Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

Decent Essays
The Masque of the Red Death is a short story first published in Graham’s Magazine, 1842 by Edgar Allen Poe. It is sometimes understood as a story about the fact that death is ultimately unstoppable. It is a fine example of gothic fiction because of its dark and mysterious themes. The story begins by stating that a horrible plague was ravaging a kingdom. The prince of this kingdom, Prospero, had gathered one thousand of his nobles, and had barricaded himself in an isolated abbey. The prince threw a lavish, and excessive masquerade ball. His “imperial suite” was made up of seven rooms, each having a dominant color. The last room to the west was black, and had a spooky ebony clock. Each time the clock rang, the party paused, only to resume once the sound had ceased. During midnight, an unidentified person appeared in the suite. He is described as being “ tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave”( Poe, 154). Prospero attempted to attack the stranger, something which resulted in the latter's death. The rest of the noblemen die shortly thereafter.
The Masque of the Red Death is deeply symbolic, and it’s meaning implicit. There is no definitive, official meaning of the story. A popular reading is that the “Masque of the Red Death” symbolises the inescapability of death. There is a decent amount of textual evidence to support this claim. Prince Prospero and his thousand guests had isolated themselves in a castle while the Red Death was
Get Access