Pre-AP English II/ 2nd Period
27 February 2013
Unmasking the Meaning
In, “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe, Prince Prospero believes he has the ability to escape the inevitable plague through the use of his social and economic power. After encountering a “masked figure” of the Red Death, Prince Prospero falls into rage of the mysterious man who interrupts his masquerade. Because of his reckless and foolish acts, Prince Prospero and the guests of his masquerade fall into the hands of death. Poe creates a passage describing Prince Prospero’s palace, adding several descriptions of its color and order orientation. In this passage, Poe uses adjective clauses and simple compound sentences to develop a symbolism towards the objects in his allegory.
In one of the lines of the, Poe writes ‘”The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple”, describing the subjects itself and enhancing them with the addition of an adjective clause. Poe’s addition of the adjective clause “here the panes were purple” creates an in-depth meaning of the object. Poe moves on to emphasize the final room by obscuring description, stating that “The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls.” Poe clearly acknowledges these specific sentences compared to his others. He progresses, going as far to extend the sentences by adding several more adjectives to specify a hidden meaning. Furthermore, Poe shifts to draw more attention towards the seventh apartment, developing separate sentences to enhance the last sentence “The seventh apartment was” The adjective clauses are most likely Poe’s intention for readers to attract interest in the seventh apartment and for them to uncover its significance.
Throughout the passage, Poe describes each apartment with merely simple compound sentences. But, as the passage moves on, Poe shifts...