Another way to analyze “Mutability” is to look at what Shelley is suggesting about the human condition of narcissism and vanity. The first stanza suggests the theme of ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ since the clouds are “lost forever” once they pass out of our sight. Similarly, notice how the lyre is “forgotten.” If nobody is playing it, the sound is gone and the instrument is forgotten. This has sometimes been interpreted as Shelley saying that people are only as real and “responsive” as the musician who plays us, in other words susceptible to some higher being who toys with our “strings” (compare Shakespeare’s Hamlet : “Do you think I am easier to be play’d upon than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, thou you fret me, you cannot play upon me,” -72). Yet, we humans play on our own strings and on one another’s strings, so no higher power need be invoked here. The point is that like clouds and instruments, people are easily forgotten when they stop making change or doing anything significant in the world—especially once they die and pass away into night.