Essay on The Masque Of The Red Death

1540 Words Apr 28th, 2016 7 Pages
In the end, death has the final word. In Edgar Allan Poe’s dark short story “The Masque of the Red Death,” Prince Prospero invites the remaining healthy members of a community to hide away in his quarantined castle while the outside is plagued by the personified Red Death. Once Death enters the castle, it leaves no survivors. In “The Masque of the Red Death” Poe often depicts his characters’ actions as insane, but seemingly normal and fails to recognize that they are ludicrous; he then rejects and contrasts the beliefs in the Bible, in order to arrive at an all encompassing theme of an absolutely ineludible death. Because Prince Prospero behaves strangely, Poe calls his mental health into question by manipulating polysyndeton that forces the reader to recognize his deteriorating sanity, then further proves this notion by alluding to the mad King Herod. The prince’s party is described as magnificent and his solution to the epidemic is venerated. His sanity slightly comes into question, though the author quickly dismisses this thought. Nonetheless, “His plans were bold and fiery, and his conceptions glowed with barbaric lustre. There are some who would have thought him mad… It was necessary to hear and see and touch him to be sure that he was not,” (Poe 2). The author suggests a vague possibility that Prospero may be crazy but disregards it fleetingly. Poe utilizes polysyndeton to inform the reader how to distinguish if the prince is sane, and describes a thorough screening…

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