Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

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Picture yourself quarantined in your home, locked inside with death and disease surrounding you from the outside. Wouldn't you try to decorate inside with everything that would take your mind off of death? “The Masque of the Red Death” takes you into that mind set. Death has been and always will be a mysterious force that humanity will continue to both question and fear. Edgar Allen Poe, the author of the “Masque of the Red Death,” was no stranger to death in his life time. He watched his mother, step parents, and wife all die around him. His wife in particular died of tuberculosis, and the story was written soon after so a connection may be drawn. Poe presents Prince Prospero, who tries to avoid death at all costs in the story. Poe uses various…show more content…
Poe presents a lofty castle in the story that has been constructed specifically to keep the red death out. In the castle, there are seven rooms with “windows of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened” (Poe 1). I believe that the seven rooms represent different stages of life because they each have their own matching colored windows and interior. Because each room differs from one another, they represent different stages of life. Prospero has designed the rooms according to each psychological stage he has felt about death over his life. The blue chamber is the first room presented in the story and I believe that Poe has decorated this room to represent the earliest stage of his mindset toward death, which may have taken place in his childhood. As children, we first learn about death and think about it from a distance, but we are dismayed to have realized its existence. Prospero learns of death’s existence when he says, "who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery?”(Poe 2). It should also be noted that “It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words”(Poe 3). This detail supports the representation of the early feelings about death because Prospero first learns of death’s existence in the blue room and feels outrage towards it, such as a child might. Also, as we ponder about death as children we also view it from a distance because death is so far away from us in early age. Prospero views death at a distance figuratively in the story because he has a constructed the castle to view the death happening in the country shielded from a distance. Some people go though out their whole lives thinking as a child might about
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