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Symbolism of "the Masque of the Red Death"

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In the Short Story "The Masque of the Red Death" Edgar Allen Poe uses objects and names to symbolize death can not be escaped. There are five main symbols to focus on: death, time, disregarding a problem in society, prosperity and ignorance; the objects identifying the symbols are the seven rooms, color, blood, the gigantic clock, and the Prince's name.

In "The Masque of the Red Death" there is a Prince named Prince Prospero. His name symbolizes Happiness and prosperity in Spanish. The prince attempts to ward out the trouble of the Red Death by putting up a big wall and creating parties to make everyone happy and feel that they have successfully beaten death;

The Prince Prospero was happy and

And dauntless and sagacious. When his

Dominion were half depopulated, he

Summoned to his presence a thousand hale

And light hearted friends among the knights

And dames of the court, and with these retired

To the deep seclusion of one of his castellated

Abbeys... The external world would take care of

Itself...The prince had provided all the appliances

Of pleasure (386).

The prince also symbolizes the ignorance of people thinking that prosperity and wealth can masque any problem of the Red Death and make them happy.

The Prince threw a party the last day and called it the masked ball. In this masked ball there were seven color decorated rooms. The number seven symbolizes the seven stages of life in a human being. The first room was the color blue; a color that signifies birth in a life stage. The last room was black; a color that signifies death in the life stage. The seventh apartment was decorated differently that the others; it "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 the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes were scarlet-a-deep blood in color" (387). This room also had a "gigantic clock of ebony"(387). The ebony



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