In Professor Brett Zimmerman’s analysis, I agree in his way of interpreting the theme of Poe’s story. He started by describing an interpretation of another reader (Jean-Paul Weber) about the time theory, “I would like to build on and extend some of Weber’s insights and this strengthen his interpretation about the time and clock imagery and the allegorical nature of that late” (Zimmerman 1). Time is represented by a big clock which rang every hour making everybody stop what they were doing and after it ended, they came back to their activities “while the chime of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale… but when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly” (Poe 209). I believe the clock is a metaphor to the time that is slowly approaching Prince Prospero to die.
In addition, Professor Zimmerman supports his idea by exposing the meaning of the seven rooms in the castle which is related to time “The seven rooms taken together form a half circle, one half of a clock’s face, with each representing one of the seven hours between six o’clock p.m. and twelve in...
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... Prospero cannot control and deep inside knew that his death was getting close. The seven rooms represent the life stages of human experience since they grow, and each phase helps the person to get wisdom and knowledge to use it in good or bad way. The Prospero’s dance of life represents a religion meaning comparing to the holy trinity. Darkness, Decay, and the Red Death are sings of the end of the world that can happen in the future. The Masque of the Red Death has an allegorical meaning of how a powerful person cannot escape from death and display different people’s reaction of facing hard situations.
-Brett Zimmerman, “Allegoria and Clock Architecture in Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death” The Edgar Allan Poe Review 10.3 (Winter 2009): 60-73.
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Masque of the Red Death: Literature for Composition. Massachusetts: Boston, 2011. Print.
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