Esprit Rock

Shelley chooses words of nature that correspond to strength

Shelley chooses words of nature that correspond to strength. Those words can seem harsh, but they have a meaning, which really elevates nature in a more subtle way. The words that stand out as natural from the start are “stone” which is hard and sturdy, and “desert” and “sand which are vast and huge and everywhere. Here, a traveler from an antique land is referring to the king’s remains of an old palace. Ironically these stones are the only things that remain of this palace, and much more elevated than what is left of the king himself. These stones contrast to the mask of the king. While the mask represents man-made and power lost, “shattered” and “half-sunk,” the trunk-less stones continue to overpower, as they stand in the vast desert. The desert is bigger than any palace could be, and the sand — which holds the only remaining part of this king — can bury it in a second. Other words in the poem are very important and well chosen, too


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