Poetry News

Shelley Aiding and Abetting Meth Kingpin?

By Harriet Staff

breaking bad

Slate recently posted a quick piece noting the dramatic and poetic trailer for the final season of Breaking Bad:

The idea is brilliant: Walter White (Bryan Cranston) reading Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ominous "Ozymandias" in gravelly tones. The poem echoes all the show’s big themes: the mythology of evil, the nuances of morality, the arc of coronation and decay. The images, on the other hand are fleeting—mostly New Mexico desert and suburbia, though we end with a lingering shot of Heisenberg’s dusty, worn hat resting, like the poem’s once-colossal statue, “where lone and level sands stretch far away.” Is this a hint at Walt’s impending doom? Or just a parallel drawn for dramatic effect?

We don't know but we can't wait for the wreckage and decay to begin oh king of chemistry-teaching-drug-peddling kings!

You can watch the disquieting trailer here. If you find the Walter White version of Shelley all too unsettling, you can also listen to actor Michael Stuhlbarg read a less distracting rendition of "Ozymandias" on our site.