"The Red fatality had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been therefore fatal, or so hideous....There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and also then profuse bleeding in ~ the pores, through dissolution. The scarlet stains top top the body and also especially ~ above the face...shut out native the aid and from the sympathy that his fellow men....

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he entirety seizure, progress, and termination of the disease, to be the occurrences of fifty percent an hour."When Prince Prospero"s "...dominions were fifty percent depopulated, the summoned to his presence a thousand hale and also lighthearted friends from amongst the knights and also dames of his court, and also with this retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys....A strong and lofty wall girdled it. This wall surface had gateways of iron." The Prince had the bolts the the entrances welded i beg your pardon left neither method "of ingress or egress come the suddenly impulses that despair or of frenzy native within.""The abby was amply provisioned....The prince had detailed all the appliances that pleasure....buffoons,...improvisatori,...ballet dancers,...musicians,...Beauty,...wine. All these and security were within. Without to be the "Red Death." ""It was towards the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion,...that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends in ~ a masked round of the many unusual magnificence....t was his own guiding taste i m sorry had provided character come the masqueraders. Be certain they were grotesque....There to be arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments....madman fashions...much the the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, miscellaneous of the terrible, and not a little of that which could have excited disgust."The masque was organized in an royal suite consist of of 7 rooms. "The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision taken on but little more than one at a time. There was a sharp rotate at every twenty or thirty yards, and also at each revolve a novel effect. To the right and left, in the center of every wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked the end upon a closed corridor which sought the windings that the suite. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance v the prevailing hue the the decorations the the chamber right into which it opened. The at the east extremity was...blue-and vividly blue to be its windows. The 2nd chamber was purple in the ornaments and also tapestries, and also here the panes were purple. The 3rd was green throughout....The fourth...orange...the fifth...white...the sixth...violet. The saturday apartment was carefully shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung anywhere the ceiling and down the walls,... a carpet of the very same material and also hue. But in this room only, the color of the windows failed come correspond with the decorations. The panes were scarlet--a deep blood color.""There to be no light of any type of kind ...within the suite the chambers. But in the corridors...opposite to each window, a heavy tripod, bearing a brazier of fire...projected the rays with the tinted glass and so glaringly illumined the room....But in the...black chamber...so wild a look at upon the countenances that those who gone into , that there were few of the agency bold sufficient to set foot in ~ its precincts in ~ all."It was within this very same apartment that there stand a giant ebony clock whose pendulum swang "to and also fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang." All that were existing froze, and all activities ceased through the sound of each hour by the clock. Musicians paused; waltzers stopped their dance; and also the giddy grew pale. "But as soon as the echoes had totally ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly...."The very first six apartments to be densely overfilled unlike the seventh. The festivities continued "until at size there commenced the sound of midnight upon the clock. And then the music ceased...and the evolutions the the waltzers were quieted; and also there to be an uneasy cessation of all things as before.... the last echoes that the critical chime...sunk into silence, over there were countless individuals in the crowd who had...become mindful of the visibility of a masked figure ....here emerged at size from the entirety company... that disapprobation and also surprise-then finally, that terror, that horror, and also of disgust....he mummer had gone therefore far regarding assume the type the the Red Death."When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image...he was watched to it is in convulsed, in the very first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage. "Who dares?...Who dares insult us v this blasphemous mockery? seize him and unmask him--that we may understand whom we have to hang at sunrise, indigenous the battlements!" here were discovered none who put forth hand to seize him; so the unimpeded, passed in ~ a garden of the prince"s person...

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do his method uninterruptedly, however with the exact same solemn and measured step...through ." Prince Prospero with attracted dagger and also maddened v rage rushed after the intruder. At last they entered the seventh and also final chamber. The Prince had approached within 3 or four feet the the number when the mummer all of sudden turned and also confronted him. "There to be a sharp cry-and the dagger dropped gleaming ~ above the sable carpet, top top which, soon afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero.... a throng the the revelers at once threw themselves right into the black color apartment, and seizing the mummer...gasped in unutterrable horror at finding the tomb cerements and corpselike mask which they taken on with for this reason violent a rudeness untenanted by any kind of tangible form.""And currently was acknowledged the visibility of the Red Death. He had actually come like a thief in the night." One by one the revelers died; and also when the last one had actually died, "the life of the ebony clock went out....And the flames the the tripods expired. And also Darkness and Decay and the Red fatality held illimitable dominion over all."


The story covers a period of around six months during the reign of the Red Death. The activity takes ar in " deep seclusion of one of castellated abbeys." The "masque" takes ar in the imperial suite which included seven, an extremely distinct rooms. (See layout for a an ext indepth conversation of the meaning of the setting to this specific story.)


