How Does Edgar Allan Poe Use Symbols In The Masque Of The Red Death

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In the short story, “The Masque of the Red Death” Edgar Allan Poe utilizes symbols to evoke a chilling and doleful mood. Prince Prospero ruled during a time of disease and turmoil.
However, instead of mourning for the loss of his dominions, he invited many high ranking elites to a party, and left “the external world to take care of itself” (1). The unfair nature of the matter creates a depressing mood, and Prince Prospero, who symbolizes the end of feudalism, holds responsibility. In addition to the fall of the higher class, Poe illustrates an eerie feeling by symbolizing the fall of the church and state through the abbey. Prince Prospero holds his party in the “deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys” (1). The building, once used for monks, is
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The party goers believe that their wealth protected from the plague, but Poe demonstrates that disease knows no wealth through the use of masks that represent equality. In turn, the idea that no one was safe from death presents a chilling mood, and the ebony clock mirrors the same feeling. The clock had a “dull, heavy, monotonous clang” that sounded every hour, and it produced a chill through each of the guests (2). The feeling that it evoked for the guests mimics the feeling Poe intended for his readers; fright of the fleet of time. In order to reach death, one must travel through life, and the seven colored rooms in the abbey mimics the journey. Each room contained Gothic windows “whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations and chamber into which it opened”(2). The final room was black, but it’s panes failed to correspond; here they were scarlet like blood. In turn, Poe utilizes each of the colors to resemble stages in life, and in particular he highlights the last room to signify the eeriness of death. Outside of each of the rooms, there are tripods “bearing a brazier of fire”(2). They symbolize an artificial safety net as they light up all the rooms. When the

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