An analysis of the symbolism in the masque of the red death a short story by edgar allan poe

This interpretation, however, is complicated by the fact that the color of Prospero's room do not occur in the same sequence as they do in a prism, possibly reflective of Prospero's twisted sense of fairness or an attempt by the author to associate particular colors with a specific period in life.

The masque of the red death masquerade symbolism

It features a set of recognizable symbols whose meanings combine to convey a message. Nobody, young or old, rich or poor, can escape the clutches of plague or tuberculosis. Though the other chambers are filled with people, laughter, and dancing, the Velvet Hall brings elements of death and violence into an otherwise happy, though bizarre, dream-world. Did they? Any victim of this disease was totally shunned by his fellow man. Some stories are written with the intention of being allegorical, and other are not, but once a story is released for popular consumption, the reader will make his or her own interpretation of the story. Let your dreams become reality. However, the seventh and most westward room of the abbey is furnished with black velvet and red windows.

The text tells the story of Prince Prospero whose town is being plagued by the dreaded Red Death. Let your dreams become reality. Allegory has a strong hold on this Poe tale.

And these — the dreams — writhed in and about, taking hue from the rooms, and causing the wild music of the orchestra to seem as the echo of their steps.

An analysis of the symbolism in the masque of the red death a short story by edgar allan poe

Almost everything in the story tells us that there is no escaping death, no matter what we do. This post is part of the series: Masque of the Red Death Study Guide Avoid becoming a bloody mess on your next short story test. The images created by the brazier of fire and blood tinted glass give the room of death a ghastly appearance. Even though this disease is spreading rampantly, the prince, Prospero, does not care. Additionally, the Red Death makes its appearance at midnight. Why not leave the reader to his or her own interpretations? However, the seventh and most westward room of the abbey is furnished with black velvet and red windows. They are arranged east to west, reminiscent of the movement of the sun across the sky, and the number of rooms, seven, is equal to the number of days in the week. Masks were optional. The Prince possesses these characteristics yet is faced with a plague that he desperately attempting to avoid. New York: Fall River Press, The text tells the story of Prince Prospero whose town is being plagued by the dreaded Red Death. Time is not a friendly force in this case.

The Castle represents man's efforts to prevent death. I will address them together insomuch that they represent a prism and therefore reflect a progression, lending creedence to the interpretation that the story is an allegory for life.

The masque of the red death symbolism

There were seven rooms, and this was the last one. This sound was so clear, and loud that it was heard by all, and even the most joyous grew pale. The darkness of the room and the heaviness and darkness of the curtain symbolizes death. Even though this disease is spreading rampantly, the prince, Prospero, does not care. The Seven Rooms represent the stages of life. What about the other details? This quote is also a part of the section written in present tense, which signifies that the masqueraders think they are still in a dream-state. Shortly after, the masqueraders die of the Red Death. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. The reader is nearly beaten over the head with allegory and symbolism: the title itself is a play on words. One of them is allegory. Is there an intertextual allusion going on here? And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more merrily than ever, taking hue from the many tinted windows through which stream the rays from the tripods.

The darkness of the room and the heaviness and darkness of the curtain symbolizes death. The passage establishes the horror of the disease and explains why the guests would react to the blood stained intruder at the end of the story.

No room has a clear view into another, and the guests find themselves wending through a maze of chambers. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the sympathy of his fellow men.

Since the wealthy have locked themselves away, the victims of the Red Death are primarily of the lower classes. The prevalence of representations of time suggest that though the masqueraders attempt to escape disease and death, it is not possible to do so. While allegory gives us an interpretation of the world, we can agree or disagree with it, and of course we are free to draw our own conclusions from the story.

masque of the red death symbolism worksheet answers
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Essay on Symbolism in The Masque of the Red Death