrious man
who had bested Shelley in his own day. If Shelleys earlier sonnet To Wordsworth
constitutes an act of literary patricide in which Shelley kills off his poetic father,
Wordsworth, Ozymandias is nothing less than a prophetic act of literary fratricide
in which Cain slays Abel or, rather, in which Ariel slays Cain.
The Empire Strikes Back?
If Ozymandias constitutes a veiled de casibus meditation on the vanity of Byrons
literary celebrity, several questions immediately present themselves. First, did Byron
suspect that he was being spoken of or to in the poem? Second, did Byron venture a
reply? Unfortunately, these questions cannot be answered with certainty, but punctu-
ating the end of canto 1 of Don Juan (1819) is a sobering meditation on fame that
reads like a response to Ozymandias:
28

What is the end of fame? tis but to fill
A certain portion of uncertain paper:

For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,
And bards burn what they call their midnight taper,
To have, when the original is dust,
A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust. (1.218)
What are the hopes of man? old Egypts King
Cheops erected the first pyramid
And largest, thinking it was just the thing
To keep his memory whole, and mummy hid;
But somebody or other rummaging,
Burglariously broke his coffins lid:
Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops. (1.219)
Protesting, I would argue, the de casibus spanking Shelley had given him in
Ozymandias, Byron offers up a de casibus meditation of his own, also starring a
pharaoh, in which he denies Shelleys charges, disavowing any Ozymandian preten-
sions to permanency
29
despite his unparalleled literary celebrity (A name), the
proliferation of his image in portraiture and engravings (a wretched picture), and his
decision to sit to Thorvaldsen for the bust (worse bust). It would seem that Jean-
Franois Byron might have deciphered the Ozymandias stone long before we
realized it was written in hieroglyphics.
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

