Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque Of The Red Death

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Edgar Allen Poe’s work "The Masque of the Red Death" is fundamentally a story about humans’ desire to avoid the scope of death and the futility of such avoidance. The name of Prince Prospero brings to mind the magician in Shakespeare’s work "The Tempest" who after having his rule annexed, used his wealth to flee death by closing himself off from the rest of his land along with several of his noblemen. Prospero is shown to be happy and carefree despite the suffering of the people. This happiness does not result from blissfulness nor obliviousness, but rather from the Prince’s grave fear of the sadness and death around him. The Prince organizes a masquerade ball for his guests as a means to distance themselves from the scope of death as much…show more content…
They instead look into the surrounding corridors, showing that the party-goers have shut themselves away from their surroundings and refuse to face the truth. Even then, their cheer is interrupted by the clock located in the seventh room – the room of death – which tolls every hour, not only reminding them of death but also the passage of time. When the clock strikes midnight – indicating the end of the day and in turn the end of life – the figure of the Red Death appears. His appearance reminds the revelers that the festivity is simply an attempt to shield themselves, and thus he instills fear into them. Prospero's orders to seize, unmask, and hang the figure only serve to emphasize three aspects of death that cannot be altered. Seizing death would prevent it from harming anyone, unmasking it would reveal its secrets, and hanging it would kill it. These are impossible acts, which is shown when the crowd does attempt to seize the figure, only to find no tangible form to
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