Prince Prospero supports Poe’s use of giving the main character a mad or deranged personality. The narrator basically informs us that the Prince might be insane by stating, “There are some who would have thought him mad. His followers felt that he was not”. First of all, he lives in a secluded castle set off from the rest of his kingdom. This shows us that he clearly doesn’t care about his subjects. If he was a good ruler he would keep his home near them so that he could be aware of what they are up to. He has a very fancy artistic taste with a strange love of all things bizarre. He loves to live in the good and ignore all of the bad. This would explain why he would have a masquerade inside his castle while the rest of his kingdom is dying on the outside. Prince Prospero doesn’t even want to think about all that is going wrong. He is so selfish that he locks all of the sick, dying people out while he celebrates inside his castle. Although, we get some indication in the story that a lot of this may not even be real. It may just be entirely Prince Prospero’s visions/dreams, and all of the events and characters are just figments of his imagination. However, we don’t know this for sure. But, if it is true, then that just supports how crazy he really is.
There is a strange man in a suit and a mask who appears towards the end of the story, and no one could seem to get rid of him. People tried to grab him and see who was behind the mask, but no one was there. This is evidence of a supernatural force. The figure is described as “tall and gaunt” and “blood-spattered”. He appears right before the last stoke of the clock which is counting down to death. We believe that this supernatural figure represents the red death itself. Poe created this figure to show that no matter what you do, you can’t escape death. You cannot avoid fate, and all of the people in this story were destined to die eventually.
The plot in “The Tell-Tale Heart” is revolved around an insane individual who kills an old man because of his “vulture” eye. The setting is described as “black as pitch with the thick darkness”, creating an eerie mood. There is a vague description of the location and the house where the story takes place, leaving you wondering. This all supports the typical gothic setting that Poe created.
The main character in this story insists that he is sane, which basically proves that he is not. He sneaks into an old man’s bedroom every night at midnight, which shows he is clearly deranged. He doesn’t like this man because of his “pale blue eye, with a film over it”, that apparently looks similar to the eye of a vulture. One of the nights that he sneaks into the old man’s room he hears what he believes to be the old man’s heartbeat, getting “louder, louder.. louder”. He feels that is it getting so loud that the neighbors may hear it, and he must kill him to get it to stop. He crushes him with a mattress until he suffocates and then dismembers the body and stuffs him under the floorboards. He later turns himself into the police because he thinks that they can hear the dead old man’s heartbeat from the floorboards underneath.
The “haunting” of the old man’s heart is possibly evidence of the supernatural. The fact that it was audible underneath the floorboards even though the man was deceased suggests that there may have been a supernatural force. The old man could have been haunting him for what he did on purpose. Poe did this to show exactly insane the old man is that he thought he could actually hear his heartbeat getting louder.
A gothic setting is used in “The Black Cat” to show man-kinds dark side. Black cats are known for bad luck and superstitions, and Poe purposefully used this cat to create an eerie mood. The setting is described as dark and shadowy. There are many different settings in this story, although none of them have much physical description. This story is written from the main character’s jail cell, explaining all of the events that led him to imprisonment. Murder also occurs in this story, giving more proof of a gothic setting.
The main character in this story used to have a nice personality. He was