What Is The Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

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“And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall” (Poe, par. 14). After the mummer kills Prince Prospero, the masqueraders in the abbey perish one by one until the ebony clock runs out and none remain. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” Edgar Allan Poe uses the symbolism of the iron fortress, the masque, and the mummer to reveal the theme that man does not have control over their fate, and they cannot run from death. The mummer and the Red Death both symbolize each other and ultimately fate. “The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to toe in the habiliments of the grave” (Poe, par. 9). “But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of…show more content…
“And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall” (Poe, par. 14).” “And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripod expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all” (Poe, par. 14). “He [the Mummer] is a characterological duplicate of both the black chamber and its ebony clock” (Roth, par. 8). “The ebony clock keeps chiming the passing hours as the revelers move closer and closer to the moment of their own deaths” (Zimmerman, par. 12). Poe, Roth, and Zimmerman reveal that the mummer is a symbol of the clock and the tripods in the dark room of death. This relates both fate and time, and because their time was up, fate came to claim them. Poe also states that the Red Death held dominion over all and because the mummer also represents the Red Death, he ends the story by reinforcing his theme that man cannot control fate and fate will rule over all. In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” the symbolism of the mummer, the masques, and the fortress convey the idea that no matter how much one tries to control death, fate will override. There is nothing man can do to control all aspects of life. “Frail humanity can never escape the inevitable ravages of time” (Zimmerman par. 12). Poe’s story serves as a lesson to the reader that when they try to change their fate , they will drop, and die in the despairing posture of their

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