744 H.J. Mozer
An entry in Detached Thoughts, Byrons journal, evinces a lingering chagrin over
the Thorvaldsen bust in language that asks one to entertain such a possibility. When
the young Bostonian Thomas Coolidge made a pilgrimage to Italy in October of 1821
to see Byron and revealed that he had procured a copy of the Thorvaldsen bust, Byron
recorded the following thoughts in his journal:
I confess I was more flattered by this young enthusiasm of a solitary trans-atlantic trav-
eller than if they had decreed me a Statue in the Paris Pantheon (I have seen Emperors
and demagogues cast down from their pedestals even in my own time & Grattans
name razed from the Street called after him in Dublin). (Byron, Letters 9: 2021)
A human tourist destination residing in an antique land and attracting a traveller
of his own, Byron seems acutely aware that ones monumental self may not have a
pedestal to stand on in the future. Byron then adds,
I would not pay the price of a Thorwaldsen bust for any human head & shoulders
except Napoleons or my childrens or some absurd Womankinds as Monkbarns
calls them or my Sisters. If asked why then I sate for my own answer that it
was at the request particular of J.C. Hobhouse Esqre. and for no one else. A picture
is a different matter every body sits for their picture but a bust looks like putting up
pretensions to permanency and smacks something of a hankering for public fame rather
than private remembrance. (Byron, Letters 9: 21)
Concerned that sitting for the Thorvaldsen bust might be construed by others as
putting up pretensions to permanency, Byron placed responsibility squarely on
Hobhouses shoulders, claiming that he had merely been indulging his friend. It is
certainly understandable that encountering an admirer who actually owned a copy
of the Thorvaldsen bust might have made Byron feel self-conscious about the
whole affair, but, given Don Juan 1.21819, one wonders if Byrons lingering
misgivings about the Thorvaldsen bust were exacerbated by an insightful reading of
Ozymandias.
30
***
Long a routine stop on the grand tour of British Romantic literature, Ozymandias
now asks to be revisited by adventurous literary travelers as a de casibus poem not just
about the falls of despots, but about the inevitable future fall of the most famous liter-
ary celebrity of the nineteenth century, the illustrious Lord Byron. By chiseling
away more rock than is typical of ancient Egyptian statuary a nip here, a tuck there
and endowing Ozymandias with a teasingly familiar frown, / And wrinkled lip, and
sneer of cold command, Percy Shelley has given his pharaoh a celebrity-inspired
facelift, making him in the image of Byron. By decapitating Byrons head from
the ruined colossus, though, citizen Shelley prophesies the day when the great Poet
who awoke one morning and found [him]self famous would cease to enjoy pride
of place in the Pantheon of poets, bequeathing us a picture of Byrons literary celeb-
rity on the rocks. Dwarfed by the monolithic literary celebrity of Lord Byron, Shelley
appealed for vindication to Time. And in Ozymandias Time is the guillotine on
which the literary monarch of the early nineteenth century finally loses his crown.
31
Ironically, though, despite Shelleys near inability in Ozymandias to imagine a day
when the anonymous sculptor might rival the pharaoh and win an enduring name for
himself, Time has vindicated Percy Shelley, who no longer plays second Aeolian harp
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 745
to Lord Byron. The true identity of Glirastes is, if not quite a household name in
the twenty-first century, certainly a big name among those who still appreciate
something called Romantic poetry. Of course, given the death of the author, the
dismantling of the Big Six, and the pace of disciplinary erosion over the last few
decades, this, too, may be vanity.
Notes
1. The best critical book-length studies on Shelley and Byron are by Robinson and Brewer.
Gilmours The Making of the Poets: Byron and Shelley in Their Time is insightful, but it
concludes with 1812, several years before Shelley and Byron even met. Dated, and more
biographical than critical, are the studies by Clarke, Whipple, and Buxton. Behrendts
recap of the Byron-Shelley conversation (16974) is concise and insightful. As for articles,
which are usually of relatively limited scope and far too numerous to list here, the recent
contribution by Peter Cochran stands out for its comprehensiveness. In my research I have
found only five attempts most of them brief to bring Byron to bear upon Ozymandias.
In The Dream of the Moving Statue (1992), Gross comments that [Ozymandias]
responds to Byrons exactly contemporary descriptions of ancient ruins in Manfred and
Childe Harold, especially insofar as Shelley exorcises the slightly sentimental pathos the
older poet invested in the ghosts of dead kings inhabiting such ruins (51). In Ozyman-
dias: The Riddle of the Sands (1998), Brown suggests that the images of stamping and
wrinkles in Ozymandias echo Childe Harolds Pilgrimage, 2.98, which reads, What is
the worst of woes that wait on age? / What stamps the wrinkle deeper on the brow? / To
view each lovd one blotted from lifes page, / And be alone on earth, as I am now (55).
The other three attempts to bring Ozymandias and Byron into dialogue those by
Bennett, Rodenbeck, and Cochran I will discuss later in this article.
2. Brewer prefers the term conversation, arguing that Robinsons debate over-emphasizes
the philosophical antagonism between the two poets (Brewer ix).
3. By coincidence, Clubbe engages in some similar punning on Keatss famous cuts a
figure phrase while discussing the word-Byrons created by Shelley and other contem-
poraries of Byron (4849).
4. Smiths sonnet originally titled Ozymandias but changed to On a Stupendous Leg of
Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted
Below appeared in the Examiner shortly thereafter on 1 February 1818.
5. All quotations from Shelleys poetry and prose are taken from the edition by Reiman and
Fraistat unless otherwise noted.
6. Reiterated, in greater detail, in Rodenbeck (12426).
7. I make this claim having consulted source studies by Thompson, Pettit, Griffiths, Parr,
Notopoulos, Richmond, Quinn, Nablow, Waith, and Venables.
8. Beevers uses the phrase the Byronic look (68) in his discussion of George Henry
Harlows 181415 sketch of Byron, touching on some of these characteristics but empha-
sizing the sartorial details of the portrait.
9. On the elusiveness of Byrons physical appearance and character, see Kenyon Jones
(Fantasy); Peach (Portraits, 1, 1117); Beevers (2, 6); Hyman (204, 210, 234); and
Clubbe (36, 40, 23031, 244).
10. In light of the ninth chapter (Lavaters Physiognomy and Sullys Byron) of John Clubbes
Byron, Sully, and the Power of Portraiture (2005), I should mention that Shelleys attention
to facial detail in Ozymandias is coeval with the rise of physiognomy, the pseudo-science
of face-reading founded by the Swiss divine Johann Caspar Lavater (17411801). Although
Mary Wollstonecraft (Shelleys mother-in-law) collaborated with Thomas Holcroft on the
most popular English edition of Lavaters works, Essays on Physiognomy, published in
1793 (Clubbe 212), Shelley does not appear to have been a convert to physiognomy as far
as I can tell. Nevertheless, Shelley almost certainly would have been familiar with Lavaters
theories given their pervasiveness (and perhaps via the connection through Wollstonecraft),
and it is hard to imagine that Shelley was not attempting to capitalize on the popularity of
physiognomy in Ozymandias, at least to some extent, with the description of the
pharaohs face, which is meant to be indicative of his character. Moreover, the Byronic
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

