dance of death


dance of death

Medieval allegorical concept of the all-conquering and equalizing power of death, expressed in the drama, poetry, music, and visual arts of western Europe, mainly in the late Middle Ages. It is a literary or pictorial representation of a procession or dance of both living and dead figures, the living arranged in order of their rank, from pope and emperor to child, clerk, and hermit, and the dead leading them to the grave. It was given impetus by the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War. Though depictions declined after the 16th century, the theme was revived in literature and music of the 19th–20th centuries.

Variants of DANCE OF DEATH

dance of death or danse macabre or skeleton dance

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on dance of death, visit Britannica.com.

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