In this sonnet , Shelly illustrates the valley of human greatness and the failures of all attempts to immortalise human achivements .Ozymandias was a great Egyptian king.A life - like statue of the king was made to immortalise him.But now the statue lies broken and disfigured in a desert.
A traveller from Egypt sees two huge and trunkless legs of a statue in the desert.Near them lies, half - buried , the broken face of statue. On this face one can see the expression of arrogance and a sense of authority which have been skilfully depicted by the sculptor. Int he pedestal the following words were inscribed :
"My name is Ozymandias and I am a Great King. Look at the great deeds that I have accomplished and which nobody can equal." The Broken statue is surrounded by a vast desert.
The poem reflects that human glory and pomp are not everlasting . Time works havoc with monuments and statues. Thus, the poet strikes a moral in a suggestive manner.
Source : It is my from a refresher guide.