The mask of the red death short story. What is the irony found in 'The Masque of the Red Death'? 2019-01-20

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The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe. Read it now for Free! (Homepage)

the mask of the red death short story

In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. After half of the people were gone from his property he invited 1000 of his healthy friends, knights and ladies. He passed within a few feet of Prospero, who stood still, surprised. In reality, no such place as the black room would be used as a part of a ballroom. To and fro in the seven chambers there stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony. But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince's person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, through the blue chamber to the purple -- through the purple to the green -- through the green to the orange -- through this again to the white -- and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had been made to arrest him.

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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

the mask of the red death short story

By the time he reaches the violet room, Prospero becomes enraged and ashamed of his temporary lack of courage, and he rushes through the six rooms towards the masked intruder, wielding a dagger. To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste. Many critics have looked for a consistent symbolic pattern in the seven rooms in which the ball is held, but Poe eschewed elaborate symbolic structures and, instead, worked for a unity of effect. Read Classic Books Online for Free at Page by Page Books. He disregarded the decora of mere fashion. They sounded through the 7 rooms, loud and clear.

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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

the mask of the red death short story

His mask provoked fear and disgust. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. But in this chamber only, the colour of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. The ball was taking place in 7 different rooms that were organized so that from one room you could see what was happening in the next room. .


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'The Masque of the Red Death,' by Edgar Allan Poe

the mask of the red death short story

Prospero did the same thing and then he ended in the red room. All the rooms were lighted through the outside windows. However, the seventh room is different. He was tall and very thin, and covered from head to foot like a dead man prepared for the grave. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. It was a scene of great richness, that masquerade.

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'The Masque of the Red Death,' by Edgar Allan Poe

the mask of the red death short story

In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think. And the mask over his face was covered with the terrible red spots…or perhaps it was indeed his face! The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were a lot of things that were nice, funny but also repulsing. Price is at his best, and his turn as Prospero easily ranks as his most sinister and wicked performance closely running against his portrayal of a witch hunter in The Conquerer Worm. Blood was its Avatar and its seal -- the redness and the horror of blood. Prospero had supplied everything they needed for pleasure.


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The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

the mask of the red death short story

And while the dancers moved back from the center of the room, the stranger moved quietly, without being stopped, with a slow, measured step, through the blue room to the purple room — through the purple room to the green room — through the green to the yellow — through this to the white — and then to the violet room. The disease is so deadly rapid that one is dead within thirty minutes after he is infected. He had directed, in great part, the moveable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great fete; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders. To and fro in the seven chambers stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. The mask which covered his face — or was it really a mask? Although the film really is an incorporation of two Poe stories. Prospero's orders to seize, unmask, and hang the figure merely emphasize three aspects of death that cannot be altered.

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The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

the mask of the red death short story

The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. Prospero's seven rooms seem to represent the seven decades of his life, as the first room is located on the eastern side of the corridor, a direction that has commonly been associated with the sun rising and hence with the beginning of life, and the seventh room is located on the far west side of the corridor, in the direction of death and of the setting sun. There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within the suite of chambers. Being reminded that nobody escapes death just doesn't get any more fun than this. This essential theme is presented directly and with extreme economy through the plot, or narrative element. But the seventh room had hangings on the walls made of a rich, soft cloth which was black, black as night.


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What is the irony found in 'The Masque of the Red Death'?

the mask of the red death short story

As Poe notes, the stained-glass windows of the seven rooms do not perform the usual task of showing the outside environs. He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter, having attained the extremity of the velvet apartment, turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer. The story achieves credibility simply through Poe's powerful unity of effect that he creates so marvelously. The story makes no effort to present a realistic view of any known aspect of life. It's the tale of a dreamlike masquerade ball thrown by the half-mad Prince Prospero during the height of a terrible plague. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. It produced so wild a look on the faces of those who entered that there were few of the dancers who dared to step within those dark walls.


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Short Stories: The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

the mask of the red death short story

He stands out even in the gaudily dressed crowd because he is dressed as the Red Death. The third was green throughout, and so were the casements. But to the chamber which lies most westwardly of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-colored panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appals; and to him whose foot falls upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches their ears who indulge in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments. In this ancient play, the main character is named Everyman and early in the play while walking down the road, he meets another character called Death. They finally realized that Red Death came into the castle, like a thieve in the night.


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Poe’s Short Stories The Masque of the Red Death Summary and Analysis

the mask of the red death short story

They grabbed the mask and were stunned when they realized there was nothing touchable behind the cape and the mask. As noted above, therefore, regardless of whether or not the first six rooms have any symbolic function, the significance of the seventh room cannot escape the reader's attention. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. He hired dancers, musicians, and had plenty of provisions for an entertaining evening. The mask entered into the room and a scream was heard.

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