Percy Bysshe Shelley uses select words to describe the environment and situation the Traveler is in. Four words I found particularly descriptive are: antique, sneer, decay, lone. The word antique (land) is used to give a setting for the reader, offering a sense of old and decrepit. The word “sneer” describes the sculptor that Shelley is trying to get across to the reader. I got the sense that the sculpture of the king was not of a grateful king. He did not appreciate his people and commanded them with a cold reign. The word “decay” describes the gratefulness this king’s people had for him. No one was there for his image after he passed. They let his self-praised statue crumble in the same way he let his relationship for his people crumble. Shelley uses the word “lone” to tell of the surroundings of the now decayed king. His people have deserted him, “Nothing besides remains.” (12) In the end, people will remember you not for what you do, but how you treat them.
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