In the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe what lesson does the black chamber teach and what does the music represent?  

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chicagorilke23 | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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In Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death, the black chamber has come to represent death. The fact that it is the one room that many of the guests at the ball are reluctant to enter adds some merit to this notion. Also, the black chamber is the last room visited by Prince Prospero on his hunt for the mysterious stranger who has frightened his guests. The black chamber is the room in which Prince Prospero meets his end. It symbolizes how every being must face death at the end of their journey of life.

The music played by the orchestra can be thought of as a heart beat that continues to beat throughout the story. It stops upon the clanging of the ebony clock. The ebony clock like the black chamber are symbols of the impending doom to be visited upon Prince Prospero and his guests. The music stopping at each clang of the clock represents the fear the guests have of the unknown, in this case death. It's as if the clock symbolizes the need to cling to life and for those attending the ball, act as a shield from the disease and suffering taking place outside the walls of Prince Prospero's abbey.

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