Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

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Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, and died October 7, 1849.Throughout his life, he wrote nearly eighty short stories and poems including “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Masque of the Red Death.” The majority of his short stories used symbolism, “ expressing or representing ideas or qualities in literature” (Merriam-Webster). The use of allegory in Poe’s stories was not uncommon. For example, in “The Pit and the Pendulum”, the pendulum symbolized time, and the pit represented hell. One story in particular, “The Masque of the Red Death”, there is obvious symbolization. In fact almost every object represents something. He tied the Seven Deadly Sins into the story in two ways: the rooms and how everything Prince Prospero did was one of the deadly sins. The Red Death, or the unwanted guest, represented not only death, but the inevitability of death. Poe could have intended the guest to symbolize a disease. Or it…show more content…
It could be the different stages of life. For example, the first room is said to be facing the east, representing the beginning of life, and the last room described as facing west, representing the end of life. The second and more common thought of what the rooms mean are the seven deadly sins. Each room had its own color, and each color represented a sin. In Exodus 20:2-17 (the Ten Commandments) and many other passages in the Bible talk about the things God forbids. Lust Lust is the intense desire or need. Matthew 5:28 states “But I tell you that anyone who has looked at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Almost everything about the Prince’s party had lustful desires. At almost any party with alcohol, there are probably shenanigans happening. The color that represents lust is thought to be blue. So the blue room that is described symbolizes lust, supporting the fact that the rooms are based off of the seven deadly sins.
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