Fate In Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

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The inevitable is something that can’t be escaped, no matter what the circumstances. Throughout Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death”, fate is a common topic, and associates directly with his theme. This can be viewed through his protagonist, Prince Prospero. Prince Prospero has cleverly, or so he thinks, isolated himself and one thousand others into his castle, to escape the red death. The Prince uses this isolation as a denial of reality to escape what is truly going on in the world around him. Poe creates a world around Prospero, and uses him and everything in his short story as symbols to piece by piece together a meaningful allegory. Throughout the masterful allegory “The Masque of the Red Death”, Poe tools the…show more content…
Poe uses this clock to signify the passing of time. By using this symbol, he is able to reinforce his theme as he connects time to fate. The clock “stood against the western wall” and even “the giddiest grew pale” at this “dull, heavy, monotonous clang” (Poe 84). These quotations are key to fully drawing Poe’s theme together. The first thing one can pick up from these quotes is the fact that the clock “stood against the western wall” (Poe 84). One knows this is important because the connection can be made that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. By examining this closer, the inference can be made that the clock marks the end of the day or life in general. The sun must travel from the east side to get to the end of the day and to the end of the castle. If one were to connect the rooms to this as well, than the assumption is made that room number seven is death and the clock is the time passing until death. Poe also uses phrases to describe people’s reactions to the clock, as this is one of the only pieces that is a reminder to true reality. When he says, “the giddiest grew pale”, he refers to the fact that even the happiest and carefree people knew that the clock meant something and was not just there for decoration (Poe 84). This clock was a constant reminder of Poe’s theme, and even the people in the castle can be reminded of it. The final piece of these quotes is the sound of the clock. This “dull, heavy, monotonous clang” is a sound that causes everyone to stop partying (Poe 84). The constant reminder of death, and what these people have done to escape it is an important piece of Poe’s allegory. Poe is able to show the reader how time connects to fate and his theme. The clock is not just a reminder of time, but also a constant denial of
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