The Masque of the Red Death
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A common theme in "the Masque of the Red Death" is that no one can escape death. Even the prosperous prince, after trying to attack death, dies himself.
" There was a sharp cry—and thedagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which,instantly afterward, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero"
The clock is symbolic of how ominous and constant time is. The people all stop because they're frightened of their own time running out.
"At each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestrawere constrained to pause, momentarily, in theirperformance, to hearken to the sound"
"To be or not to be"
The setting of the story starts with all the musicians and poets safe inside Prospero's castle, and includes the gothic element of death with the forboding "red death" just outside.
"There were buffoons, there wereimprovisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there weremusicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these andsecurity were within. Without was the 'Red Death.'"
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