Essay on The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

Essay on The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

Length: 1049 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In “The Masque of the Red Death”, which is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, the different qualities of the narration augments one's understanding of the events that takes place in the story. In this piece of fiction, the narration is in the first person point of view, although at first it seems to be in the third person. The spatial distance is diagetic and the temporal distance is retrospective, which is defined as the narrator speaking of events that have already happened in the past. The attitude in the narrative may be perceived as forthcoming, but only to an extent. There is a paradox presented by the conflict between the point of view of the narrator and the story itself. If the narration is in first person point of view, and the narrator is therefore present in the party, then how is the narrator telling the story if all those who participated in the revelry are dead?
The attitude presented in The Masque of the Red Death by the narrator is forthcoming on some parts, but quite vague on the others. For example, in the sentence "The 'Red Death' had long devastated the country" (288), the exact location and name of the country is not given. There is also no year provided and so the time period in which the story is set in is unknown. However, time is given when the narrative is describing something that is connected to the masquerade. Some examples are: "the sounding of midnight upon the clock" (291) and "toward[s] the close of the fifth or sixth month of [the] seclusion...Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual significance" (289). The last quote also references all the other unnamed characters present in the story. The vagueness of the setting outside of the fortress em...


... middle of paper ...


...dox may serve as emphasis on how surreal and bizarre the events in the story are.
The different qualities of the story's narration, such as the spatial and temporal distance, as well as the attitude, contribute to how one can understand the story by establishing the atmosphere and mood through which one perceives the narrative, as well as a frame that guides how the events that happen next may be understood. However, this story's point of view conflicts with the events that happened in the story itself. The paradox may serve as a highlight for the narrative’s otherworldly setting, or it may just be there to serve as a topic for future discussions by readers who may try to resolve the paradox in this story.



Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan. “Selected Poetry and Tales”. The Masque of the Red Death. Ed. James M. Hutchisson. Peterborough:Broadview, 2012. 288-294. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

- Edgar Allan Poe was a writer who believed every single word contained meaning and in his own words expressed this idea in brevity only he is capable, "…there should be no word written, of which tendency, direct or indirect, is not to the one pre-established design." (Poe 244). To this effect, Poe drenches his works in symbolism and allegory. Especially in shorter works, Poe assigns meaning to the smallest object, explicitly deriving exurbanite significance within concise descriptions. "The Masque of the Red Death" tells the story of a Prince Prospero who along with his one thousand friends sought a haven from the plague that was ravishing their country....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe Masque Red Death]

Strong Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about The Masque Of The Red Death By Edgar Allan Poe

- The meanings of short stories attain their value through the plot, characters, setting, writing style, narrator and theme. These six components form an effective story line that gets the meaning of the work across. The short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe is an allegory in which Poe uses symbols to convey a deeper meaning throughout the story. Death is inevitable and no amount of wealth or evasion from your fate can save you. First off, the setting of “The Masque of the Red Death” is quite eerie....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story]

Strong Essays
1050 words (3 pages)

Essay The Masque Of The Red Death By Edgar Allan Poe

- Hundreds of people thought that they were being isolated from a deadly contagion, but it had seemed to find another form of an entrance. “The Masque of the Red Death”, was written by Edgar Allan Poe, a poet from the mid-1800’s, with a wife who had tuberculosis. The short story begins with a lengthy description of the pestilence, which can be interpreted as tuberculosis, that has infested the fictional country. The wealthy Prince Prospero decides to house a thousand of his friends, in order to keep them safe....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, Short story, Fiction]

Strong Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Death Of The Red Death By Edgar Allan Poe

- Death is just one of the many things that are feared; however, it is inevitable. Throughout time there has been many deaths. Some might have lived a care free life, whereas others were constantly worried for their day to come. In “Masque of the Red Death” written by Edgar Allan Poe, the story shows death is a matter of time. Death comes to all those, either noble or poor. Many have come to accept death as a sign a life was well lived. However, there are others that believe their lives were not long enough for them to accept the afterlife....   [tags: Black Death, Bubonic plague, Plague]

Strong Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

- Edgar Allan Poe describes , in this story , the arrival of a tragic plague : the black death . The characters in this story are the Prince Prospero and his guests, invited by him in his palace to try to escape the disease ; protagonist but perhaps the greater the mask of the red death . "The Red Death had long devastated the country . No pestilence had ever been so fatal , or so hideous . Blood was ITS Avatar and Its seal "                   The narrator of this story is omniscient and narrates the events in the first person , in the narrative, there is a definite plot , but corresponds perfectly with the fable : we can therefore speak of a parallel totale.La story is divided into three main...   [tags: plague, black death, prospero]

Strong Essays
1261 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Death in Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

- Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe In the short story “Masque of the Red Death” By: Edgar Allen Poe he delivers the theme of age old inevitability of death and futility of trying to escape death, the setting of his story is based during a time when the bubonic “black” plague took over Europe. The black plague was a bacterium that survived in rats and rodents, human beings became infected when they got bitten by the fleas that lived on these rodents and rats; you knew you had gotten infected by several symptoms such as bleeding in the lungs, high fever and delirium but the most outstanding symptom was bubos....   [tags: black plague, rats, rodents]

Strong Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

On The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe Essay

- On The Masque of the Red Death In The Masque of the Red Death, Edgar Allan Poe writes about how Prince Prospero holds a masque in a sealed abbey to try to forget about the Red Death. There are seven rooms in the abbey which have matching windows and decorations. A figure dressed as a deceased individual appears in the midst of the masque; Prince Prospero chases him to the scarlet room where he dies followed by everyone else. Edgar Allan Poe once said, “It is my design to render it manifest that no point in its composition is referable either to accident or intuition…” Poe placed imagery and symbolism in The Masque of the Red Death to design meaning into the story....   [tags: colors, dreams, rooms]

Strong Essays
530 words (1.5 pages)

The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe: Analysis Essay

- The Masque of the Red Death is an allegorical story written by Edgar Allan Poe. This story is about Prince Prospero who tried to save himself of a dangerous disease (known as the Red Death) but he end up dying in his castle along with his friends. This allegorical story is divided in meaningful points which are represented in relevant symbols such as the clock, which represents time; the seven chambers, which stand for seven life stages of humans; the characters, which correspond to different reactions of people facing difficulties; and the Prospero’s dance of life, which means a religion concept related with the holy trinity....   [tags: prince prospero, professor Zimmerman]

Strong Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

- In “The Masque of the Red Death”, which is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, the different qualities of the narration augments one's understanding of the events that takes place in the story. In this piece of fiction, the narration is in the first person point of view, although at first it seems to be in the third person. The spatial distance is diagetic and the temporal distance is retrospective, which is defined as the narrator speaking of events that have already happened in the past....   [tags: spatial distance, narrator, paradox]

Strong Essays
1049 words (3 pages)

Essay about Edgar Allan Poe 's The Red Death

- Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer, literary critic, and editor. Despite of his many talents, Edgar Allan Poe is best acknowledge for his poems and short stories, primarily his tales consist of mystery and deception of death. For instance, in the story “The Masque of the Red Death”, the story involves a plague that is killing the people, in which the Prince and his closest friend want to avoid. In the story “The Cask of Amontillado” is about a perfect murder planed out for revenge, in which he succeeds....   [tags: Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado]

Strong Essays
1010 words (2.9 pages)