Edgar Allan Poe 's The Masque Of The Red Death Essay

845 Words Dec 3rd, 2014 4 Pages
Edgar Allan Poe was one of America 's greatest writers. He is considered the father of horror. Poe wrote many intriguing poems and short stories throughout his life. Most of Poe’s stories are allegories and contain many symbols. An allegory is a narrative in which characters and settings stand for abstract ideas or moral qualities. A symbol is a person, place, or event that stands for itself and for something beyond itself. One of Poe 's most famous short stories is “The Masque of the Red Death.” Today the symbolism and meaning of it are still passionately debated among scholars and critics. The true meaning of “The Masque of the Red Death” can be found in the many symbols used by Poe in this ingenious work. Poe uses allegory and symbolism to represent the inevitability of death.
Poe uses symbolism in the names he uses in his story. In the beginning of the story Poe introduces a deadly disease known as the “Red Death”. “The ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men” (420). The “Red Death” has symptoms very similar to those of tuberculosis, a sickness that caused the victim to cough blood and killed many of those dear to Poe. People who had ingested tuberculosis were often barricaded inside their own houses where they could not have contact with the outside…

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