The symbolism of color number and name in the masque of the red death by edgar allan poe

This is why the Red Death kills in a matter of half an hour The Prince Prospero also is a symbol. His name and everything about him is ironic

The symbolism of color number and name in the masque of the red death by edgar allan poe

Plot summary[ edit ] Illustration of Prince Prospero confronting the "Red Death" by Arthur RackhamThe story takes place at the castellated abbey of the "happy and dauntless and sagacious" Prince Prospero.

Prospero and 1, other nobles have taken refuge in this walled abbey to escape the Red Death, a terrible plague with gruesome symptoms that has swept over the land.

Victims are overcome by "sharp pains", "sudden dizziness", and " profuse bleeding at the pores ", and die within half an hour.

Prospero and his court are indifferent to the sufferings of the population at large; they intend to await the end of the plague in luxury and safety behind the walls of their secure refuge, having welded the doors shut. Prospero holds a masquerade ball one night to entertain his guests in seven colored rooms of the abbey.

Each of the first six rooms is decorated and illuminated in a specific color: The last room is decorated in black and is illuminated by a scarlet light, "a deep blood color" cast from its stained glass windows. Because of this chilling pairing of colors, very few guests are brave enough to venture into the seventh room.

A large ebony clock stands in this room and ominously chimes each hour, upon which everyone stops talking or dancing and the orchestra stops playing. Once the chiming stops, everyone immediately resumes the masquerade. At the chiming of midnight, the revelers and Prospero notice a figure in a dark, blood-splattered robe resembling a funeral shroud.

The figure's mask resembles the rigid face of a corpse and exhibits the traits of the Red Death.

The symbolism of color number and name in the masque of the red death by edgar allan poe

Gravely insulted, Prospero demands to know the identity of the mysterious guest so they can hang him. The guests, too afraid to approach the figure, instead let him pass through the six chambers.

Related Questions

The Prince pursues him with a drawn dagger and corners the guest in the seventh room. When the figure turns to face him, the Prince lets out a sharp cry and falls dead. The enraged and terrified revelers surge into the black room and forcibly remove the mask and robe, only to find to their horror that there is nothing underneath.

Only then do they realize the figure is the Red Death itself, and all of the guests contract and succumb to the disease. The final line of the story sums up, "And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all".

Expert Answers

Illustration by Aubrey Beardsley— The imagery of blood and time throughout also indicates corporeality. The plague may, in fact, represent typical attributes of human life and mortality, [2] which would imply the entire story is an allegory about man's futile attempts to stave off death a commonly accepted interpretation.

Its maze-like design and tall and narrow windows become almost burlesque in the final black room, so oppressive that "there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all". In this point of view, Prince Prospero is Poe as a wealthy young man, part of a distinguished family much like Poe's foster parentsthe Allans.

Under this interpretation, Poe is seeking refuge from the dangers of the outside world, and his portrayal of himself as the only person willing to confront the stranger is emblematic of Poe's rush towards inescapable dangers in his own life.

Poe describes it as causing "sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores" leading to death within half an hour. The disease may have been inspired by tuberculosis or consumption, as it was known thensince Poe's wife Virginia was suffering from the disease at the time the story was written.

Like the character Prince Prospero, Poe tried to ignore the fatality of the disease. Alternatively, the Red Death may refer to cholera ; Poe would have witnessed an epidemic of cholera in Baltimore, Maryland in In “The Masque of the Red Death,” Edgar Allan Poe uses symbolism to show that the stages of life will ultimately lead to death.

Poe‟s usage of colors within each chamber‟s interiors in Prince Prospero‟s castle creates a mood of transformation throughout life. Poe's most prolific use of color in the story is his use of both red, which to him symbolized terror, horror, an ending of life; and black, which symbolized death and destruction.

The final room, the red and black room, faces west, which represents the setting sun. The mummer -- the figure in the mask representing death -- is dressed all in black. Human Denial in The Masque of Red Death In "The Masque of Red Death", Edgar Allen Poe tells a story of human denial and struggle with death, especially among the wealthy.

Poe uses powerful images of sensual texture, color and symbols to show the passing of time and life.

The Poe Decoder - "The Masque of the Red Death"

Red - The most obvious color symbolism in "The Masque of the Red Death" is in its title. Red symbolizes death and blood.

In , Go! Media Entertainment published Wendy Pini's Masque of the Red Death. Adaptation by Richard Pini, art by Wendy Pini. This version is an erotic, illustrated webcomic, set in the future. In , Sterling Press published "The Masque of The Red Death" in Nevermore (Illustrated Classics): A Graphic Adaptation Of Edgar Allan Poe's . Symbolism of Color in ‘The Masque of the Red Death’ Edgar Allan Poe focuses an intense amount of information on the setup of Prospero’s suite within ‘The Masque of the Red Death’. The topic is addressed in the beginning of the story with great detail and is mentioned again during the final chase. One of Poe's most famous symbolic short stories is "The Masque of The Red Death," a tale about a prince and his followers trying to escape the plague. In this, there are many instances where symbolism takes the leading role in the plot and is very important in establishing the true meaning behind the story.

The gruesome description of the Red Death gives the color a ghastly connotation, especially in light of the red window panes contained in the death room at the far western end of the imperial suite.

Symbolism in the Masque of the Red Death Essay Words | 4 Pages. Arrogance Kills Edgar Allen Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" is a typical dark Poe story, but it contains some unique themes and symbolism.

In , Go!

Symbolism and Poe | Owlcation

Media Entertainment published Wendy Pini's Masque of the Red Death. Adaptation by Richard Pini, art by Wendy Pini. This version is an erotic, illustrated webcomic, set in the future. In , Sterling Press published "The Masque of The Red Death" in Nevermore (Illustrated Classics): A Graphic Adaptation Of Edgar Allan Poe's .

In "The Masque of Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe, what does the colour red represent? | eNotes