Humanity In The Masque Of The Red Death

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“He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall” (Poe). Edgar Allan Poe was an American author and poet during the 1800’s (anb). He is known for his gothic style of writing, and tragic tales. Poe has written famous pieces such as The Raven (1845), The Black Cat (1843), and The Tell Tale Heart(1843). But one of Poe’s stories, The Masque of the Red Death (1842), relies heavily on themes of death, pestilence, human nature, and religion. Through these themes and symbolism, Poe explores the darker side of humanity and the meaning behind life.
“The Masque of the Red Death” is a story about Prince Prospero and his kingdom that …show more content…

In contrast, The peasants mean nothing to him because they’re not worth of any value.The ignorance comes from Prospero’s delusional views of the world. As said before, Prospero doesn’t do anything because he looks the world through a different perspective. It ties in with his selfishness because since the Red Death has not affected him and instead ignores the harsh reality and lives in his own fantasy.“The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet dancers, there was musicians, there was beauty, there was wine. All of these and security were within. Without was the ‘Red Death’”(Poe). By holding the masquerade ball, the prince is trying to form his own society. He’s gathered people he considers to be worth of value--people that are like him. “As none of the guests, also described as “a multitude of dreams,” are given any specific character traits, they could be interpreted as mere “fantasms” of the Prince's imagination, or imaginary projections of the Prince's psyche”(Milne). Poe’s illustration of the guests projects the false image of humanity and society. Society is another world created by self deception and hypocrisy. The humans that create this community are false beings that try to belong into this world by conforming to society’s standards. Prospero’s society is a representation of his own character: full of ignorance, arrogance, …show more content…

The masked character has a mysterious presence, and makes the prince coward and renders him powerless. When the masked figure chases after Prince Prospero; none of the party members get involved with this chase. Even though they were solely picked by Prince Prospero to stay at the castle; it shows that the prince is alone and nobody cares about him. “The masked stranger, dressed as the Red Death, represents the futility of trying to control the inevitable. The reaction of the guests to the mask of the stranger, which shows telltale spatters of blood from the plague, illustrates the universal fear of death and the unknown” (Gillespie and Naden). Poe displays that the world is full of the unknown, and humans are very ignorant to it in this case. They try to take control over their lives, but life is uncontrollable. Humans don’t have the power to control, only the world does. “He made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, thought the blue chamber to the purple--throughout the purple to the green--through the green to the orange--through this again to the white--and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had made to arrest him” (Poe). As the prince is going

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