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Allusions In The Masque Of The Red Death

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“If life must not be taken too seriously, then so neither must death” -Samuel Butler. Perhaps some believe in this quote although on a deeper level it can be seen as foolish and ignorant. In the short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, the author, Edgar Allan Poe, applies an abundance of literary devices to make evident the foolishness of ignoring death’s inevitability by comparing life and death. Essentially Poe utilizes allusions throughout the story to barry a deeper meaning into the text of the story. A sample of an allusion is this quote, “And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night,” (Poe 394). Poe personifies the Red Death as a “thief” to give the reader a relative understanding of the way the Red Death came upon Prince Prospero’s guests. The phrase “like a thief in the night” also can be seen as a biblical allusion in Thessalonians 5:4 Paul wrote about Jesus coming “like a thief in the night.” Paul tells that Jesus will come when no one is aware of his coming. Much like the Red Death came upon the guests in the abbey. The Prince and his guests were ignorant towards death almost as it does not exist, just as many do with christians belief of Jesus’ second coming. To christians Jesus will come whether…show more content…
In this passage, “There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There were much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have been disgust,” (Poe 392). Poe’s choice of words “bizarre”, “delirious”, and “terrible” create a dream-like mood; dreams can be very “bizarre” and also “terrible” at the same time. It is a very whirlwind like tone. Poe also chose to make the occasion of the story a party, a masquerade especially deepens the effect of a dream. The words chosen not only make the story feel like a dream but create foolish characters out of the guests at the
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