Symbolism In Red Death
Symbolism has taken form as an object, person, or situation that can represent a different meaning other than its literal meaning. It can be personal, emotional, physical, mental, memorable, or something with significant importance described to the reader. In many works done by Edgar Allen Poe, he expresses symbolism in his writing to let readers think about the things he included in his stories and what they mean. In the following story “Masque of The Red Death,” Poe uses symbolism with the colors of the rooms, the masquerade, the clock, and the red death to express how life leads to death.
In the beginning of the story, Poe writes detailed descriptions about each room where the blue room is farthest to the east, …show more content…
Poe describes: “The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. (…) But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His gesture was dabbled in blood – his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.” (433) Therefore, the guest Poe has described represented the Red Death itself. Since at the beginning, Poe has also stated that: “Blood was its avatar and its seal – the redness and the horror of blood. (…) The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men.” The Red Death takes the form of a victim who could have already come into the castle along with the disease and colored signature mark to signify the resemblance of death and disease itself.
So far Poe has used symbolism in "Masque of The Red Death" and showing readers how death comes at the end of every life cycle. Symbolism takes place in many forms like how the red death is the disease in the story, along with the bizarre masquerade, the clock of time, and the color of life. Not only does he describe these things in his story, but also foretells how even the wealthiest richest man such as Prince Prospero, cannot escape or outwit
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All writings, whether fictional or nonfictional, have a purpose. Whether it’s an argument or a theme, the author is trying to convey something. The use of rhetorical devices can help express the author’s point. Then “The Masque of the Red Death,” a gothic short story by Edgar Allan Poe, symbolism and allusion are used to express the theme that death is inevitable. Unlike most, “The Masque of the Red Death” is jampacked with symbolism, the two most prominent being that of the seven rooms and the large ebony clock.
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
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
In the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe tells a story about The Prince, Prince Prospero and how he seals himself inside his castle with one thousand of his hand chosen guest to escape the red plague which. They procede to better themselves with luxuries like wine and jesters as they wait out the plague that roams the outer city. The prince has the many rooms each different colors and getting darker as you go down symbolizing the phases of life. Till you get to black signifying the death that everyone is going to eventually come to. The clock strikes every hour and the people stop dancing and sit there and progressively get nervous and then continue their drinking, dancing and other festive activities.
This message is shown when the phantom kills the prince in the red room. Throughout the story Poe shows examples of how he reveals his hidden message. Edgar Allan Poe gives symbols and hints revealing a clue about what the message could be. The evidence given was the castle and clock that were used as symbols as well as interesting objects that appear before the “Red Death” came to play.
In “The Masque of the Red Death” Poe creates strong images of various decorative rooms which have been designed to go from east to west. This is no coincidence, as the rooms seem to imitate the course of the sun from daytime to nighttime, or even the course of human life- birth to death. The first room, coated in the colour blue, represents the freedom and tranquility felt by the guests in the castle. In contrast, the final room, coated in the colour black symbolises the fear and despair felt by the guests in relation to death and its inevitability.
Edger Allen Poe is an incredible author of horror. His story, The Masque of the Red Death, was an amazing chiller about a party that was ended by a disease. Throughout the kingdom a disease is spreading from citizen to citizen, killing each one who possesses it so the king invites those closes to him to a party where no one can leave and will be safe from the disease but yet in hindsight they were locking themselves in with the disease. Throughout the course of this hair-raising story, several symbols are represented to array Poe’s theme of death. Symbols such as the seven colored rooms, the clock, and lastly the Red Death are all symbols that are displayed to help get Poe’s notion across.
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).
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.
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
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
(87). This part of the story shows that no matter how hard you try or how much money you have, you cannot escape or cheat dead. One last example of symbolism being used in this story is Prince Prospero rushing through the rooms chasing the Red Death. “It was then, however, that Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers….” (87).
He used his life experiences in his works such as The Masque of the Red Death and The Black Cat. Though Poe had a few other works such as The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven; they did not portray much of his life experiences and feelings like these ones did. Poe’s themes of death, insanity, and emotion through eyes in his works reflect the actual themes in his life. Death throughout Poe’s life has had an impact in his work. In reading several of his works, the reader sees him using his experiences within those works.
In “The Masque of Red Death”, the author includes 7 rooms, one being black, which is where the Prince locks himself in: “There were seven-an imperial suite… The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls…” (pg. 58). The seventh rooms shows how death is always there and always will be. The Prince fears that he’s going to be contaminated, so he does everything in his power to avoid death. The Prince creates an obsession over escaping death, what he doesn’t know is that death has always been there and always