Essay on Tell-Tale Heart & Masque of Red Death C&C

Submitted By 32DaDon
Words: 743
Pages: 3

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak between approximately 1800 to 1850. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe first published in 1843. It is told by an unnamed narrator who endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, while describing a murder he committed. (The victim was an old man with a filmy "vulture eye", as the narrator calls it.) The murder is carefully calculated, and the murderer hides the body by dismembering it and hiding it under the floorboards. Ultimately the narrator's guilt manifests itself in the form of the sound of the old man's heart still beating under the floorboards. "The Masque of the Red Death", is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a masquerade ball within seven rooms of his abbey, each decorated with a different color. In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through each of the rooms. Prospero dies after confronting this stranger, whose "costume" proves to have nothing tangible inside it; the guests also die in turn. Although these stories have similar plots they also have their differences.

The Masque of the Red Death creates a tone of gothic and horror throughout the short story. You can understand this just by looking at the opening lines: “The "Red Death" had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal --the redness and the horror of blood.” At the same time, this line also sets the mood, it's just plain dreadful.
“The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Masque of the Red Death” both tackle the themes of death, sin and guilt, but in very different ways. Both use irony to tell their stories. In both stories, death takes innocent victims. The narrator kills the old man in “The Tell-Tale Heart” because of his supposedly evil eye. The people in “The Masque of the Red Death” are dying from a plague. The deaths have something else in common: murder. In “The Tell-Tale Heart” the narrator murders the old man in cold blood—he commits an overt sin. In “The Masque of the Red Death” Prince Prospero murders his people by a sin of omission. He does nothing while they are dying. The other sin he commits is gluttony. Prospero throws a lavish party for all of his friends while his people suffer. He has the money to try to help them, but he does not. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a…