Use Of Diction In Masque Of The Red Death

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Beginning with diction: To put it plainly, diction is the overall word choice the author chooses to use within their story to provide a variety of meanings, set particular tones, etc. Edgar Allen Poe’s complex diction further heightens the eerie atmosphere and foreboding suspense that frequently lingers within his iconic Gothic short stories, and are all the more present within Masque of the Red Death. It’s evident that Poe pays attention to connotation and meticulously chooses words that best convey the unsettling imagery that he’s going for, as shown when the narrator was describing the 7th room, “But in the western or black chamber the effect of the firelight that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in …show more content…

In addition, using the word ‘blood’ ties to the overall theme of the story: death. His storytelling is very visual; the imagery that he provides through diction alone is very detailed and in depth. Poe’s intricate choice of words not only vividly describes the setting, but creates indirect characterization. Poe’s choice of complex words are not often used in everyday language, which fits the context of the story. Right from the beginning, Poe shows the drastic divide in class and the disconnection between Prince Prospero and his people as the narrator states, “When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” (Poe, 1). The narrative follows a prince, throwing a masquerade in his evidently humongous castle. Poe’s choice of using highly elevated words further establishes that the main characters within this story are of the high class. This description is also an indirect characterization of Prince Prospero, as it goes to show his not-so-subtle

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