To interpret the allegory we must follow the figures' gestures and gazes. The attention of the man and the woman by his side is riveted on the mirror. The seated woman and child have understood what they see reflected in it: like the standing woman, they gesture to the mirror, but look behind and up to the figure of Death, poised to strike with a spear. Time, who holds the mirror, watches impassively: he sees the entire scene unfold before him, just as we do. The two groups, representative of different aspects of man's nature, appear to have seen different things reflected in it. The end for both is death.