Human Denial In Poe's The Masque (Mask) Of The Red Death

1151 words - 5 pages

Human Denial in The Masque of Red Death

 
   In "The Masque of Red Death", Edgar Allen Poe tells a story of human denial

and struggle with death, especially among the wealthy.   Poe uses powerful

images of sensual texture, color and symbols to show the passing of time

and life.

 

Prince Prospero along with "a thousand hale and lighthearted friends from

among the knights and dames of his court" (202) sought a haven from the

"Red Death" that is devastating the country.  They lived together in the

prince's luxurious abbey with all the amenities and securities imaginable.

The Prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure.  "There were

buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet dancers, there were

musicians, there was beauty, there was wine.  All these and security were

within.  Without was the "Red Death" (202).  Prince Prospero had the gate

bolts of iron welded closed to prevent anyone else to enter or leave. "The

external world could take care of itself" (202).  As if being wealthy means

he is not responsible for the less fortunate and only those few selected

should be cared for.

 

After the fifth or sixth month together a masquerade is planned, and in

typical "Poesque" fashion the great halls are described in imagery that

foreshadows a horror to follow.   The "masque" takes place in the imperial

suite, which consisted of seven very distinct rooms. Seven being a symbol -

seven wonders of the world, seven deadly sins with seven corresponding

cardinal virtues.  Seven also suggesting the stages of one's life, from

birth to death (Birth, childhood, teenage, young adult, middle age, old age,

death).

 

The seven rooms are laid out from east to west, reminding us of the course

of the sun, which measures our earthly time.  Time in this story is seen in

the symbol of the "gigantic clock of ebony" (203) which is draped in black

velvet and located in the final room.  Although the clock is an object, it

quickly takes on human aspects as Poe describes it as having a face and

lungs from which comes a sound that is "exceedingly musical" but "so

peculiar" (203).

 

The rooms were irregularly set up so that you could see little more than

one room at a time.  This can also be taken as a suggesting that we as

humans only see one small part of our lives at a time.   All the rooms were

decorated in different colors, the first in blue with vivid blue windows,

the second in purple with matching windowpanes, the third in green, the

fourth in orange, the fifth in white, the sixth in violet, all with

matching windowpanes.  Only the seventh room, which was shrouded in black

velvet, had windowpanes that did not match.  "The panes here were scarlet -

a deep blood color" (203).  There were no lights in any of the rooms, only

a fire behind each windowpane "thus...

Find Another Essay On Human Denial in Poe's The Masque (Mask) of the Red Death

Powerless to Evade the Grip of Death in Poe's "The Mask of the Red Death"

689 words - 3 pages Is it possible to evade death during a massive plague that is killing millions? Edgar Allan Poe uses setting, theme and plot in the “Mask of the Red Death” to illustrate that no one can escape death. Death is everywhere either someone dies or experiences a loss in there lifetime. The mask of the red death is an allegory, which means that is a short story with two meanings. The short story uses literal elements such as plot and the colors of the

Death in Edgar Allan Poe's Life and The Masque of the Red Death

1523 words - 6 pages Death in Edgar Allan Poe's Life and The Masque of the Red Death As a man surrounded by death and horrible happenings, it is no wonder that almost the entire collection of Edgar Allan Poe's works is about death. When Poe was very young, his father left his mother alone with three young children. At the age of two, Poe lost his mother. Many other deaths and terrible occurrences manifested themselves in Poe's life, from the

Symbols and Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death

2006 words - 8 pages "the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all," which shows an attitude that is very rare in Poe's work, because death is not normally a terminal thing for him (Womack np). In the case of "The Masque of the Red Death," Poe shows signs of a denial and a struggle to fight death, as he refused to realize how serious Virginia's condition was. In the end, however, he discovers death is inescapable and inevitable and he learns to deal with it in

Edgar Allan Poe's Use of Suspense and Symbolism in The Masque of the Red Death

661 words - 3 pages Suspense is the feeling of uncertainty or excitement, in waiting for an outcome or decision. Edgar Allan Poe uses suspense in his story “Masque of the Red Death” by using objects and great descriptive detail. Poe’s story is about a prince that tries to escape from the inevitable. He tries to lock himself away from the ‘red death’ and has a masquerade ball that doesn’t end happily. Prince and all of his guests die inside or around the seventh

Hiding from Problems in Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque of the Red Death

