In "The Masque that the Red Death," Poe presents an age-old theme, a design template as old as the middle ages morality beat Everyman. In this old play, the main character is called Everyman and also early in the play while walking under the road, that meets an additional character dubbed Death. Everyman cries out to him: "O Death, her comest once I had thee least in mind." Similarly, Poe"s story faces the inevitability of death and also the futility the trying come escape death. This vital theme is gift directly and with extreme economic situation through the plot, or stare element. This is the technique that Poe made decision to accomplish his unity of impact (see ar on Poe"s "Critical Theories").
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The story opens with a recounting the a plague, the "Red Death"; it has actually long been damaging the country, and also the narrator defines the procedure of the disease, emphasizing the redness that the blood and also the scarlet stains. The condition is therefore deadly fast that one is dead in ~ thirty minute after the is infected. Thus, in the short opening paragraph, Poe supplies such words together devastated, pestilence, fatal, hideous, fear of blood, spicy pains, profuse bleeding, scarlet stains, victim, condition and death — and also all these words, gathered together, create an immediate effect of the fear of fatality caused through the "Red Death."
In contrast, we hear the Prince Prospero, a name that connotes happiness and prosperity, has actually summoned a thousands of his "lighthearted friends" native the the aristocracy to sign up with him in a "castellated abbey" i m sorry has strong and lofty walls and "gates of iron." The prince has an extremely carefully detailed entertainment of all types, and they are all happy and secure within, while external the "Red Death" is rampaging.
After setup the tone, Poe next underscores his layout by suggesting the folly of this foolish civilization who think that they deserve to escape death by such physical barriers as high walls and iron gates. The contrast of the gaiety within and the ravaging fatality outside, as defined at the start of the story, contributes to the as whole effect the author is after. Likewise, the world are entertained by the merriment of a "masked" ball, explained in virtually surrealistic terms. Numerous critics have actually looked because that a consistent symbolic pattern in the seven rooms in i beg your pardon the round is held, yet Poe eschewed elaborate symbolic structures and, instead, worked for a unit of effect. One an approach he frequently used for this impact was to have his stories take ar in a close up door circle where one has the impression that there gift no escape. Consequently, the occupants are locked within the castle by the high walls and the entrances of iron, and they are further enclosed during the sphere by the circular, enclosed seven halls. Accordingly, when the stranger, masked as "the Red Death," walks through the room, he overcome in near proximity to all of the revelers.
The importance of the seven rooms lies in the seventh and, therefore, the critical room. As the narrator defines the rooms, we room told that the home window panes look the end onto the hall fairly than the outside world, and also that they take it on the colors and also hues of the decoration of each room. The very first room is decorated in blue and also the stained glass has a blue hue. The 2nd is purple and also so "the panes space purple." and this continues through the green room (third), the orange room (fourth), the white room (fifth), and also the violet room (sixth). However, the saturday room is different. Right here the apartment is "shrouded in black color velvet," but the panes room "scarlet — a deep blood-color." Furthermore, this black chamber is the most westernly and also "the effect of the firelight ~ above the blood tinted panes is ghastly in the extreme, and produces therefore wild a watch upon the countenance that those who enter it that there are couple of . . . Bold enough to collection foot in ~ it."
Poe"s purpose in these descriptions, an especially the black color room, has actually no relationship to reality. In reality, no such place as the black room would be supplied as a part of a ballroom. But Poe wants to achieve an effect — a total, unified effect — in order to display the nearby proximity that the revelry that life and also the masquerade come the inevitability of death itself.
As listed above, therefore, regardless of even if it is or no the first six rooms have any type of symbolic function, the significance of the seventh room can not escape the reader"s attention. Black usually symbolizes death, and it is usually supplied in connection with death. Moreover, in describing the black decor of the room, the narrator says that the is shrouded in velvet, shrouded gift a word constantly referring come death. Likewise, the home window panes space "scarlet — a deep blood color." This is an apparent reference to the "Red Death." when the masking "Red Death" provides his appearance, he moves rapidly from the east room (symbolic of the start of life) to the western room (symbolic the the end of life). In conjunction with man"s quick and brief journey through life is the quick passing of time, stood for by the black clock; every time the clock strikes the hour, the musician quit playing and all of the revelers momentarily cease your celebrating. It is together though every hour is "to it is in stricken" upon their brief and fleeting lives. Come emphasize the brevity of life, the fleeting the life and time, and also the nearness that death, Poe reminds the reader that between the striking of every hour, there elapses "three thousand and six hundred seconds of the time that flies."
In despite the of every things, the masqueraders continue their gaiety and revelry. Here, note Poe"s description: The guests have actually donned costumes that are regularly grotesque; over there is "much glare and glitter and piquancy and also phantasm"; there space "arabesque figures" and "madman fashions." Poe describes the party in terms of "delirious fancies" and also as "beautiful . . . Wanton . . . Bizarre . . . Terrible, and not a small of that which might have excited disgust." this descriptions room reminiscent the orgies i m sorry are described in other great Romantic works (in Goethe"s Faust, Pushkin"s Eugene Onegin, Byron"s Childe Harold, because that example). Furthermore, since the maskers are so bizarre themselves, once the mask of the "Red Death" appears, it is shocking. The reader discovers that this "guest" is even more fantastic and strange 보다 all the various other guests. He is horrendous by comparison. Significantly, the figure of the "Red Death" at midnight is propitious and symbolic. This is the finish of the job and, through analogy, the end of life. His figure strikes a keep in mind of "terror, that horror, and also of disgust." The number is "shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave." His mask is that of a corpse which, us gather, died from the Red Death and to create much more horror, his whole outfit is sprinkled through blood and also "all the functions of the confront were besprinkled with the scarlet horror." Again, the reader must note how effectively Poe, by his choice of words, captures man"s universal fear of death and its horrors.
When Prince Prospero sees the stranger, that is indignant at together an intrusion. (It would practically be as well simplistic come say that all world are indignant at the intrusion of fatality on your lives.) The prince automatically instructs the stranger to be seized, yet all space universally frightened to seize this Red Death. Infuriated, the prince paint, etc a dagger and rushes "hurriedly through the 6 chambers," however as he approaches the figure, his dagger stops, and also he falls dead top top the black carpet. The various other revelers autumn upon the black "mummer" but to your "unutterable horror," they find nothing under the shrouds or behind the corpse-like mask. One by one, every one of them autumn dead. The "Red Death," Poe tells us, holds "illimitable ascendancy over all."
Poe"s story own no actual characters. The greatness the the story lies in his usage of one age-old layout — the inevitability of death — and in the way that Poe creates and maintains a full unity that effect, he bring us right into the horror of the story.
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The story makes no effort to present a realistic check out of any kind of known element of life. We execute not also know what nation the story takes place in, but, because of the name of the prince, us assume that to be a southerly European country. The story achieves credibility just through Poe"s powerful unity of result that he creates so marvelously. Every word that each summary contributes to one single, unified mood that fear and also horror. An environment of strangeness, a bizarre situation, and an evocative format all combine to make this among Poe"s most reliable stories.