Bad news for everyone

Ozymandias Percy Shelley Literature Poetry

My husband’s cousin came over to meet our nine-month-old son recently. This was the first time she ever visited and one of the few times we’ve talked.

It turns out we have things like Religion and Politics in common. But, more significantly, we share a deep commitment to the TV show ‘Breaking Bad.’

I owe her this post because she sent me a copy of “Ozymandias,” the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem upon which last week’s mind-blowing episode is based.

Above are the poem’s final lines, which sum up the story: there was once a great king who ruled supreme, but now nothing remains except for a sculpted pedestal.

The poem’s most popular interpretation can also be gleaned: the works of powerful men are impermanent but the works of artists last longer.

However, in reading a bit about the work’s background, I came across Woody Allen’s application of the theme: Ozymandias Melancholia. Mr. Allen describes this as the angst that artists suffer from when they realize that it is highly likely that their work will also become nothing.

I might suffer from Ozymandias Repression: refusal to acknowledge that durable things matter more than a well-timed hiccup.

Also, I can’t wait to watch more ‘Breaking Bad.’

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5 thoughts on “Bad news for everyone

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