1236 words - 5 pages because he would have to had to spend a lot of it considering all the things he put up. He tried to put up protections, so he could try to lock out the problem. He also tried to add a lot of decorations and colors to try to forget his problem. He probably created the black/red room because his sub-conscience knew his problem was going to come back. In the “Masque of the Red Death,” the Red Death entering the castle symbolizes that the Prince cannot

Mask Of The Red Death

952 words - 4 pages room, Poe links red and black with death and time.The theme to this story is that no one can escape death. Human happiness seeks to wall out the threat of death, as represented by the apartments. The end of this story reminds us that death comes "like a thief in the night," which is also a biblical reference.Replication: The Mask of the Red Death The prince began to feel as if a ghastly eerie spirit was invading the enchanting occasion. He

Human Mortality in Masque of Red Death

986 words - 4 pages Human Mortality in “The Masque of Red Death” As a gothic writer, Edgar Allan Poe created horror using gloom as his weapon. Hidden within the suspenseful story of “The Masque of Red Death” is an allegorical tale of how individuals deal with the fear of death as time passes. Frantic activities and pleasures (as represented by Prince Prospero and his guests) seek to wall out the threat of death. However, the story reminds the reader that death

Masque of the Red Death

771 words - 3 pages Julia J Perez10/23/14American Honors Lit AB3/4Mr. KautzEdgar Allan Poe uses setting, characterization, and metaphor in "the Masque of the Red Death" to show death cannot be escaped no matter on how slick you may try to be.The setting in the story is told to be in Prince Prospero's luxurious mansion but within it are 7 rooms that are all different shades of color. While in many suites the rooms formed a long and straight line, Prospero's rooms

A critical analysis and interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"

760 words - 3 pages Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death"Edgar Allan Poe's, "The Masque of the Red Death is an elaborate allegorical story, constructed out of a set of symbols whose meanings unite to convey the message of life and death. In this literary piece, a disease known as the Red Death is plaguing this country, causing people to die quickly and ghastly. Even though this dreadful disease is plaguing the country, Prince Prospero is happy, hopeful

Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death and "The Telltale Heart"

971 words - 4 pages Edgar Allan Poe's short stories, "The Telltale Heart" and "The Masque of the Red Death" are two very different stories. One is about a simple man, perhaps a servant, who narrates the tale of how he kills his wealthy benefactor, and the other is about a prince who turns his back on his country while a plague known as The Red Death ravages his lands. Yet, there are some similarities in both. Time, for instance, and the stroke of midnight, seem

The Masque of the Red Death

655 words - 3 pages IntroductionEdgar Allan Poe was a famous American short story writer and poet who is notable for his contributions to the American Romantic Movement. Although he is perhaps best known for his poem, 'The Raven,' Edgar Allan Poe wrote many poems and short stories before his untimely death in 1849 at the age of 40. Poe published 'The Masque of the Red Death' in 1942 and like much of Poe's work, it is considered an exemplar of the Gothic fiction

Similar Essays

Use Of Contrasts In Poe's The Masque (Mask) Of The Red Death

624 words - 2 pages Use of Contrasts in The Masque of the Red Death          "There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dansers, there were musicians, there was beauty, there was wine. All these and security within. Without was the Red Death." (Poe, 209) In the short story, The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allen Poe uses the sanctity within the abbey walls to juxtapose the harshness and inescapable nature of the Red

Poe's The Masque (Mask) Of The Red Death As Fantastic Genre

866 words - 3 pages The Mask of the Red Death as Fantastic Genre       American author Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) wrote many poems and short stories back in the 1800s. Poe is said by some to have virtually created the detective story and perfected the psychological thriller. These works include "The Raven," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "The Fall of Usher House," and "The Mask of the Red Death" (April 30, 1842). In the fantasy short story Poe uses

Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

1096 words - 4 pages 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 securities imaginable. In the sixth month of isolation masquerader's party is held. At the party, a tall gaunt figure dressed in "habiliments of the grave

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque Of The Red Death.".

838 words - 3 pages Can We Escape Death?Can we change our destiny? Are we immortal? Can castellated towers prevent death from reaching us? Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" reveals that death is one of the realities that we all have to face one day, but each at different times. The Red Death indicates Scarlet Disease in the 1790's which Prince Prospero was trying to avoid. This is synonymous of the 21st century where many people will do anything to