Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

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In the article “Color Theory Basics” on Color Wheel Pro, color is described by saying, “Color Theory is a set of principles used to create harmonious color combinations. Color relationships can be visually represented with a color wheel — the color spectrum wrapped onto a circle” (1). To connect to this statement, in Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death”, Poe uses colors symbolize life throughout the seven rooms at the ball. Different colors are effectively used to symbolize the motif of life and death in the “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allen Poe. At Prince Prospero’s masquerade, he creates very strange and elaborate decorations for each of the seven rooms it takes place in to distract the attendees from the reality that the Red…show more content…
After describing the first six rooms, the narrator describes the seventh room by saying, “The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the colour of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet--a deep blood colour. Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended from the roof. There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within the suite of chambers” (84). The colors used to decorate the seventh room were black and red, which symbolize death and blood, as this is the last of the seven rooms. These colors represent the end of life and the occurrence of death, fitting in with the cycle of life to death. At the end of the story, the narrator tells, “He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter, having attained the extremity of the velvet apartment, turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer. There was a sharp cry--and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero” (88). The colors of the seventh room come into play when the Red Death comes to the Masquerade and kills Prince Prospero and all of his guests. Not only did this room foreshadow death, but it is also ironic that they all died from the Red Death as they were all attempting to sheath themselves from getting infected with it. Obviously, the red and black room had a very large impact on the symbolism of life and death and had a large meaning in the
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