746 H.J. Mozer
look on display in Ozymandias was itself deeply rooted in the popularity of physiog-
nomy: as Clubbe points out, the Byronic hero drew on physiognomy to describe emotional
states (214). Presumably, Ozymandias both reflects and perpetuates the contemporary
obsession with physiognomy in general and Byronic physiognomy in particular.
11. Reproduced in Peach, Portraits (n.p., Figs. 41, 42, 45) and Beevers (72, Fig. 25).
12. Peach, the most comprehensive and authoritative source, claims that the engraving
appeared as the frontispiece to the July 1815 issue; Beevers claims that the engraving
appeared in the August 1815 issue. In the microfilm copy of The New Monthly Magazine
and Universal Register that I personally examined, the engraving appears in neither the
July (number 18; the last number in Vol. 3) nor the August (number 19; the first number
in Vol. 4) issues but (presumably in accordance with the instructions To Face the Title.
Vol. 3 appearing in the upper right hand corner of the page containing the engraving) has
been relocated to and bound facing the title page for Vol. 3 itself, which contains numbers
13 (Feb. 1815) through 18 (July 1815). The engraving itself suggests a publication date of
August, reading London. Published Augt. 1
st
1815. by H. Colburn. Conduit Street, but
perhaps the engraving ran early, appearing in the July issue as Peach claims.
13. On Byron iconography, see the catalogs by Peach (Portraits) and Walker, the former being
the more comprehensive of the two; the excellent book-length study of the major portraiture
and sculpture by Beevers; the articles by Kenyon Jones (Fantasy and James Holmes),
Mole, Peach (Controlling), Bainbridge, and Adams; Clubbes overview (3350); and the
new collection of essays edited by Kenyon Jones (Byron: The Image of the Poet). On
Byronism as an industry, see Christensen (esp. xx, 5, 88, 130, 172, 174, and 21415).
14. Bainbridge (15, 20); Beevers (15); Peach (Famous 61).
15. Mole (98102); Beevers (5365). Other adaptations of Westall include Charles Turners
mezzotint dated 20 May 1814 and James Heaths engraving published in The Ladys
Magazine in April 1815 (Peach, Famous 62).
16. Quote from Kenyon Jones (Fantasy 131); see also Peach (Famous 63) and Beevers
(24, 34).
17. Kenyon Jones (Fantasy 129); Beevers (26); Peach (Famous 64).
18. (Beevers 6676).
19. Peach (Controlling 1314, 16).
20. On the impact and ubiquity of Byrons image, Peach writes, the portraiture of Byron was
more widely disseminated through reproductions, and made a stronger visual and cultural
impact in Britain and Europe than those of any other literary figure (Famous, 65).
21. According to Holmes, Shelley briefly visited London at the end of May 1817 (371) and
spent the last week of September (377), the first three weeks of October (380), and most of
November there (383, 389). During the time between the Thorvaldsen sitting and the
composition of Ozymandias, Shelley had contact both in London and in Marlow with
a host of literati, including Hunt, Godwin, Henry Crabb Robinson, John Murray, and
Charles Ollier (36791).
22. Though reflections on poetic fame are no doubt predisposed to advert to the head of the
poet given its association with the laurels, the portrait of Byron in Adonais (1821)
referred to earlier in this paper i.e., The Pilgrim of Eternity, whose fame / Over his living
head like Heaven is bent / An early but enduring monument, / Came (26467) invites
additional speculation about Shelleys knowledge of the Thorvaldsen bust and, considered
in light of the word-bust of Byron in Ozymandias, points to a persistent concern with the
head of the famous Lord Byron.
23. In his own eyes, Shelleys name was either unknown or execrated; see, for example,
Shelleys letter to Leigh Hunt of 8 December 1816, in which Shelley states that Hymn to
Intellectual Beauty deserves a better fate than the being linked with so stigmatised &
unpopular a name (so far as it is known) as mine (Shelley, Letters 517).
24. Young describes the traveler and Glirastes as nobodies who are dwarfed by Ozymandias,
the difference of scale [being] suggested by Glirastes own name (241).
25. See Grosss comment, quoted in note 1 of this article, that Ozymandias responds to
Byrons description of ruins in Manfred and Childe Harolds Pilgrimage.
26. On the sculptors mockery of the pharaoh, see Everest (31), Freedman (69), Young (239),
Austin (34) and (4243), and Brown (5456).
27. Austin also argues that the boast does double duty for the pharaoh and the sculptor (42),
