The Masque of the Red Death Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 62 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Masque of the Red Death.
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Death

While this story is literally about a pestilence called the Red Death, it can be read at an allegorical level as a tale about man's fear of his own mortality. In the story, Prince Prospero and his "thousand friends" seal themselves into an abbey of his castle in an attempt to "defy contagion" and escape the clutches of the Red Death. The Prince employs "all the appliances of pleasure" in order to distract his guests both from the suffering and death outside their walls and from thoughts of their own vulnerability to the Red Death. The Prince's actions symbolize the ways in which all humans tend to focus on material pleasures in order to distract themselves from the knowledge that everyone, including themselves, eventually must die.

The fact that the Red Death slips in "like a thief in the night" to claim the lives of everyone present symbolizes...

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This section contains 984 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Masque of the Red Death Study Guide
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The Masque of the Red Death from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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