Theme Of Fear In Masque Of Red Death

Words: 1121
Pages: 5

The human mind seems to never escape the concept of fear. Fear can challenge a person’s way of thinking and their actions. Fear can also be a helpful tool to survival and a prevention from the things that are harmful to you and others. This sense of fear sways your minds to become more aware and cautious, but can constant awareness lead the mind to become paranoid. Obsession can overcome actions by paralyzing them, so this sense of right or wrong can be lost. In Poe’s stories, all of the main characters experience fear and they all handle it differently. Poe uses symbolism, irony, and imagery to distort fear into the narrator's mind.

In the “Tell-Tale Heart” and “Masque of Red Death” the narrators feel fear and obsession which cause them
…show more content…
Prince Prospero has his castle built so nothing enters or leaves. Edgar Allan Poe writes, “A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress…” (57). Prince Prospero uses his palace to isolate himself and fellow companions from the Red Death. Although Prince Prospero was trying to prevent the red death, the irony is the Red Death was already in his presence. The narrator’s fear leads him to throw a masquerade ball to distract the fact that death has overcome the kingdom. The Prince has been convinced that by being isolated, death can’t make it’s way into take his life. When Prince Prospero encounters his biggest fear, he enters a state of shock to the fact that he had failed to prevent death. Since the event of death is inescapable, Prince Prospero’s life is taken when encountering death itself. Similar to the “Tell-Tale Heart”, the old man attempts to escape his most dreadful fear. “His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened, through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door…” (75). The old man’s house is completely built to keep out intruders such as robbers and murders. The old man fears what lurks outside of his home. The irony is what lurks outside has already entered his very home that he has built to prevent the event of death. The narrator lurks around the old man waiting to put his plan of killing him into place. The old man is blind by his fear of what lurks on the outside that he does see what is right in front of him before it’s too late. The old man’s obsession over his fear has lead death to prove it is