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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“Seize him and unmask him--that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!”(Poe 4).Using this tone he makes the character, “Prince Prospero” seem careless and fearless because he was happy and
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
Poe builds suspense in "The Masque of the Red Death" by using foreshadowing to hint at the tragic end that awaits the characters. For example, the description of the Red Death as a "pestilence" that is "fatal" and "hideous" foreshadows the eventual death of the guests. In addition, the description of the last room is completely covered in black decorations with red-colored windows foreshadowing the tragic end that awaits the guests. The use of the color red and the imagery of blood thoughts the story also serves as foreshadowing for the tragic end. The ending of the story, in which the figure disguised as the Red Death causes the death of the guests, including the prince, is both shocking and inevitable.
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 Poe’s Masque of the red death, Poe illustrates the stages of life and death. Each symbol that Poe presents in his short story coincide with facets of life that are impossible to not experience. The read death itself, represents death as an aspect of life. In the story, Prince Prospero and those he saved lock themselves in his castle in order to prevent any sign of the Red Death (disease in this story) from affecting them. Someone dresses as a victim of the disease in a costume to stir attention, and as Prospero attacks the villain, he dies.
The entire short story can be envisioned as a scary dream. Poe sets the tone of the story in the very beginning, stating, “The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal- the redness and the horror of blood,” (Poe 3). This sets an emphatically dark and horrific tone for the reader, which carries into the plot of the story.
In the short story, “Masque of the Red Death”, Edgar Allen Poe manipulates timeless imagery, forcible diction, and archaic allusions to engross the reader in a power-avid war between Prince Prospero’s court and the indigenous presence of death. The court seeks to outsmart death by hiding away, only to find out death draws nearer by every tick of the ebony clock. Poe handles imagery in a manner that illustrates the cowardice towards death in the minds of Prospero’s court, which in turn, causes them to be semi-ignorant to the alfresco of Europe. The story reads, “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” (pg.3). This first creates an active image of a dying kingdom, then the image shows a prince turning his back on the helpless citizens of his rule so that he and his most dear nobles may have the chance at eluding death.
The phrase “A deep blood color” creates the feeling of violence or even death. The word “blood” is often used in situations where death is the ending. The idea of death lurking adds tension to the text, as it implies that it may soon take over, even though now it has not been revealed. As the masquerade continued a new guest appeared. However this person was not someone who was invited, but one who has been affected by the Red Death.
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.
“The Masque of the Red Death” is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe that is portrayed through limited omniscient narration. This is a narrator who can identify everything throughout the story and recognize how a character’s thought process works. Poe presents the story in an elegant manner and his writing style is composed and dignified. The tone that is used throughout the story gives us a medieval perception. However, Poe approaches the reader by representing the actions, words, and other aspects of a character without including their cognition.
This story of death works out, because Edgar Allen Poe gives good use to author’s craft. Edgar Allen Poe uses imagery, symbolism, and setting to create an effective story. In the “Masque of the Red Death” Poe uses description to give imagery.
The only known character in the story is the king Prospero who, in his sol conflict with a mysterious pestilence that has ravaged the countryside-which resembles to the massive black death that seized Europe- , collects his closest knights, women and figures belonging to the upper class of his court and welds shut a sealed off luxurious castle as an attempt to escape death. . Hence, this hideous action is a tangible evidence of the greedy ambitions of the upper class that regard the below class as a mere force so worthwhile for labor and serving the upper offshoot. Poe in his story describes the castle as a heavenly fine place of luxurious seven rooms to celebrate a grotesque masquerade ball. The crowd celebrated in an attempt to forget the hell outside the gates of the sealed castle. Namely, the ball interprets the lofty class’s economic and moral corruption, accordingly they left the poor wretches die outdoors.
I. Introduction Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most important American writers of the nineteenth century. Much of his work was inspired by the events that happened around him. Poe's works embodied the short stories creative theories and the eternal theme he devoted to his life: the horror after beauty has gone, the horror of death, the horror of gloom and the horror of weird phenomena. Published in 1842, The Masque of the Red Death was the representative of Poe’s aesthetics and writing themes. In this horror story, "Red Death" is rampant outside the walls of the Royal Palace.
It is used to reveal one of the themes, and the primary characters' traits. The castle reveals the prince's ingenuity. "The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, improvisatori, ballet dancers..., there was wine."
The Masque of the Red Death is said to be inspired by the Bubonic plague (also known as the the Black death), a rodent-carried disease that massively broke out at around the time of the story 's conception. Arai (n.d) explains that Poe stresses on the binary oppositions between life and death, found in the form of details within the story. The inside of the abbey is associated to security, versus the outdoors and death. The power of symbolisms are played to an advantage in the story with themes such as happiness and grief, pleasure and horror, east and west, a clock 's ticking and silence, colors and monotone, to draw a line between life and death.