The Masque of the Red Death
The Masque of the Red Death
by Edgar Allan Poe
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The Masque of the Red Death Symbolism, Imagery & Allegory

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

The Seven Colored Rooms

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...

The Clock

The big, black, creep clock is located in the black room, so it's not that hard to guess that it's meant to be a symbol of death. More precisely, it's a symbol of the passing of "the Time that flie...

The "Castellated Abbey"

The abbey is a place of confinement. It's cut off and secluded (hidden away where no one can find it). Beyond that, its doors are welded shut from the inside. Which means everyone's trapped: no one...

The Red Death

The Red Death is, well…death. Granted, it's a spectacularly gruesome form of death, probably calculated by Poe for maximum freak-out appeal. Think of it: having contortions and bleeding from...

The Masquerade/Dream Imagery

Doesn't "The Masque of the Red Death" feel as if it's one weird, scary dream? Nowhere is that feeling stronger than with the masquerade ball itself. Everything's just a little too wild, a little to...

Art Imagery

A lot of the same stuff that suggests the masquerade is a dream – hat sense of unreality, hypermeaningfulness, exaggerated colors and imagery – may also suggest that the masquerade is a...

The Shakespeare Connection

You might notice that Prince Prospero shares his name with the main character of Shakespeare's The Tempest. In fact, that's only the beginning of the interesting ties between Poe's short story and...

Apocalyptic Symbolism

Does that line about the Red Death coming "like a thief in the night" sound familiar? If it does, that's because it's a really famous line from the Bible. It's from Paul's First Letter to the Thess...
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