While the latest “Breaking Bad” season 5 trailer may not actually give anything away for longtime fans of the show (cue the frustration), there is another benefit that comes from it from a pure aesthetic perspective … or a literary one, if you are a fan of Percy Blysse Shelley’s work.
As we studied poetry for a good portion of our life, here’s a bit of background for what Bryan Cranston is narrating here. This work is simply entitled “Ozymandias,” and it is a sonnet that was first published in England back in the early 1800s. The primary theme here is actually similar to the show’s motto of “all bad things must come to an end”: Through the symbolism of a fallen empire, the poem reflects the brevity of one’s own life, and that no amount of power is immune from the inevitable.
Poetry is something very familiar to the “Breaking Bad” universe already, given that Walt Whitman’s famed “Leaves of Grass” played such an important part in the events of last season’s finale. Compared to this complex and layered poem, “Ozymandias” is actually rather straightforward, but also incredible beautiful. If you are not the literary type, another interesting fact here is that you probably would know Percy’s second wife more so than him: Mary Shelley, the author of “Frankenstein,” which remains to this day a modern marvel of literature and one of the first great works of science fiction.
In going back to “Breaking Bad,” this trailer has us more excited for the new season than we have ever been. It could be that we are a sucker for poetry, but we are also certainly one for symbolism.
Want more from “Breaking Bad”? We do have some exclusive details to share from the recent screening that happened via the Lincoln Center this week, and you can read about them here.