The Masque of the Red Death

8 August 2016

The Masque of the Red Death In the story, The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allan Poe gave us the message that death cannot be cheated. He made an impression that safety is indeed merely an illusion by killing the characters who believed otherwise. The story takes place in Prince Prospero’s castle, which is bolted shut, to keep out the pestilence ravaging the area. The castle itself is extremely peculiar, it is set up in an odd fashion and each room is fully color coordinated.

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The rooms are thought to symbolize the different stages of life. Blue is for birth, Purple is for the beginning of growth, the green room represents the “spring of life”, the orange room stands for the autumn and summer of life, the white room is for old age, the violet is you last days on Earth, when you are at deaths doorsteps, and the black room symbolizes death. Another symbolism would be the clock, which is located in the black room, I believe this object signifies time passing and our time closer to death.

The Abbey which is shut off from the real world represents the illusion of safety, from death. All these symbols work together so it is clear that this is actually an allegory. This allegory was told to us in third-person in an extremely dark and ominous tone. I believe the author did an exceptional job delivering the story to his audience. What Edgar Allen Poe did well was that he made sure we as the audience knew that death was around them at all times.

The story itself began describing the setting and how there had been a pestilence ravaging, the ending also correlated to the theme of death being inevitable. Many believe this story was a fictional twist to something a bit more personal to Edgar Allan Poe. Many important women in Poe’s life sadly died due to tuberculosis, maybe he thought no matter what he tried doing, death for them was inevitable.

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