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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Masque of the Red Death

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The colors of the seven rooms are just too juicy a detail not to mean something, aren't they? The black and blood red room seems so obviously to represent death, shouldn't the other rooms mean some...

Setting

The story is set in Prince Prospero's luxurious "castellated abbey" (which is just a fancy way of saying it's an abbey built up with the fortifications of a castle), hidden somewhere in his ki...

Narrator Point of View

The narrator speaks in the third-person and doesn't occupy any particular character's point of view. In fact, he doesn't even have much to do with the characters at all. Most of the time he's more...

Genre

"The Masque of the Red Death" is about as Gothic as it gets. It's got the "Gothic feel" down pat –you know, that sense of "everything seems threatening and dark and vaguely scary" that nabs y...

Tone

From beginning to end, the tone of "The Masque of the Red Death" is grave, as in dread-inducingly serious. It's ominous: you never quite escape the sense of a looming threat. And it's plenty dark....

Writing Style

Think of Poe's writing in this story as having two parts: lines, or structure, and color. Kind of like a painter. Structurally, everything's clearly defined and logical. It's composed: it's "put to...

What's Up With the Title?

"The Masque of the Red Death" is about a "voluptuous" masquerade ball, and somebody shows up dressed like a victim of the Red Death…and it turns out to actually be the Red Death. But seriousl...

What's Up With the Ending?

"And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all" (14). That's quite a last line, isn't it? The take-home message is "death conquers all." At the beginning of the story,...

Tough-o-Meter

"The Masque of the Red Death" is a fun story to read – it's just so wonderfully weird and creepy. But it's also not the easiest story to read. Poe's uses thickly detailed language and a hefty...

Plot Analysis

It's the Red Death! To the castellated abbey, quick!The story's set up in the first two paragraphs. First, we meet the Red Death, the horrible, hideous, loathsome disease that's ravaging the countr...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

The Red Death ravages the countryside, Prospero flees to his castle getawayWe meet our "hero," Prospero, who somehow thinks that he can escape from the Red Death that's destroying his kingdom. He l...

Three Act Plot Analysis

The Red Death rampages, Prospero leads retreat to his secluded castle/abbey, and 1,000 knights and ladies hole up to party like it's 1399.Prospero decides to throw a masquerade ball, and the narrat...

Trivia

The circumstances of Poe's own death remain a mystery. Check out some of the popular theories here.When Poe had to submit a brief biography for himself to a poetry publication, he submitted one tha...

Steaminess Rating

There's bunches of blood, there's gore galore, and one heck of a party…but there's no sex.

Allusions

Shakespeare, The Tempest: Prince Prospero shares the name of the famous main character of The Tempest. And there may be a lot more to this connection than a name.Victor Hugo, Hernani (7)The Bible:...
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