Gothic Elements In The Masque Of The Red Death

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Edgar Allan Poe was an American author and editor, who was best known for his works in Gothic literature. Most of Poe’s stories deal with the theme of horror, as was reflected in Poe’s life as it was full of tragedy involving the loss of many of his beloved wives and mothers. The following stories are amongst Poe’s most celebrated stories; The Tell Tale Heart - a short story told by an unreliable narrator who persuades the readers of his sanity, while telling of a murder he committed. The Masque of the Red Death - a story that illustrates Prince Prospero’s efforts to eschew the dangerous plague by hiding in his castle, where he throws a party. In the midst of the party, a guest in disguise enters the castle, and kills everyone including …show more content…

We could analyze each character’s reaction by looking into Gothic elements. The quotation “I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations;…” (1843, Poe) shows how guilt overtook the narrator, and as a result he is talking in a heightened tone. The narrator is displaying Gothic traits of an unreliable narrator, who is oppressing himself to not confess his evil deeds, until he finally does. The tension in the story is drastically building up, making the readers anxious to think whether the narrator will admit the truth or not. In the Masque of the Red Death, on the other hand, guilt does not really capture Prospero and he reacts insolently to death. A passage from the story depicts how the protagonist is annoyed; “It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers,…“(1842, Poe). Here, the protagonist shows Gothic characteristics of “a distressed character”. This is because the character cannot overcome his stress. This trait allows the readers to make a connection to a real life example, where they are trying to discard something that is annoying them. Prospero is constantly under pressure because he thinks that he can outwit death, but knows deep inside his heart that it will find him one day. The Gothic conventions successfully captures each character’s way of conceiving

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