Edgar Allan Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

687 Words3 Pages
The Masque of the Red Death "The Masque of the Red Death" is a story about the desire to avoid death and the ultimate ineffectiveness of such avoidance. Poe shows that Prince Prospero’s plan was seriously flawed, since he remains happy and carefree despite the destruction of his kingdom, showing a critical disconnect between his emotions and the needs of his people. His happiness does not result from innocence, instead it comes from the desperate fear of sadness and death; the apparent evil of his actions is ironically emphasized as he shuts himself into a religious abbey in which he had protected with iron in the hopes of keeping away the consequences of his crimes. The Prince's masquerade ball can be easily seen as an allegory for the unavoidable procession of life into death. Prospero's seven rooms seem to symbolize the seven decades of his life since first room is located on the eastern side of the corridor (which is commonly associated with the sun rising and therefore the beginning of life) and the seventh room is located on the far west side of the corridor, which is the direction most commonly associated with death as well as the setting sun. Furthermore, the seventh room is clearly…show more content…
As Poe states, the stained-glass windows of all seven rooms do not do the typical task of displaying the outside surroundings. Instead, they simply look into the surrounding closed corridors, signifying the deliberate obliviousness of the guests, who have shut themselves away and refuse to face reality. However, the cheer of the partygoers is regularly and forcefully interrupted by the clock from the seventh room or the room of death, which tolls every hour and reminds the guest, not only of death, but also of the passage of
Open Document