Masque of the Red Death

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Annie Fuller
4/22/13
Masque of the Red Death Analysis
Personal Goal: Have less errors involving commas.
An Inescapable Disease
In Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Masque Of The Red Death”, he introduces an arrogant character by the name of Prince Prospero, who locks himself up in his fortress in fear of this plague called the Red Death. Poe was a man with a tough life. He used events in his life that weren’t to great as a motive for writing these depressive and horrific tales. It is thought that this story is an allegory of Men’s futile attempts escape death. The Prince eventually finds out that one thing money cannot give you is eternal life. In “The Masque of the Red Death”, Poe uses forms of symbolism to support the theme that there is no escaping death.

One form of Symbolism used by Poe is the abbey. When one reads the story, they may think of it as just the large fortress that the masquerade was held in. When one thinks deeper about the meanings of the hidden symbols contained in the story, one may come to the conclusion that the abbey was a symbol that men want to hide from death, as well as a social barrier between classes. Prince Prospero is in fear of a certain plague called the Red Death, to hide from it he takes his rich and worthy friends and noblemen and locks everyone in his abbey. There was no way anyone could get out and certainly no one could enter. It represented a giant barrier that was used as a protection from death. It was also a barrier between social classes as well. Poe writes that “he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” (Poe 1). The people were not just people off the streets either. They were only those that the Prince thought worthy enough to live a life with no death, the Knights and Dames. Poe leaves the message that no one, no matter how wealthy and important can...
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