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Dance of Death: The Emperor

Earthly Power is No Match for Death

The Emperor

The Emperor is seated on his throne surrounded by courtiers and the pomp and circumstance of his high office. He is adjudicating a case involving a poor man and his rich oppressor. Meanwhile Death hovers behind him and invisibly turns the Emperor's head towards the rich man, perhaps an indication that the Emperor will not hand out justice.

As in the previous woodcut showing the death of the Pope, this illustration teaches that no man, no matter how powerful, is safe from Death. The Emperor is sitting in judgment but soon he will be brought to judgment before the greatest judge of all, one who cannot be bought or bribed has he as been.

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