This story has actually no personalities in the usual feeling which lends credibility come an allegorical interpretation. Just Prince Prospero speaks. His name argues happiness and good fortune; however, ironically this is no the case. In ~ the Prince"s abbey, he has developed a human being of his creativity with masked numbers that reflect "his own guiding taste." these dancers room so much a product that the Prince"s creativity that Poe refers to them together "a multitude the dreams." even when the "Red Death" enters, the writer refers to this character as a "figure" or a "mummer" that "was tall and guant, and also shrouded native head come foot in the habiliments the the grave. The mask...was made...to resemble the countenance that a stiffened corpse....But the mummer had actually gone therefore far as to assume the form of the Red Death. His vesture to be dabbled in blood-and his vast brow, with all the attributes of the face, was besprinkled v the scarlet horror." once the mummer is seized toward the finish of the story, all "gasped in unutterable horror at recognize the tomb cerements and also corpselike mask...untenanted by any tangible form."

Point that View

Poe expressed his dislike because that allegory - "a tale in prose or verse in i m sorry characters, action or settings stand for abstract concepts or moral qualities." Poe said that allegory was an inferior literary kind because it is designed to evoke attention in both the narrative and the abstract principles for i m sorry the narrative stands, i beg your pardon distracts the reader from the singleness of effect that Poe most valued in literature. "Under the finest circumstances, the must constantly interfere through that unified of impact which, to the artist, is worth every the allegory in the world." yet Poe himself openly provided allegory, as in "The Haunted Palace" verses i beg your pardon he put into his story, "The autumn of the residence of Usher," as well as in "The Masque that the Red Death." (See style for allegorical interpretation.)

Style and also InterpretationPoe"s story takes place in seven connected but closely separated rooms. This reminds the leader of the past significance of the number seven. (The background of the human being was believed to consist of 7 ages, simply as an individual"s life had seven stages. The ancient world had actually seven wonders; universities split learning right into seven subjects; over there were 7 deadly sins v seven corresponding cardinal virtues, and the number seven is vital in mysticism.) Therefore, an allegorical reading of this story says that the seven rooms stand for the 7 stages the one"s life, from bear to death, with which the prince pursues a number masked together a victim the the Red Death, only to die himself in the final chamber that eternal night. The prince"s name suggests happiness and good fortune, and also the prince, similar to all us uses joy to wall out the risk of death. Prince Prospero"s masked round or run reminds united state of the "dance of death" shown in old paints as a skeleton top a throng of people to the grave, simply as the prince leader his guests to the Red Death.The definition of time in this story is viewed in the price of the "gigantic clock the ebony" i m sorry is draped in black color velvet and located in the final room. Return the clock is an object, it quickly takes ~ above human facets as the writer describes the as having a face and also lungs from which come a sound the is "exceedingly musical" but "so peculiar" the the "dreams space stiff-frozen as they stand," in a short-lived rigor mortis that anticipates the last one.The relationship between the Red Death and time is a vital to understanding the symbolic an interpretation of the story. The seven rooms room laid the end from east to west, reminding united state of the course of the sun which procedures our earthly time. This rooms room lighted native without, and also it is only in the saturday room whereby the shade of the home windows does no correspond through the color of the room, but instead is "a deep blood color" with which irradiate illuminates the westernmost room of black, v an ebony clock on its western wall. In producing this room, Poe web links the color red and black through death and also time."carlet stains top top the body and also especially upon the face of the victim" show the visibility of the Red Death. Blood, the really substance of life, becomes the note of death as the bursts through the pores. Death, then, is no an external antagonist, to be feared and also walled out together Prince Prospero attempts to do; however instead it is a component of every of us. Its presence is feeling in our imaginations as we become aware of the control that time has over ours lives. We hear the echoes the the "ebony clocks" that we bring within. Prince Prospero tries to escape death by walling it out, and also by so doing, create a prison the end of his sanctuary. However, the Prince learns that no one deserve to escape death. Death holds "illimitable ascendancy over all." Theme

No one escapes death. Human happiness (as represented by Prince Prospero) seeks to wall surface out the hazard of death; however, the Biblical recommendation (I Thessalonians 5:2-3) in ~ the end of the story reminds us that fatality comes "like a thef in the night," and even those who seek "peace and safety...shall not escape."Martha Womack
Related details

Works Cited

Adventures in American Literature. Pegasus Edition. Chicago: Harcourt Brace Jovanvich, Publishers, 1989. "Bubonic Plague and also Cholera." Compton"s interaction Encyclopedia. 1994 edition. Stern, Phillip van Doren, editor. The Portable Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Penguin Books, 1977. "I Thessalonians." The holy Bible. King James Version. Brand-new York: Harper & brothers Publishers, 1957.