Essay on Time eqating to death

Submitted By devankills
Words: 872
Pages: 4

Time Equates to Death Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, shows the reader of the “ticking of the clock” taking careful caution to only visually show the “ebony clock” to symbolize time, but indirectly giving connections between the guests of Prince Prospero and Death itself. The critic Cheney gives us a clear illustration of the meaningfulness of the correlation of the time and death. Such “[that] by building time into his abbey, [Prospero] ensures his [and fellow friends] destruction.” (Cheney 246) “…while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation.” By isolating and concealing themselves in the Abbey walls, he not only greatened his chances at death, but his guests as well. While embedding the “gigantic ebony clock” into the storyline only strengthens the limited amount of time they actually have before death itself takes hold completely. Reece similarly uses the concept “[of] the clock in the seventh room [serving] as the most overt symbol of the passing of time and the inevitability of death [in the presence all at once]. The significance of its ominous persistence is not made fully apparent to the reader or the characters until the tolling of midnight.” (Reece 189) “And [so] the revel went whirling on, until at length there commenced the sounding of the midnight upon the clock. And the music ceased… all things before. But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps that more of thought crept, with more… who reveled.” The poor fellow guests and Prince Prospero have had no such time to consciously figure out the “ticking” of the “gigantic ebony clock” until it striked midnight leading up to unforeseen events.
All the guests could do in the time of all the ticking’s is going into a sense of “meditation”. Caldwell sees the “[the] seventh chamber [as the holding of] a large ebony clock. The pendulum that swings as part of the mechanism of the clock represents the cycle of disease and renewal that accompany any pandemic. The sound of the clock at each hour affects he partygoers deeply.” (Caldwell 239) “And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. And the, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand. But the echo… laughter floats after them as they depart.” The fellow guests including Prospero have a great fear of the hours that come. Every time they are proven wrong against their imagination when all that comes after the chimes is “light half-subdued laughter” floating across the seven chambers. Roth uses a sense of a “person” or “being” to convey that he represents life and equating to death. “He appears at the end; individual maskers [the guests of Prospero] first become aware of him just “before the last echoes of the last chime” of midnight have “utterly sunk into silence.”(Roth 51) Like “[Prospero] there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before. The “gigantic ebony clock” has…