Ligea and the masque of the red death

Ligea and the masque of the red death

  • Type of paperEssay (Any Type)
  • SubjectEnglish
  • Number of pages4
  • Format of citationMLA
  • Number of cited resources0
  • Type of serviceWriting from scratch

4-5 pages typed mla formatted indent first line of paragraph 250 words or more on each page point by point structure content in 3rd person analyze 3 elements in gothic horror and the theme of the will to live gothiv elements to be used is – supernatural repetition transformation death blood cursed or blessed object live burial Sample of thesis statement to be used ( Poe″s ″ the masque of the death AND ligea both explore the theme of the theme the will to live through gothic elements


The Masque of the Red Death

            Initially published as ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Mask of the Red Death” follows the journey of Prince Prospero’s efforts to evade a dangerous pestilence called the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. The story shadows various traditions of Gothic fiction and is often considered as a metaphor about the predictability of death. The Red Death, regarded as a bloody disease that executes a person swiftly with a seizure and bleeding from the pores, threatens and terrorizes the country. This paper gives a summary on various themes explored in the short story that the people attempts to live through the gothic experiences and fears. The themes of the story tend to focus on the significance of impossibility, irrespective of one’s wealth, power and influence, of fleeing the realities of mortality.

How on earth could it be that Poe’s story, called “The Masque of the Red Death” certainly not be about death and mortality? They are portrayed everywhere within the story – the theme of death and mortality. From the commencement of the story, through its descriptions of the Red Death plague, to the concluding context about mortality’s territory. The symbols and images of death portrayed pragmatically trickles from the story’s pages, with the essence of prompting the reader of death and its inescapability. All the characters in the story try to disregard death and tend to escape it, engrossing such an optimistic mentality of focusing on living the life to its fullest, “This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron.” However, Poe’s key objective suggests that mortality cannot be escaped, as they are reminded when Death plainly crashes their entertainment party. Prince Prospero goes through a lot of pain and trauma as he tries to escape death. The iron gates and amply provisioned are customized to stop any infection or disease from catching up with him and his guests. Whilst Prince tried to avoid death from living inside his castle, death itself remained outside. As the story folds, it is seen that what was once regarded a lovely place to enjoy life to the fullest, becomes a prison for the prince and his guests. Significantly, he creates a perfect tomb for him and his invited guests. Every context within the story insinuates death, and its impossibility to escape it. The particular nature of the Red Death creates the context of death itself. The symbol of a red death, because it suggests blood, is the predictable image of death. In this essence of rationality, every guest in the rooms wears a mask of red – symbolizes that death is visible beneath the blood.


Allan Poe’s key objective in “The Masque of the Red Death” is to express and create a rising sense of fear and horror in his audience – the theme of fear. At the onset of the story, the initial sentence and the context straight through the story tend to outlay the dark climax engrossing the essence of fear and horror. “Blood was its Avatar and its seal – the redness and the horror of blood.” There exist no source of stability nor comfort that would drive the readers of Poe’s story in letting them feel at home and at peace of mind. The horror and fear are portrayed in the dread felt by the masqueraders in the story, towards their own demise and anything that tends to prompt them of it. Over the course of the story, the people’s fear shapes up in an evidently observable style, from a nervous discomfort to an unspeakable horror at the highpoint. And the whole seizure, progress, and termination of the disease were the incidents of half an hour. The categorization of the artwork in the rooms perhaps tends to signify the seven cycle of a man, from the blue that signifies the beginning of life, to black that signifies the darkness of night and death. As much as Prospero was trying to develop an illusion of art, the final realization to the reader is projected towards the sequence that inclines fear and horror. The image of the clock in the last room also suggest so: “Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzes perforce ceased their evolutions;…”

Another key theme explored in the Poe’s short story submerges us in an atmosphere that feels more dreamlike than real – the theme of versions of reality. The version of reality is in no small context, emanating from the fact that as the story develops, Poe draws the readers more entirely into a society imagined by Prince Prospero, the developer of the castle where the story folds an interesting turn. ”Prospero is an eccentric artist figure – he may actually be mad – and everything in the masquerade ball he throws bears the mark of his weird but ingenious artistry.” Even the seven decoratively painted rooms in which the ball is held, to the whirling, writhing, costumed masqueraders, tend to insinuate that everything is indeed eccentric and imagined, just like a dream or a work of art spun out of control. However, the Poe’s point was that the imagined and eccentric life and experiences would mean otherwise. In other words, Prince Prospero attempt to escape life into a realm hermetically closed off into a world very much like Poe’s notion of the artwork itself. The notion, therefore, draws a lot of sense – at last everyone present will seek their fate somewhere in the castle, and as the prince’s name signifies happiness, his life surely ends up as all life ends.

Death and life come up against each other in the summary above. The figure of Prince Prospero is considered as such of health, wealth and that lives beyond the fears and vulnerability, as much as the Red Death is puzzling him for his position. Whilst the plague sweeps away the masses easily, in reality, Prospero simply hands over himself and his guests over to the Red Death. If his lively abbey would not have shown a determined neglect of the plague that swept away his kingdom and killed his people, then, the extravagant presentation surely does.