“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are best shadowly and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” (Poe). There is no such thing as having the ability to predict or tame the wrath of death, for all we can do is learn to accept it. In the story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, the main character, Prospero, shows through his arrogant actions that death will forever overpower the human instinct to stay alive. Poe uses symbolism to convey the battle between man and nature through the idea of the masquerade that serves as a fortress against the wrath of the disease, an excuse to disguise the true colors of man, and the honest truth that man will never become immortal.
In “Masque of the Red Death,” by Edgar Allan Poe, many symbols are used in the story to function in the work and to reveal the characters and themes of the story. Symbols serve many purposes in this story. Poe uses symbols all throughout the story to represent death. Poe’s use of the seven rooms, the clock, and the stranger helps to teach the reader that nothing can escape death. By using these symbols, Poe portray the idea that death can’t be escaped.
“The Masque of the Red Death,” a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, tells the story of Prince Prospero and his futile attempts to prevent death. During his masquerade party, the prince notices an unusual figure, dressed as the Red Death, and, enraged at the sight of it, Prospero tries to kill it. Poe uses the seventh room, the ebony clock, and the Red Death itself as symbols of death throughout his story.
In “Mask of the Red Death”, Edgar Allan Poe uses setting and symbolism to deliver the theme that no one escapes death. The story follows the naïve and pompous Prince Prospero, and his feeble attempt to escape dying from the Black Plague. As the plague spread through his kingdom, the prince called one thousand of his closest friends to reside within the safety of the castle in order to seclude themselves from the horror and death going on outside. During the last months of their seclusion, the prince decided to hold a masquerade ball in order to amuse his many guests living within the confines of the rather odd castle. The dance takes place in a variety of unusual apartments within the castle, spaced apart so the guests would only see one room at a time. The apartments flowed east to west, each decorated in a different color and theme while following a pattern of blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet and finally ending in black. During the ball, guests enjoyed a dreamlike atmosphere as they danced through the many colored apartments, each of them avoiding the final black room. This final dark patterned room contained a large ebony clock which chimed eerily every hour, causing the party goers to pause their merriment for a few moments of uneasy silence. As midnight drew near, a new guest arrived, sporting a costume more ghastly and morose than any other. The mask he wore resembled that of a plague victim, and his clothes resembled a funeral shroud. Prospero became angry
Have you ever read a story where fantasy is the reality and things do not quite make sense? This is true for “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe. In it is a version of the black plague, which is called the “Red Death”. Prince Prospero secludes a thousand friends and himself from the death around them, but finds that he cannot avoid the inevitable. The author uses many literary devices to create an interesting and meaningful story. One of the devices used is imagery, which evokes the events of the story clearly in the reader’s mind. Another is allegory, which is used by Poe to create another story within his, as it is filled with double meanings. Lastly, Poe utilizes symbolism to give the story meaning. Edgar Allan Poe uses
Everyone fears their own death, thus why some people will do anything to escape it. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, this fear is experienced by all. In the story, a prince named Prospero and his people try to elude the Red Death through seclusion and isolation in the prince's abbey. However, no walls can stop death since it is unavoidable and inescapable. Throughout the story, Poe uses symbols such as the rooms, the masked figure, and the clock to convey the theme that no one can escape death.
For example the blue represented birth, the green room youth, the orange room adulthood, the white room elderly , the violet room the time before death, and the black room was death. Poe made the prince run through all the stages until death for a specific reason. That is because he wanted to give a greater meaning which is everyone goes through all the 7 stages of life and the cycle repeats for every newborn, none can avoid or run away from them they are unpreventable.
The fires in each of the suite rooms serve as a representation of death. Poe depicts
No one likes death. Its scary and sad,but there is nothing people can do to stop it .“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe shows how death is not beatable, so why try and fight it. Poe writes this story to show the pain and struggle of the loved ones in his family that had Tuberculosis. Imagery,symbolism,and setting are the best types elements Poe uses in this story to bring it to life.
In the story “Masque of the Red Death” there were many symbolic objects that states the ones in the church will not be able to escape death while trying to escape the church in haste to escape the Red Death that the stranger brought in. The three symbolic objects that I will talk about is the iron hinges on the doors, the ebony clock on the west wall, and the stranger that shows up to the party unexpectedly. First I will talk about the symbolic meaning of the iron hinges.
Because inevitability of time and death seems to be the recurring theme, the most likely significance behind the number of apartments would be the seven stages of life. The first apartment is said to be placed most eastwardly and is blue in décor, which could signify the rising of the sun, the beginning of life, and the color of day. And the seventh, and most westerly apartment, is black with red accents and represents the end of life, the setting of the sun, and death. Poe did not intend a specific meaning for the number seven, just for the reader to be aware of the passing of time and the idea that the prince was trying to recreate a perfect world complete with " all the appliances of pleasure Without was the Red Death." (238). The Prince's recreation of the world is ironic because it is modeled after the one the Prince and his followers are trying to escape. The seven perfect rooms foreshadow the evitable downfall of perfection. The number seven appears six times in the text which may lead to some significance behind that number as well.
In “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe, he uses many symbols to express ideas. Some symbols in the story that functioned in the work are the series of the seven rooms, the clock, and the color black. These are some of the symbols that Poe expresses are for the purpose in this story to convey the idea that death cannot be escaped.That everyone at one point will die. Poe wants everyone to be brave because death is a stage of life that will be experienced.
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
As a gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe created horror using gloom as his weapon. Hidden within the suspenseful story of “The Masque of Red Death” is an allegorical tale of how individuals deal with the fear of death as time passes. Frantic activities and pleasures (as represented by Prince Prospero and his guests) seek to wall out the threat of death. However, the story reminds the reader that death comes “like a thief in the night”(Poe 3), and even those who seek peace and safety shall not escape. Poe uses symbolism to illustrate that man cannot hide from his own mortality.
“The Masque of the Red Death” is a remarkable story of many elements that can take in any reader. This story uses gothic elements to prove the inevitability of death. The point of view Edgar Allan Poe wrote this in makes a clear understanding that death conquers all.