reading works as a reference to Shelleys poetical works, Ozymandiass boast being
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 747
[Shelleys] own defiant and derisory gesture in the face of the rebuffs he had experienced
in 1817 at the hands of authority, respectability, and conservatism (4243) but noting that
even our sculptors works were doomed from the beginning to long-term decay, a fact
that renders his moral victory over Ozymandias temporary at best (42).
28. Bennett states that Don Juan (1.219) parodically echoes Shelleys Ozymandias (196),
but Bennett does not clarify whether parodically implies ridicule or merely resemblance,
nor does he note any concern with Byron in Ozymandias. More recently, Peter Cochran
has discussed Don Juan (1.21819) as an answer or corollary to Ozymandias (par.
87) in which Byron corrects Shelley for failing to recognize that it is not just the ambitions
of tyrants that will come to naught but even those of poets such as themselves: But for
Byron, Shelley has missed the point. The lesson of Ozymandias is a lesson not just for the
bad guys, but for Shelley, for him, Byron, and for everyone. Poets, whether acknowledged
as legislators or not, will, along with kings, all come to this (par. 89). Obviously, I believe
that Shelley understood this truth, that Ozymandias is a lesson for Byron, and that Byron
suspected he had been lumped in with the bad guys in Ozymandias.
29. Presumably by coincidence, Everest echoes Byrons phrase when he refers to Ozymandiass
pretension to permanence in the commissioning of such a monument, with such an inscrip-
tion (31); Everest makes no connection between Ozymandias and Byron.
30. Whatever the case, as Beevers explains, Byrons qualms did not prevent him from sitting
for a second ad vivum bust his last in January 1822, this time to the famous Florentine
sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, who had also sculpted Napoleon. As part of Byrons Pisan
circle, Percy Shelley would have dined at Byrons table with Bartolini and other guests
(Beevers 108). What Shelley thought of this affair is a mystery nothing of that remains.
31. Young remarks that the decapitated head of Ozymandias uncannily anticipates the guillo-
tined bodies of the French Revolution (238).
References
Adams, Bernard. The Thorvaldsen Bust of Byron. Keats-Shelley Review 10 (Spring 1996):
20519. Print.
Andersen, Hans Christian. The True Story of My Life: A Sketch. Trans. Mary Howitt. London:
Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1847. Google Book Search. Web. 24 June 2009.
Angelo, Henry. Reminiscences of Henry Angelo, with Memoirs of His Late Father and
Friends. Vol. 2. London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1830. Google Book
Search. Web. 7 July 2009.
Austin, Timothy. Narrative Transmission: Shifting Gears in Shelleys Ozymandias.
Dialogue and Critical Discourse: Language, Culture, Critical Theory. Ed. Michael
Macovski. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. 2946. Print.
Bainbridge, Simon. From Nelson to Childe Harold: The Transformations of the Byronic
Image. Byron Journal 27 (1999): 1325. Print.
Beevers, Robert. The Byronic Image: The Poet Portrayed. Abingdon: Olivia P, 2005. Print.
Behrendt, Stephen C. Shelley and His Audiences. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1989. Print.
Bennett, Andrew. Romantic Poets and the Culture of Posterity. Cambridge UP, 1999. Print.
Bode, Christoph. Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!: Notes on the Non-teach-
ability of Poetry. Anglistik & Englischunterricht 53 (1994): 13945. Print.
Brewer, William D. The Shelley-Byron Conversation. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 1994. Print.
Brown, James. Ozymandias: The Riddle of the Sands. Keats-Shelley Review 12 (1998):
5175. Print.
Budra, Paul. A Mirror for Magistrates and the de casibus Tradition. Toronto: U of Toronto P,
2000. Print.
Buxton, John. Byron and Shelley: The History of a Friendship. New York: Harcourt, 1968.
Print.
Byron, Lord. Byrons Letters and Journals. Ed. Leslie A. Marchand. 13 vols. London:
Belknap P of Harvard UP, 197394. Print.
. Lord Byron: The Complete Poetical Works. Ed. Jerome J. McGann. 7 vols. Oxford: Clar-
endon P, 198092. Print.
Christensen, Jerome. Lord Byrons Strength: Romantic Writing and Commercial Society.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1993. Print.
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

