The Masque of the Red Death Symbolism

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In the story “Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe he uses many different ways of symbolism to describe life and death. All of these things symbolize life and death in some way. The “Red Death” comes and a lot of people start to die. This disease was contagious and deadly. The Prince decides to leave, but little does he know that no matter what you do or where you go, you can never escape death. The first symbol was about the giant ebony clock located in the black room.

When people think of the color black they think of darkness, or bad, so the meaning of the clock is death. Also, it’s symbol is that time flies fast. The clock was ticking, the bell chiming on the hour is an hourly reminder to all the people. The power of the stroking as the hours pass reminds the people that even outside the castle walls, time is happening, and even though they are safe inside, the clock reminds them of the horror outside. Their lives drifting away with the time and that death was near.

Secondly, another symbol is the name Prince Prospero. It automatically tells us he’s a person of good wealth and prestige. By using this name, Poe gives us information about the prince’s lifestyle, personality, and history withought having to waist time with details. The name shows us that this prince is popular with his people. The symbolism in this name is small but important. Prospero represents a good life, untouched by troubles or pain. Yet he did not overcome the Red Death.

Lastly, is the seven rooms, each room represented something in this story. It represented stages in life. For example, the color of the first room is blue, blue can symbolize a new start. Purple can be seen as a time when the human life is corrupted by reality. Green, the third room, can been seen as a time of growth and learning from one’s mistakes. White, the fifth room, might mean the time of peace. The last room is decorated in the color black, which is death. Without symbols this story would have ment nothing.

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The Masque of the Red Death Symbolism. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from

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