Masque Of The Red Death Symbolism Essay

700 WordsOct 8, 20173 Pages
The Black Death, also known as The Red Death, killed over sixty percent of Europe’s population. “The Masque of the Red Death”, written by Edgar Allan Poe, is about wealth and privilege, where the prince hides from the Red Death with his revelers. Poe uses symbols such as setting, objects, along with characters to reveal an allegorical theme. Thus being the theme, everyone will perish, even the wealthy and privileged. Each apartment in the abbey is a symbol that supports the theme. The apartments are in order, starting with blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet, and black. Starting with the blue apartment, blue symbolizes birth or the start of someone’s life. Next, the purple apartment represents growth in someone’s life through…show more content…
“Its pendulum swings to and fro with a dull, heavy, and monotonous clang, causing everyone to stop, including the music”(Poe 374). Although this quote may seem meaningless, it supports the idea that nobody wants to perish or want their life to be interrupted. The quote also supports the theme of “death is inevitable” by making the rings never fade away while the characters gossip about it. The entities from the black apartment, such as the scarlet windows, also give an ominous and dark addition to the story. These objects help develop the theme of the short story. The characters in the story are also symbols that add to the theme. The protagonist, Prince Prospero, symbolizes wealth and privilege. The word prosper means financially successful. This adds depth to his title and adds on to how his name is a symbol in the story. Prospero’s wealth allows him to gather his revelers to his abbey, where the revelers hide from the Red Death. His revelers, which are high-ranking people in the government, represent reliance and fear. These followers rely on Prospero for safety from the Red Death. “There were many individuals beginning to notice the ominous individual”(Poe 377). This quote explains to the reader that no one expected this death-like figure to come at the most secure location. The Red Death, who is the antagonist, “had a vesture dabbled in blood, and with all the features of the face besprinkled with the scarlet horror”(Poe 378). The
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