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The Masque Of The Red Death

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1016 words Published: 25th Apr 2017

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“The Masque of the Red Death” is a remarkable and bloodcurdling story written by Edger Allan Poe, who is very crafty in the gothic stories by adding the gloomy, mysterious, death- related elements. He has a mad sense of imagination which makes him paint the rooms and the castle to the reader using words. The plot is about the disease which is spread in the country and terminated almost half of the population, and the prince makes a ball and invites thousands of his favorite knights and ladies to party till death, until the arrival of an unfortunate guest. Poe uses specific literary techniques within his short story to create a gothic mood using specific imagery.

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Edger Allan Poe excel in making his text gothic as he adds, fear, death, and atmosphere that feels more dreamlike than real. Death is everywhere in the story, as death was taking place from the beginning of the story till the end. Prince Prospero was trying to ignore death and escape death, by living the life to its fullest by making a ball and inviting people, however death can’t be ignored. Readers are confronted with death in the first line and Poe was able to make them feel that it was everywhere “The red death had long devastated the country no pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous”. Moreover, the red death is so fearful that once somebody catch it he becomes on his own at the most time which he needed help in it especially that they were having pain. Although Prince Prospero was inside the ball and there was “All these security were within” safely, enjoying their good time. Outside there is the red death and even though they thought they were protected by the iron gates outside the castle, they were all trapped by the death and they were all killed. Poe also used the seventh room as an imagery of death, as this room was black and red which represented the death colors. It also grabbed reader’s attention as it stands out from the other rooms by having windows which doesn’t match the walls and it was Prospero’s own design. “The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries…the panes here were scarlet-a deep blood color”. Prince Prospero and his friends aren’t able to forget the reality about the Red Death as they are trying to forget, however they can’t and the supernatural element appears and the prince is trying to get rid of him by ordering his friends to kill him but no one is able to, and ironically when he decides to kill him by himself he is killed in the seventh room which symbolizes death, and just as it starts with death it ends also with death. Poe excelled in adding imagery to the text, as he doesn’t make any reality in the beginning of the story as he immersed the readers in a different other world by not stating the place of the country or the settings only stating that half the population were terminated to make the mind of the reader paint the setting and the location, however it can be in Europe or in the medieval ages . Ironically, as people outside the ball were suffering from the red death, Poe added to the text dancers, wine, music, and beauty “There were ballet dancers, there was musicians, there was beauty, and there was wine” to show that although they were in the same country and the only thing which is separating them from each other is iron gates.

Edgar Allan Poe was able to use specific literary techniques especially imagery, which the whole story is based on. To start with the clock in the black room is a symbol of death and how time passes till death come. It basically makes the prince and the people in the ball to that their lives are drifting away with time, and that the death is approaching. “The time that flies”. Moreover the abbey which the ball took place in is symbolizing the graveyard in which its doors are welded shut from the inside and they are all afraid from the red death. The setting of the story is set in Prince Prospero’s luxurious abbey which is of his own design which was fancy. The iron doors of the castle were closed as the last one of the knights and women arrived, so no one can get in or out, were are the people inside are partying till death or maybe partying till the Red Death ends. The abbey in which the party was made in consisted of seven rooms in which they represent the stages of life with different shapes and colors. He also calls the plague RED DEATH because blood comes out from painful sores of the victim. The order of the seven rooms is symbolic as the colors present the human life stages. The red and black room is obvious to be death. “The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries… The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries.” Fear was also one of the elements Poe uses to make his story gothic, as his main target was to create the sense of fear and dread throughout the story. Prince Prospero never shows his fear until the Red death appears at the ball. He excelled in moving the fear from the people in the story to the readers by stating “No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous …the disease, where the incidents of half an hour.” The appeal of the red death was mainly the climax of the story as the fear inside everyone in the ball appears even inside the leader who should be strong or at least appear to be strong in front of his friends. However after being terrified he was one of the first people in the ball to overcome his fear and face the red death.

All in all, no matter how beautiful the castle is, how luxuriant the clothing, or how the rich the food, no mortal, not even a prince can escape death, even if great iron doors were around the castle and soldiers everywhere, death will get anyone in any time. Edgar Allan Poe excelled in his story “THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH” and was able to make all his ideas reach the reader by using variety of gothic elements and literary techniques.


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