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 is the significance of the clock in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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The gigantic ebony clock on the western wall of the seventh chamber symbolically represents the inevitability of death and serves as a constant reminder to the revelers that they have a limited time on earth. The clock is specifically located in the dark, blood-red seventh chamber, which symbolically represents death. With each heavy, monotonous clang, the revelers shudder in fear, stop dancing, and are reminded of their mortality. The ominous chimes damper the mood of the party, and the ticking clock represents the transient nature of life.

As Prince Prospero and his guests attempt to outwit Death by secluding themselves inside the abbey, the ebony clock continually reminds them that they will eventually meet their demise. At the end of the story, the personification of the Red Death arrives at the stroke of midnight and Prince Prospero dies in front of the foreboding ebony clock.

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