Symbolism In The Red Death

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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,
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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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