Demi Pyle February 20, 2018 English 1302 Looking Closer at “The Masque of The Red Death” In the grim short story written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1842, “The Masque of the Red Death” tells the tale of a kingdom ravaged with disease and a prince’s journey to escape death. Poe hides underlying messages throughout the story, leaving the reader to interpret the true meaning of prosperity and death. Edgar Allan Poe uses symbolism and imagery in the form of an allegory to reveal to the reader that death is inescapable, no matter how wealthy you are. “The Masque of the Red Death” is an allegory, symbolizing the journey from life to death, proving that death is inescapable for everyone. This is shown through the symbolism used by Poe, not only in characters, …show more content…
The entire short story can be envisioned as a scary dream. Poe sets the tone of the story in the very beginning, stating, “The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal- the redness and the horror of blood,” (Poe 3). This sets an emphatically dark and horrific tone for the reader, which carries into the plot of the story. He continues to describe the “Red Death,” stating that there were “Sharp pains and dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores,” (Poe 3). By describing the disease so vividly, Poe is giving the reader a visual image to magnify the dreaminess of the story. He does this again when describing the attendees of the Masquerade. He describes them, saying, “There were arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust,” (Poe 6). Poe describes the luxury and extravagance of the masquerade to enhance the dream-like qualities that he gives the story. By using such descriptive imagery, he reinforces the dark and dreary tone, which also enhances the theme of …show more content…
The first example of symbolism is the rooms in the abbey. Each room was a different color and line up from east to west. This is a symbol for the progression of life and death. The first room was blue, representing birth, then purple representing youth, green representing adolescence, orange representing adulthood, white symbolizing old age, violet symbolizing imminent death, and black and scarlet symbolizing death itself. This is also a metaphor as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west; it can also be seen as symbolism for the progression of a day. As Prince Prospero and the masked guest go from room to room, they are symbolizing the progression of life from birth to death. This is an important symbol in the story because it emphasizes the theme of inescapable death. The next example is the Black Clock in the black room. This symbolizes the span of life. In the story, the clock struck midnight and the Prince’s time was up, symbolizing his life being over. The clock is black because black symbolizes death, which can mean that the clock could also mean one’s time left until death. The next example is Prince Prospero; his name representing prosperity. By hiding in his abbey and building iron gates, he symbolizes human desire to escape death. As he tries to hide from death, it is ironic that death walks undetected into his abbey that was so heavily guarded. The final example of
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But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet -- a deep blood color” (Poe). The scarlet panes and black tapestries are meant to remind the reader of death, as well as the disease itself, which is characterized by its bloody nature. The death of the revelers is consistently foreshadowed throughout the story, and it helps create an unsettling and pretentious mood, reminding that death
Beginning with diction: To put it plainly, diction is the overall word choice the author chooses to use within their story to provide a variety of meanings, set particular tones, etc. Edgar Allen Poe’s complex diction further heightens the eerie atmosphere and foreboding suspense that frequently lingers within his iconic Gothic short stories, and are all the more present within Masque of the Red Death. It’s evident that Poe pays attention to connotation and meticulously chooses words that best convey the unsettling imagery that he’s going for, as shown when the narrator was describing the 7th room, “But in the western or black chamber the effect of the firelight that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in
No matter how hard the guests try to avoid the seventh room, they eventually enter it, as that is their fate and all life must eventually end. Furthermore, the protagonist's impending doom is foreshadowed through the use of the title, “The Masque of the Red Death''. The title, a play on words, can be interpreted as death’s costume ball, foreshadowing that the Red Death will make an appearance at the masquerade. Phrases used throughout the story such as, “for the night is waning away” (Poe 2) reminds the Prince and the guests that the night is coming to an end, as is their inevitable death. Therefore, by warning the reader of the coming doom of the protagonist, Poe’s use of foreshadowing further’s the theme of the inevitability of death and that all life must eventually
The authors’ use of strong imagery invokes strong emotions that give the audience a personal connection to the characters and events. In the “The Masque of the Red Death”, the theme is mortality. Poe shows how people are vulnerable to death, even after taking every possible precaution. Poe writes, “The mask ... was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse ... gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood - and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror” (6).
In the three passages written by Poe (The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Cask of Amontillado), their settings contribute to their mood and to their tone. Poe chose the settings of his passages very wisely. He always thought about how they would affect the story and what role they would play in the reader 's understanding of the mood and/or the tone. The setting in each of these passages is different, However they are also somewhat alike. So the mood and the tone of the three passages (The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Cask of Amontillado) have similar aspects, however they also have some different ones, simultaneously.
This symbolizes that the people can't avoid the clock, similar to how they can't hide from the Red Death, and expresses the theme of inevitable death. Finally, Poe uses the color scheme in the rooms to symbolize the
Death can never be escaped no matter what. In “The Masque of the Red Death” Edgar Allan Poe shows the theme of death, a suspenseful mood, and an ominous tone. Through Poe’s use of literary devices, the reader can discover tone, theme, and mood. Throughout Poe’s life he experienced death with two of his mother’s and his young wife. Death is shown how inevitable it is with Poe’s writing and experiences combined together.
The author explained, “The Red Death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous,” (Poe 1). You can basically feel and almost touch the suspense especially towards the end when the plot twists
For instance, Poe gave the name Prospero to a wealth prince. “But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious” (83). Giving the prince this name symbolizes the wealth of the prince, how he thrived, and how successful he was. Another example of symbolism is when the Red Death appears after the palace doors are bolted lock. “When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image solemn movement….”
No one can defeat Death There once was a young woman, who strived to be immortal, this caused her to bind herself away from the world for years. She decided one day that she had conquered death by changing her fate and goes to venture the town where she met a strange man, who insults her, filled with anger she decides to go after him where she faces death. A very similar situation is portrayed in “The Masque of the Red Death” with the character Prince Prospero, who believes that he has changed his fate by locking himself in his palace for years but this doesn’t end well for him as he faces death in his own home. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, written by Edgar Allen Poe, irony and symbolism to is used prove that death is inevitable.
Poe is often known for his dark, sometimes twisted short stories and poems. “The Masque of the Red Death” is no exception. In this short story, Poe creates and eerie and ominous mood by using a wide variety of literary techniques including imagery, diction, and syntax. Poe’s use of imagery contributes to the dark and mysterious mood of the short story, “The Masque of the Red Death.” In the first paragraph, a sense of darkness is conveyed in the sentence, “There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within the suite of chambers.”
In Poe’s stories, the main characters experience fear, but they all handle it distinctively. Poe uses irony, symbolism, and imagery to show how fear affects the narrator’s mindset, along with their future. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Masque of Red Death”, the main characters try to isolate themselves from evil, but Poe uses irony to show that death is inevitable.
In Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe, many symbols are used to justify the overall purpose and meaning of the story. These symbols include the ebony clock, the seven chambers, the scarlet and black room, and the Red Death itself. Each of these symbols help characterize the Prince and his guests, along with foreshadowing the overall outcome of the story. First of all, the seventh chamber and ebony clock not only provide a sense of eeriness, but reveal the underlying personalities and outcomes of the characters. For example, Zapf writes, “In the process of the story, of course, the seventh chamber more and more becomes the center of attention, and with it the clock of ebony which symbolizes the structure of temporality underlying and terminating all human
Despite the belief that one can live forever, death is certain. Edgar Allen Poe wrote his short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” with a greater meaning than simply the Red Death, or plague. He wrote this story, symbolizing the stages of life. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, Poe uses the symbols of the hallway, the rooms, and the braziers, to enhance the allegory, and to show how death is inevitable and one can not spend their life worrying about it.