Engl 0102 Paper 2 February 27, 2006
Character Analysis of
“Mask of the Red Death”
I chose to analyze two of the characters within “The Masque of the Red Death”, Prince Prospero, and The masked intruder at the end portrayed as death. The name that Edgar Allen Poe has given the main character entices a reader to speculate. I decided it was necessary to read a short biography on Edgar Allen Poe; because one of the things that occurred to me as I read the short story I imaged the likes of Edgar Allen Poe every time the story line turned to Prince Prospero. Why this was I am not sure, maybe it was because of Poes’ picture on the first page; but after reading the biography, I saw a lot of similarities between Poe and his character Prince Prospero. It almost seems as if the prince is a personification of Poe in the story. In Edgar Allen Poe’s own life, he was known to be rather eccentric and odd. He had a taste for the macabre and the bizarre. In the story we do find out that among the princes many qualities, he is also eccentric and shares a love of the bizarre and macabre. Further, like Poe the character is reminiscent of a young man of a wealthy and distinguished family. Further looking at the character Prince Prospero, the name alone comes to mind. Prospero is suggestive of the word prosper, which means to do well, or be wealthy; it implies good fortune. Dictionary.com defines it --“To be fortunate or successful, especially in terms of one's finances; thrive.” The events that occur in this story from the beginning are actually quite the contrary. He is the lord of the land he owns, but that is undermine by the horrid disease that engulfs and ravages the countryside, killing all that inhabits it: “No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous”. (Poe, 245). To protect himself from this terrible plague that is known in this story as the Red Death, Prince Prospero places himself and a thousand of his friends in...
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