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Twisted Characters And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death

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Edgar Allen Poe worked hard on his poems and stories which showed greatly in his work. Though many people believe his work, at first glance, is just nonsensical though behind the big words are deep meanings and connections they have towards us. Poe’s work has become timeless and a big part of the education system over the years. We still read Poe’s work for its depth and exploration of fear and horror and deep meaning behind several of his stories. His work is timeless and memorable because of its descriptive details of the things we still fear today and use of words which brings us to the story’s world.

Poe’s use of diction helps convey a scenario and imagery in our heads as if we are actually in the story itself. The choice of words gives us an idea of elements of the story such as the characters personality, what’s going on in the story, and how the overall structure of the story. In the story, The Masque of The Red Death, it says, “The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the past ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men.” This quote gives us a clear view of what the main problem can do to a victim in the story. This helps establish a fearful and scary mood which puts the reader on edge using phrases and words such as “scarlet stains”, “victim”, and “shut him out from aid”. Knowing the disastrous effects of the disease makes us worried for the characters which appeal to us in a way that makes the readers want to find out what happens. This quote is important because it gives us an image in our heads of this specific scene in the story. In the story, The Cask of Amontillado, it says, “I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is undressed, when retribution overtakes its redresser.” This quote builds suspense and establishes a dark mood using words such as punish and impunity which are being used in a negative tone. It also shows us how the main character is like and what the story is going to be about. We are viewing the story from only one point of view which makes it even more suspenseful. This quote is important because it starts off the story strong and interesting making the reader want to read more. All these components Edgar Allen Poe includes in his stories such as suspensefulness gives an interesting aspect to his stories making them memorable and is why we continue to read them.

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Poe uses his characters and important parts of his stories to portray a deeper meaning than what it seems to have. Symbolism in Poe’s stories have meanings that differ throughout each person making the stories more of a mystery and more interesting to read. In the story, The Masque of The Red Death, it says, “The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The third was green throughout, and so were the casements. The fourth was furnished and lighted with orange—the fifth with white—the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue.” As the story goes on, we get a better idea on what these rooms mean which gives us an idea of what might happen in the future. This symbolism makes his work timeless since it enhances the meaning behind the whole story and the theme. In the story, Annabel Lee, it says, “That the wind came out of the cloud by night, Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.” Poe uses his characters to symbolize his emotions and the events going on in his life and how he reacted towards it. This quote is important because he was able to turn simple feelings into deep and intense emotions he felt. This quote is important because we are able to compare this part of the story with Poe’s real life and explore how they are the same and different. We still read Poe’s stories to go into his shoes and get an idea of his motivation to write these stories.

Poe’s stories relate to human emotions which we feel almost every single day, such as fear and happiness. Poe uses his twisted characters, suspense and fears to engage the reader into reading more and being relatable to the readers. In the story, The Pit and the Pendulum, it says, “A fearful idea now suddenly drove the blood in torrents upon my heart, and for a brief period I once more relapsed into insensibility. Upon recovering, I at once started to my feet, trembling convulsively in every fibre.” The way Poe tells and describes the story brings out a fear in us which relates to the as if we’re also experiencing the event. In the story, The Masque of The Red Death, it says, “The “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous.” This quote explores human disasters which in this case, a catastrophic disease, which we fear will happen sooner or later. This story goes into detail about the effects of the disaster which triggers panic and alarm in us, making us worried and full of adrenaline if this happened right now. This quote is important because Poe believed the first sentence of any piece of work should set up the mood for the story which he uses to ignite horror into his stories to foreshadow how the rest will play out. Poe’s stories and their relations with several human emotions lure us into reading more and more of his meaningful work.

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Twisted Characters And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death. (2021, September 22). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“Twisted Characters And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death.” Edubirdie, 22 Sept. 2021,
Twisted Characters And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 5 Mar. 2024].
Twisted Characters And Symbolism In The Masque Of The Red Death [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 22 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from:
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