The Link Between Ozymandias And Macbeth

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In the poem “Ozymandias”, written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, the entirety of the poem can be related to Shakespeare’s, Macbeth. Ozymandias and Macbeth seem to share many beliefs and similar attitudes. The first and most obvious similarity between Macbeth and Ozymandias is their status as “kings”. It is clear that Ozymandias ruled a kingdom and had many successes according to him during his time as King, while Macbeth became king shorty after he killed Duncan, the King of Scotland. Another evident similarity between Macbeth and Ozymandias is their personalities. Ozymandias showcases his arrogant and patronizing personality by the way he describes himself as “King of Kings”, while Macbeth is seen right before his death showing no remorse for his actions and says

“Who should I play the Roman fool and die

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On mine own sword? While I see lives, the gashes

Do better upon them” (Act 5 Scene 8)

Ozymandias and Macbeth make it very clear how highly they think of themselves, in fact Ozymandias says, “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”. This is quite similar to Macbeth because minutes before Macbeth’s death, he says he would rather any one of his enemies die before him, which is stated in the quote above. Abuse of power is another similarity, and perhaps the underlying point of both pieces. Abuse of power subsequently leads to the death of both characters. They are both presented as evil, and power-hungry men who will do anything to use control to their advantage. Macbeth not only kills Duncan to be King, but after that he is still performing violent acts which eventually leads to his death. Macbeth kills one of his Kinsmen, Macduff’s whole family, and as Macduff kills Macbeth, he says “The usurper’s cursed head. The time is free” (Act 5 Scene 8). This clearly states that Macbeth was killed due to his poor choices and total abuse of power. It can be speculated that Ozymandias died alone with his arrogant self, and his plans to have a great nation in front of him were dismissed. Ozymandias also speaks about how he is “King of Kings”, yet by the end of it, he is staring at his “works”, that is now a “Colossal Wreck”. It seems as though Ozymandias and Macbeth have been killed due to their cruel actions. It can be observed that Macbeth and Ozymandias are driven by power and ambition, and more often than not, the combination amongst these two things can be deadly, and in this case, they were.     


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