Symbolism And Morality Of Edgar Allan Poe 's The Masque Of The Red Death

1345 Words Nov 14th, 2014 6 Pages
Symbolism and Morality in “The Masque of the Red Death”
Edgar Allan Poe likes to keep his readers guessing. Poe writes in analogy, in questions. There is nothing immediately obvious about Poe’s short stories. Readers must read through the lines, literally and figuratively, to define his work. “The Masque of the Red Death” is no different. “‘The Masque of the Red Death’ suggests that we might stay alert to Poe’s tendency to be ambivalent about, to disguise, and to vary his treatment not only of the concerns he stresses in his theory but also in his fiction,” (Shulman 249). In “The Masque of the Red Death,” Edgar Allan Poe uses Prince Prospero to represent death as he incorporates the appearance of life and death based on morality and color symbolism to assist the reader in understanding the work.
To begin with, Poe uses blood to help the reader capture the death of Prince Prospero. After confronting the masked man, the mysterious party guest, Prospero falls to his death. Martin Roth explains further: “The only ontological or psychological threat in the tale that I can believe in refers to blood and the fear of blood, the fear of the ‘essential’ inside getting outside. The word blood and synonymous words and phrases are isolated, repeated, and emphasized throughout the tale,” (51). Prince Prospero is a ruthless character; he lacks morals. He locks his gates to avoid the plague. However, Prospero does not avoid death. In fact, he confronts death head-on; the masked mysterious…

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