An analysis of The Mask of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe

Essay by Joe MaltaHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 1996

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Thesis: Poe uses symbolism to unfold this gripping tale of terror.

I. The first symbol in the story is the name of the Prince himself, Prince Prospero.

II. The ebony clock is another major symbol within this tale.

III. The black room is the most prominent symbol in the story but is not clear until the end.

The mood of this story is set as a description of the Red Death is laid out for the reader. 'The 'Red Death' had long

devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or hideous.' (Poe 72) This disease left scarlet stains upon it

victims skin. Any victim of this disease was totally shunned by his fellow man. The final throws of this ' Red Death '

were an agonizing half hour of torment and seizure. Prince Prospero could no longer bear witness to this, so in fear of his

life he took himself one thousand of his royal comrades and enough servants for all to a secluded abbey.

He was sure the

seclusion from the Red Death would save his life. He was wrong!

Poe uses his supporting character Prince Prospero, to show the wealth of royalty in this story. This character's speaks of

wealth and happiness. Prospero's wealth was so vast that he was easily able to support one thousand of his royal

comrades, hundreds of servants, and a seemingly endless number of parties. However, it is very ironic that the prince of

prosperity was the first to die. He was murdered by the main character of the story 'The Red Death' itself. I believe this

was to show the reader that one can not turn their back to society's problems without feeling the effects.

The giant ebony clock screamed with the symbolism of the group's short amount...