Essay, Research Paper: Masque Of Red Death By Poe

Literature: Edgar Allan Poe

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Symbols can play very important roles in the stories that contain them. “The
Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe has three major examples of
symbols that help to give the story its true meaning. The three main occurrences
of symbolism are evident as a color, number, or a name. The colors in the story
show strongly the attitudes, feelings, or emotions that are occurring. For
example, “the western or black chamber” distinctively indicates a sense of
death especially when compared to the other six, colorful chambers. “The panes
were scarlet-a deep blood color.” Poe compares the color of the windowpanes to
the color of blood, which implies that blood may be a factor in the plot of the
story. As Prince Prospero runs from the “Red Death,” he rushes hurriedly
through all six rooms in which were six completely different colors. The blue,
purple, green, white, and violet chambers that the Prince ran through
distributes the range of emotions that were racing through his head within those
few moments before his death. Numbers in the story indicate how the author wants
the reader to feel. Seven is a holy number which evil may be determined to
destroy. This, perhaps, is the reason that the Red Death was a plague of the
seventh chamber. He wanted to eliminate any holiness that could be in his way.
It is also told that the Red Death appeared at 12 o’clock midnight. Midnight
is known as the witching hour. This helps indicate that the “Red Death” is
obviously a bad creature of the night. If the symbols in these numbers were not
known, then the time and place of the plot of the story would have been
meaningless. A person’s name can also be a type of symbol. Prince Prospero’s
name indicates a prince of prosperity. The beginning of the story says that the
Prince was a “happy and dauntless and sagacious”-the stereotypical life of a
prince. Later, even Prince Prospero was killed by the “Red Death.” The
author uses the symbolism of the prince’s name to make the reader jump to
conclusions about how the story will end; however, Poe tricked the reader by not
making the predictable occur. Symbols played an extremely important role in
“The Masque of the Red Death.” These symbols (colors, numbers, and names)
helped to develop the theme of the story. Nobody can escape his or her destiny
of death. If this rich fictional device had not been used then there wouldn’t
have been as much meaning to the story. Symbols not only helped to add the
finishing touch to this story, but they also help many other authors out by
letting them explain them selves in a hidden and mysterious way.
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Literature: Edgar Allan Poe / Masque Of Red Death By Poe
In "The Masque of the Red Death", Poe leads one event into another often. He uses much symbolism, and in the paragraphs below, I will show you it. In the first couple of paragraphs however, ...