The Masque of the Red Death Essay

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In the following essay, Wheat argues that the prince attempts to prepare to meet death by assuming a mask of indifference to the effects of the Red Death and to death itself, but he fails to maintain this indifference in the ultimate meeting with death.

When Prince Prospero and his thousand carefree friends shut themselves up in a fortified abbey to escape the fearful Red Death and make merry, they also shut themselves off from the sympathies of critical opinion. Thomas Mabbot believes "one cannot run away from responsibility." Stuart Levine agrees, noting that "The nobles are fiddling while Rome burns; worse, they are fiddling in great style." David Halliburton suggests that Prince Prospero sins by trying "to supplant God's creation with a creation of his own." The Prince is viewed by Edward Pitcher as "arrogantly calculating," with character traits of "egotism, . . . pride, coldness, manic superiority and...

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This section contains 2,678 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide
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