748 H.J. Mozer
Clarke, Isabel C. Byron and Shelley: A Tragic Friendship. London: Hutchinson, 1934. Print.
Clubbe, John. Byron, Sully, and the Power of Portraiture. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005.
Print.
Cochran, Peter. Byron and Shelley: Radical Incompatibles. Romanticism on the Net. 43
(August 2006): n. pag. Web. 25 June 2007.
Colossal Bust of Ramesses II. The British Museum. The British Museum. Web. 5 June
2007.
Edgecombe, Rodney Stenning. Displaced Christian Images in Shelleys Ozymandias.
Keats-Shelley Review 14 (2000): 9599. Print.
Everest, Kelvin. Ozymandias: The Text in Time. Percy Bysshe Shelley: Bicentenary
Essays. Ed. Kelvin Everest. Suffolk: D.S. Brewer, 1992. 2442. Print.
Freedman, William. Postponement and Perspectives in Shelleys Ozymandias. Studies in
Romanticism 25.1 (Spring 1986): 6373. Print.
Gilmour, Ian. The Making of the Poets: Byron and Shelley in Their Time. New York: Carroll
& Graf, 2002. Print.
Griffiths, J. Gwyn. Shelleys Ozymandias and Diodorus Siculus. Modern Language
Review 43 (1948): 8084. Print.
Gross, Kenneth. The Dream of the Moving Statue. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1992. Print.
Holmes, Richard. Shelley: The Pursuit. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1975. Print.
Hunt, Leigh. Lord Byron and Some of His Contemporaries; with Recollections of the Authors
Life and of His Visit to Italy. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. London: Henry Colburn, 1828. Google Book
Search. Web. 24 July 2009.
Hyman, Suzanne K. Contemporary Portraits of Byron. Lord Byron and His Contemporaries:
Essays from the Sixth International Byron Seminar. Ed. Charles E. Robinson. Newark: U
of Delaware P, 1979. 20436. Print.
Janowitz, Anne. Shelleys Monument to Ozymandias. Philological Quarterly 63 (Fall
1984): 47791. Print.
Kenyon Jones, Christine, ed. Byron: The Image of the Poet. Newark: U of Delaware P, 2008.
Print.
. Fantasy and Transfiguration: Byron and His Portraits. Byromania: Portraits of the Artist
in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Culture. Ed. Frances Wilson. New York: St.
Martins, 1999. 10936. Print.
. Introduction. Kenyon Jones, Byron: The Image of the Poet 1727. Print.
. James Holmes and the Byron Circle. Byron Journal 25 (1997): 8388. Print.
Lamb, Caroline. Glenarvon. Ed. Frances Wilson. London: Everyman, 1995. Print.
Layard, George Somes, ed. Sir Thomas Lawrences Letter-Bag. London: George Allen, 1906.
Google Book Search. Web. 20 July 2009.
Lovell, Ernest J., Jr., ed. His Very Self and Voice: Collected Conversations of Lord Byron.
New York: Macmillan, 1954. Print.
, ed. Lady Blessingtons Conversations of Lord Byron. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1969.
Print.
[Macaulay, Thomas Babington.] Review of Thomas Moores Letters and Journals of Lord
Byron. Edinburgh Review 106 (June 1831): 571. Microform.
Mason, Nicholas. Building Brand Byron: Early-Nineteenth-Century Advertising and the
Marketing of Childe Harolds Pilgrimage. MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly 63.4
(December 2002): 41140. Print.
Mole, Tom. Byron, Westall, Asperne, Blood: An Early Engraved Portrait. Byron Journal 29
(2001): 98102. Print.
Nablow, Ralph A. Shelley, Ozymandias, and Volneys Les Ruines. Notes and Queries 36
(Mar. 1989): 17273. Print.
Newlyn, Lucy. Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception. Oxford:
Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register 3:13 (Feb. 1815): 1100. Print.
New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register 3:18 (July 1815): 493598. Print.
New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register 4:19 (August 1815): 196. Print.
Notopoulos, James A. Shelleys Ozymandias Once Again. Modern Language Review 48
(1953): 44243. Print.
Parr, Johnstone. Shelleys Ozymandias. Keats-Shelley Journal 6 (1957): 3135. Print.
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2

