The judge sits on his bench and is supposed to be hearing a case involving a rich man and a poor man. Far from being impartial, the judge is about to accept a bribe from the rich litigant.
But the judge's time is up. An hourglass lies overturned on the ground and death has snuck up behind him and already taken away the symbols of his authority.
Next: The Lawyer
The Dance of Death is an important allegory commenting on human mortality and the passing transience of life. It depicts Death as a fairly jovial skeleton armed with a scythe, who invites his victims to a dance which invariably ends in their demise. The point of the allegory is that no one can refuse its invitation to the dance: hgh church officials, kings or paupers, all must dance and eventually die.