Study Guide

The Masque of the Red Death Tough-o-Meter

By Edgar Allan Poe

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(6) Tree Line

"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 vocabulary – which is why you wind up seeing words like "castellated" and "tremulousness" and "habiliments" all over the place. A lot of it also sounds a bit old-fashioned. But old-fashioned is good, right? Can you really have authentic Gothic horror without a bit of mustiness?

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