Edgar Allan Poe 's The Masque Of The Red Death

1225 WordsDec 7, 20145 Pages
Throughout the history of literature we see an obvious string of religion connecting most works to the core of their beginnings. From creation stories of tribes, to colonial poems, to the twisted mind of Edgar Allan Poe, there is a connection. Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” may not seem to portray the ideas of religion but through close examination, the association will become less cloudy. Poe’s use of symbolism, narrator, word choice, helps readers unmask the idea of religion. Poe’s use of symbolism is very evident throughout the story of “The Masque of the Red Death”. Much has been made about the meaning of the rooms that fill Prince Prospero’s lavish getaway. One such critique, Brett Zimmerman writes, “It is difficult to believe that a symbolist such as Poe would refuse to assign significance to the hues in a tale otherwise loaded with symbolic and allegorical suggestiveness” (Zimmerman 60). Many agree that the seven rooms represent the seven stages of human existence. The first, blue, signifying the beginnings of life. Keeping in mind Poe’s Neo-Platonism and Transcendentalism stance, the significance of blue is taken a step further. Not only does blue symbolize the beginning of life, but the idea of immortality is apparent when considering these ideas. “Perhaps ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ then, is not quite the bleak existential vision we have long thought it to be”, expounds Zimmerman (Zimmerman 70). Poe’s use of each color is significant to the seven stages
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