European Romantic Review 749
. Shelleys Ozymandias Again. Modern Language Review 46 (1951): 44142. Print.
Peach, Annette. Controlling an Image: Two Venetian Miniatures of Byron. Byron Journal
26 (1998): 1328. Print.
. Famous in my time: Publicization of Portraits of Byron during His Lifetime. Byron:
The Image of the Poet, ed. Kenyon Jones 5767. Print.
. Portraits of Byron. The Sixty-Second Volume of the Walpole Society. Leeds: Maney
Publishing, 2000. 1144. Print.
Pettit, Henry Jewett. Shelley and Denons Voyage Dans la Haute et la Basse Egypte.
Revue de Littrature Compare 18 (1938): 32634. Print.
Pococke, Richard. A Description of the East, and Some Other Countries. Volume the First.
Observations on Egypt. London, 1743. Google Book Search. Web. 24 June 2009.
Pollin, Burton R. Ozymandias and the Dormouse. Dalhousie Review 47 (1967): 36167.
Print.
Quinn, Mary A. Ozymandias as Shelleys Rejoinder to Peacocks Palmyra. English
Language Notes 21.4 (1984): 4856. Print.
Reiman, Donald H., ed. Shelley and His Circle 17731822. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1986
2002. 10 vols. Print.
Reiman, Donald H., and Michael ONeill, eds. Fair-Copy Manuscripts of Shelleys Poems in
European and American Libraries. Vol. 8 in The Manuscripts of the Younger Romantics.
New York: Garland, 1997. Print.
Richmond, H.M. Ozymandias and the Travelers. Keats-Shelley Journal 11 (1962): 6571.
Print.
Robinson, Charles E. Shelley and Byron: The Snake and Eagle Wreathed in Flight. Baltimore:
Johns Hopkins UP, 1976. Print.
Rodenbeck, John. Travelers from an Antique Land: Shelleys Inspiration for Ozymandias.
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 24 (2004): 12148. Print.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. The Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Ed. Frederick L. Jones. Vol. 1.
Oxford: Clarendon, 1964. Print.
. Shelleys Poetry and Prose. Ed. Donald H. Reiman and Neil Fraistat. A Norton Critical
Edition. New York: Norton, 2002. Print.
Smiles, Samuel. A Publisher and His Friends: Memoir and Correspondence of the Late John
Murray. 2 vols. London: John Murray, 1891. Rpt. New York: AMS Press, 1973. Print.
Stocking, Marion Kingston, ed. The Clairmont Correspondence: Letters of Claire Clairmont,
Charles Clairmont, and Fanny Imlay Godwin. Vol. 1. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP,
1995. 2 vols. Print.
Story, Alfred. James Holmes and John Varley. London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1894.
Google Book Search. Web. 7 July 2009.
Thompson, D.W. Ozymandias. Philological Quarterly 16.4 (1937): 5964. Print.
Thorwaltzen the Sculptor. No. 6 of Walks in Rome and Its Environs. The New Monthly
Magazine 19 (January 1827): 22838. Microform.
Venables, Toby. The Lost Traveller. Keats-Shelley Review 15 (2001): 1521. Print.
Waith, Eugene M. Ozymandias: Shelley, Horace Smith, and Denon. Keats-Shelley Journal
44 (1995): 2228. Print.
. Shelleys Ozymandias and Denon. Yale University Library Gazette 70.34 (1996):
15360. Print.
Walker, Richard. Regency Portraits. 2 vols. London: National Portrait Gallery, 1985. Print.
Whipple, A.B.C. The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Final Years of Byron and Shelley. New York:
Harper, 1964. Print.
Young, Robert. Poems That Read Themselves. L Errance. Ed. J.J. Lecercle. Tropismes 5.
Paris: U de Paris X, 1991. 23361. Print.
D
o
w
n
l
o
a
d
e
d

b
y

[
I
n
d
i
a
n

I
n
s
t
i
t
u
t
e

o
f

T
e
c
h
n
o
l
o
g
y

M
a
d
r
a
s
]

a
t

0
0
:
4
3

0
8

A
p
r
i
l

2
0
1
2