Symbolism In "The Masque Of The Red Death"



"The Masque of the Red Death" conjures up thoughts of mortality, rapture, and social hierarchies. The most accurate reading produces an allegory for the mortality of humanity, and more importantly the absoluteness of this mortality. Poe is careful not to preach an judgment of repentance and revelation, but rather remains satisfied by presenting a symbol ridden tale of the certainty of death with resounding notes of revelation and divinity.
The foremost symbol in the story is the seven rooms in Prospero's mansion. The seven rooms represent the seven ages of man. This is a firm indication of Poe's intention to echo man's mortality. Furthermore, the arrangement of the rooms from east to west ...

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the tale, as well as implying the presence of a divine power of judgment without explicitly stating it. The interpretation of the seven rooms contributes to Poe's allegory of man's absolute mortality, and also offers a prime example of the ambiguity one finds in Poe's work.
The omnipresent clock in the story is a clear representation of the power and presence of time. A more interesting point of notice in Poe's emphasis is on the fact that the clock consists of only the colors "ebony" and white. With the knowledge of Poe's Biblical awareness, this becomes significant. Christianity consists of absolute truths. Humanity is unable to thoroughly sift through worldly affairs, seeing things in shades of gray. The Christian faith sees God as one of supreme knowledge, possessing the ability to see everything as right or wrong, or as in the common phrase "black and white." The omnipotent actions of the clock suggest the presence of a supreme or divine power. The colors of the clock enforce ...

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Added: 12/21/2005 07:19:48 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 563
Pages: 3

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