The Masque of the Red Death Essay

Words: 897
Pages: 4

“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe is an eerie short story about the “Red Death”, Poe’s twist on the Black Plague. This plague swept across an unknown kingdom killing many people as it went. There were sharp pain, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. Poe had two main themes for readers to think about. These themes were proven through five main symbols: The ebony clock in the black room, Prince Prospero in the abbey with his friends, the colors of the seven rooms in the abbey, the format of the hallway and rooms and, Prince Prospero running after death through all the rooms.
One theme that Poe intended to portray is the fact that death can’t be cheated or escaped, no matter how
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The final color, Black, represents darkness, the end of life, Death itself. These symbolic colors tie into both themes because through the up and downs of life, people never think about death. It’s not until the end is near or people faced with death itself, do they ever think about it.
Prince Prospero also had the layout of the rooms and hallways made in a bizarre like fashion. The rooms are arranged in an east to west fashion. The way the rooms are arranged could symbolize day and night. The day begins with a blue sky and the sun rising in the east. The day ends with the dark sky and sun setting in the west. The arrangement could also symbolize the life cycle; the blue beginning a new life and the black at the end of the life. The hallways were arranged so that every 20 yards, the hallway would make a very sharp turn so the other end of the hallways wasn’t visible until the person turned the corner. This symbolizes that in life, a lot of the future is unknown, and sometimes people just have to go with the flow to discover their future. The symbolic layout of the abbey ties into the themes because even though the future is unknown, people still know what to expect the end. Meaning that a person will never know what’s going to happen in the day ahead, but they know that the sun will always set and then its going to be night