The Masque of the Red Death Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

The Masque of the Red Death book cover
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What happens when the clock chimes at the top of each hour?

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The hourly chiming of the big, black clock makes Prince Prospero's guests extremely nervous, to say the least. Each chime acts as an uncomfortable reminder to the assembled throng that they are all one hour closer to their deaths.

The revelers at Prospero's party had hoped that they could put all thoughts of death out of their minds and enjoy themselves. But the insistent chiming of the clock spoils their fun. To make things just that little bit creepier and more unnerving, the musicians stop playing whenever the clock strikes and so everyone finds it impossible to avoid hearing the chimes. Even the most carefree of party animals turns pale with anxiety on being reminded of their inevitable fate.

Prospero and his guests thought they could leave their sense of mortality at the door of the castellated abby. But the clock is there to remind them that they cannot, no matter how hard they try.

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