Masque of the Red Death is the story of the famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe that was written and published in 1842. The story tells about Prince Prospero, who to avoid the plague called the Red Death, locked himself with courtiers in his castle. While people were dying of the plague, Prospero gave a masquerade in seven halls, painted in different colors. At the end of a masquerade appears a stranger in a mask depicting the face of the deceased from the Red Death. Angered prince tries to resist the stranger, who easily passes all rooms of different colored finally reaching the last one, the most sinister one, a black room with blood-red windows. Prince dies without having achieved anything, followed by all his guests. As it turns out, there is no physical body under the shroud of the stranger.
The story largely follows the aesthetics of symbolism, as well as the canons of Gothic literature. It is often studied as an allegory on the inevitability of death, although many critics are of the opinion that it is wrong. There were a lot of different interpretations of the text presented, as well as attempts to determine the nature of the nominal disease.
In Masque of the Red Death, Poe uses many elements of Gothic literature, including a Gothic castle as a place of major events. Many monochrome rooms may be a reflection of the human mind, the expression of different personality types. Images of blood and time regularly occur in the story also point to materiality. Plague can also be typical signs of human mortality. This means that the whole story is a continuous allegory on the futility of human efforts to prevent death. However, despite this, there are still disputes around the interpretation of the text of the story; some tend to argue that it should not be seen as an allegory, which is proved by the writer’s aversion to moralizing. If the story has a moral, the writes doesn’t show it anywhere in the story.
Repetitive mentions of the blood and red are a double symbol – blood symbolizes both life and death. This is particularly noticeable in the image of a stranger in a mask –we can’t find in the text description that he is a Red Death. Vice-versa, he is considered to be a man in a mask of the Red Death. The scene of his arrival in the distant eastern room, a blue one, is usually associated with the birth.
Despite the fact that Prospero’s castle was intended to keep out the disease; it is a dark and oppressive building by itself. Its maze-like layout of the rooms and corridors, narrow lancet windows are come to an absurdity in the last black room that was so dark and oppressive that a few of the dancers looked into this enchanted room.
Masque of the Red Death is the story of the famous American writer Edgar Allan Poe that was written and published in 1842. The story tells about Prince Prospero, who to avoid the plague called the Red Death, locked himself with courtiers in his castle. While people were dying of the plague, Prospero gave a masquerade in seven halls, painted in different colors.