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The Masque of the Red Death

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The Masque Of The Red Death Essay Essay Title: Examine the ways in which Poe creates a successful allegory in "The Masque of The Red Death." The short story, "The Masque of The Red Death" is written by an American called Edgar Allan Poe. He was a gothic writer1850's. This particular story is about Prince Prospero, a prince of a devastated country. Almost everyone there is dying from a disease known as the Red death so he tries to hide from it in his castle thinking he is safe. He uses effective symbolism creating a successful allegory in his short story. The main character in "The Masque of The Red Death" is a Prince called Prospero. Prince Prospero is shown like a selfish person as he was "happy and dauntless while the Red Death has "devastated his country". However, it does make him seem powerful and well protected as he, has managed to escape from the Red Death, for the moment. He seems to be a very wealthy prince as his castle consists of "seven imperial suites" and "long and straight" rooms. Deeper into the story, he seems slightly more humane but still heartless as he invites only a select group to stay in his castle with him. ...read more.


The main thing the rooms symbolise is the journey of life with death, the black room at the end. Another piece of evidence, apart from the colours of the room, is that the rooms go from East to West. This is the journey of the sun. without the sun, there is no life, therefore the black room represents death. The black room is "ghastly........and extreme" with its "blood-tinted panes" which makes it seem as there has been death there many times before. In this chamber only the "colors in the windows failed to correspond with the decorations". It seems as if he is purposely trying to distinguish this room from the others. The black room is so dark and deep in that there were few people even "bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all" There is a "gigantic clock of ebony" which everyone is terrified off. The ebony clock is situated "against the western wall" of the black room. Towards the end of the story, we find that the last room which is the black room, is directly linked to death as, "one by one," everyone dies within it. ...read more.


The mystery character in the ball is revealed to be the Red Death. It moves "with a slow and solemn movement" which isn't surprising because the Red Death will kill everyone anyway so it doesn't need to rush. Diseases like the Red were around in the Victorian times so the number of deaths from the disease wouldn't surprise them. Tuberculosis was around then and it infected over 75% of the US population which is enormous amount of people. The ending clearly showed that no matter how powerful you are, like Prospero, you are weak when you face death as Prospero died. Therefore Poe's message could be that everyone should have equal rights and wealth. It also showed that death is something that comes but you cannot fight it or stop it. Just like the black room you cannot see it coming. The guests tried catching the Red Death but the Red Death wasn't "tangible" so they simply couldn't touch it. The power of death is shown in the last paragraph at the end. At the end of the story, we are told that death comes "like a thief in the night," and even those who seek "peace and safety...shall not escape." By Siddharth Manikonda 10 T ...read more.

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