The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe: Discussion Questions

Topics: Edgar Allan Poe, Gothic fiction, Eureka: A Prose Poem Pages: 2 (649 words) Published: September 8, 2014
The Masque of the Red Death
Edgar Allan Poe

1. Explain the unique aspects of the rooms, including how many of them there are and what makes them different? 2. What is the effect of the ebony clocks’ chimes on the assembled guests? 3. The word mad means insane. What is ironic about the narrator’s mention that ‘There are some who would have thought Prospero mad’? 4. What details about the seventh room makes it grotesque in appearance?

5. What does the masked figure walking and its movement through the 7 rooms represent? 6. Why do you think the masked figure is allowed to walk the length of the rooms uninterrupted?

7. List the elements of Gothic Literature apparent in this story: Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

From “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1945

 FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative, which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not -- and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified -- have tortured -- have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror -- to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place -- some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.

    From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I...
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