The Masque of the Red Death Essay

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In the following essay, Cheney argues that Poe's use of allusions to The Tempest and the Bible reverse their theme of victory over sin, death, and time with the victory of Darkness, Decay, and the Red Death over humankind.

In "The Masque of the Red Death" Poe's allusions to both The Tempest and the Bible have been widely recognized. Briefly, the allusions to The Tempest include Poe's use of "Prospero" for his hero's name; his use of the romance "masque" for his story's central event; and his borrowing of Caliban's curse of the "red plague" on Miranda for his story's central idea. Poe's allusions to the Bible include his remarks about the Red Death itself: that the Red Death "out-Heroded Herod"; that he "came like a thief in the night"; and that in the end he has "dominion" over all. As yet, though, no one has examined...

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This section contains 2,699 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide
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