Edgar Allen Poe wrote the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” in 1842. While only one

1200 WordsApr 23, 20195 Pages
Edgar Allen Poe wrote the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” in 1842. While only one character is actually named, Prince Prospero, the story builds apprehension just based on the descriptions and not on dialogue. The narrator is never named and it is a mystery as to this person’s involvement in the story. The ambiguousness of the narrator also helps build the drama throughout the story. “The Masque of the Red Death” tells the story of a group of wealthy people who are trying to ignore and separate themselves from a terrible disease that is sweeping across their country. The disease is swift and brutal and can cause death within 30 minutes. The people infected weep blood from the pores on their faces and bodies, which causes a…show more content…
The abbey is referred to as a Castellated Abbey that feels gothic, dark, and foreboding; which also helps set the mood for the story. Symbolism is used to set the tone for the story as well. The so-called “Red Death” (Poe 516) is a clear reference to the black plague that killed so many people. Poe changes the color of the plague and some of the details but the symmetry is undeniable. The way Poe describes the blood that symbolizes the plague as coming from the pores on the face, but not flowing grotesquely, produces a powerful image. Inside the abbey, there are seven rooms. Each of the areas is themed in a different color. The rooms lead one into another and have stained glass windows that match the color of the rooms. Oddly, though, the windows are set in the corridor and not facing outside which creates more of a dramatic effect. The rooms start at blue, then purple, green, orange, white, violet, and lastly, black. The different spaces can symbolize the different stages of life with the beginning starting with blue; purple is the color of royalty, green symbolizing spring or youth, and finishing with black symbolizing the end or death. To make his point clearer and more dramatic, Poe had the stained glass windows in the last room be scarlet instead of black. All the

More about Edgar Allen Poe wrote the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” in 1842. While only one

Open Document