The Masque of the Red Death Essay

This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Masque of the Red Death.
This section contains 876 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide

"The Masque of the Red Death" can be interpreted as an allegorical tale about the folly of human beings in the face of their own inevitable deaths. If the Red Death symbolizes death in general, then the Prince's attempt to escape the pestilence, in "defi- ance of contagion," is symbolic of the human desire to defy death. Prince Prospero attempts to create a fortress that will be impervious to the Red Death, providing his guests "all the appliances of pleasure" as a means of distracting them from the contemplation of death. The entire masquerade ball can be read as an allegory for the ways in which humans attempt to distract themselves from thoughts of their own mortality by indulging in earthly pleasures. Yet, the "masked figure" who appears at the masquerade ball is the Red Death itself, which, despite all precautions, slips in "like a thief in the...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 876 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
The Masque of the Red Death from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.