“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.
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allen Poe, is a story of death and how it is impossible to escape. Though the book and the 1964 movie were very different, they did portray the same message. In both, story and movie, Prince Prospero throws a masquerade ball for all of his high class friends, to let all the others die out, and wait out the Red Death. Though it always ends the same way, death.
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.
“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.
Poe describes the abbey, “The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion.” (Poe, p. 420) Poe proposes that Prince Prospero made significant efforts to keep the Red Death away from the abbey/the people inside, demonstrating mankind’s attempts to prevent death. According to the author, “They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within.” (Poe, p. 420). Those inside had no way out, symbolizing the precautions man makes to avoid death. As stated by the author, “..there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before” (Poe, p. 424). This explains the uninvited presence of the Red Death. Regardless of the earthly power of men, death will always find a way to you. The crenellated abbey is a symbol that aids in developing the
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
Edgar Allen Poe's “The Masque of the Red Death” is an extravagant allegory of the futility of trying to escape death. In the story, a prince named Prospero tries to avoid the Red Death through isolation and seclusion. He hides behind the impenetrable walls of his castle and turns his back on the rest of the world. But no walls can stop death because it is unavoidable and inevitable. Through the use of character, setting, point of view, and symbol, Poe reveals the theme that no one, regardless of status, wealth or power can stay the passing of time and the inevitable conclusion of life itself, death.
Michael Ruiz once said, “Everyone dies. There’s no point in fighting it.” In Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, there is a disease that kills almost everyone in a country so the king brings all survivors into a castle to prevent it from killing anyone else, although it still ends up getting in from a ghost, and wipes everyone else out. In Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, Poe uses gothic elements such as a gloom setting, supernatural beings, curses, and air of mystery and suspense.
In the "Masque of the Red Death," the first sentence, "The Red Death had long devastated the country," sets the tone for the whole story. Poe describes the horrors of the disease, stressing the redness of the blood and the scarlet stains. The disease kills so quickly that one can die within thirty minutes of being infected with the disease. To create a frightening effect
Edgar Allan Poe was a writer who believed every single word contained meaning and in his own words expressed this idea in brevity only he is capable, " there should be no word written, of which tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design." (Poe 244). To this effect, Poe drenches his works in symbolism and allegory. Especially in shorter works, Poe assigns meaning to the smallest object, explicitly deriving exurbanite significance within concise descriptions. "The Masque of the Red Death" tells the story of a Prince Prospero who along with his one thousand friends sought a haven from the plague that was ravishing their country. They lived together in the prince's luxurious abbey with all the amenities and
the Red Death shows the futile attempts by a prince and his guests of a party,
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
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