Analysis of Style in "The Masque of the Red Death"

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  • Topic: Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death, Broadway Journal
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  • Published : March 26, 2012
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English III Honors

An Analysis of Style In “The Masque Of The Red Death”

You can’t hide from death forever; however in “The Masque of The Red Death” the Prince and his subjects try to avoid the red death anyway. They shut out the world in hope to increase their own life span. Unfortunately for them they do not succeed. Edgar Allan Poe uses the dark style of death in connection with time to foreshadow the fate of the guests in “The Masque of The Red Death.” The seven different rooms in Prince Prospero’s palace are each represented with its own color theme. “The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet—a deep blood color” (Poe 497) The color puts a gloomy vibe out for this room unparticular setting the mood to a dim one. When Poe is telling the audience about the Red Death he describes it so appallingly. “No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and the profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.” (Poe 496) The reader can visualize this scene clearly in their mind, making the imagery refer to death.

Poe makes the story a little mysterious by including the huge ebony clock. “It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical…” (Poe 487) With this clock, Poe creates suspense by delaying the conflict and putting everyone on edge.

In “The Masque of The...
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