Essay on The Masque Of The Red Death

Essay on The Masque Of The Red Death

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Death is a part of life that cannot be avoided. Everyone who treads through the stages of life, at one point, must realize there is no victory in running away from death. There is no hiding from death or fearing it. It will catch you in the end. There is also the fact that time stands still for no one. Life ticks away like the hands on a clock. Edgar Allan Poe, an innovative and ingenious thinker, was one of the greatest masters of suspense and horror in the Gothic literature movement. In his short story, “The Masque of the Read Death”, Poe’s use of setting, theme, and characterization present a gruesome tale that is characteristically Gothic Romantic.

The setting in “The Masque of the Red Death” supports the ultimate definition of a Gothic Romantic tale. The use of the “castellated abbey” in the setting of this tale illustrates a multitude of characteristics of the Gothic elements in literature. (1) It follows the medieval architectural sense of style. “A tall and narrow Gothic window” is arranged on either side of the walls (1). Gothic architecture used tall, narrow windows to flood the interior with light. They were of massive size and shape. The “windows were of stained glass” which gives an eerie feeling to the castle (1). This stained glass gave off diffused light, which added to the sense of mystery within the walls of the abbey. Inside the abbey the interior features were blanketed in black velvet, thus showing the darker side of the Gothics. The tapestries in the abbey were hung from top to bottom in the seventh most feared room. This shows the extremeness that is aligned with the Gothic style. Black and red are paired together, which symbolizes blood and death. Poe’s use of the Gothic architecture helps paint a vivid ...


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...t through the welded bolts? Obviously there was some use of magical powers. A supernatural being would be able to do this.

Within the short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, Gothic elements are exposed. The use of characterization portrays how the wealthy, arrogant mentality does not keep one immune from the unavoidable realms of time and death. The demise of Prospero and his guests show that death does doom us all. The party does come to an end and in the case of this short story, the horror and gloom of death falls upon all doors. The mystery of the supernatural surrounds the final outcome of an eminent death that everyone succumbs to within the story. The setting is overwrought with gothic architectural elements that represent mystery, terror, and suspense. Death is no mystery; humans are powerless when it comes to evading the tragic fear of death itself.

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