The Masque of the Red Death Essay
The Masque of the Red Death
1. Poe was a master “wordsmith.” Through carefully chosen diction he is able to create a psychological effect on his reader. What effect did his description of “Red Death,” in the very first paragraph of the story, have on you? Quote those details that provoke this response from you.
Through Poe’s diction there was a psychological effect made on the reader.
“The “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar(1) and its seal – the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.” From his description i thought of the outbreak of the bubonic plague that devastated western europe.
2. Why does Poe rely heavily on imagery to provide a detailed description of Prospero’s hall?
I believe poe tried to portray the Dukes behavior for us to get a glimpse of why people thought he was mad.
3. “He had come like a thief in the night.” Where in literature is this allusion taken from? What is the significance of the allusion? You may need to put the expression into a search engine in order to find the source of the allusion.
This phrase is from the Bible in 1 Thessalonian.The significance of it is that you should keep your guard up because you never know when a “thief” will sneak up on you.
4. The most featured word throughout the story is blood, yet Poe has carefully chosen it to represent horror. Find two passages in the story, where the word blood is used to describe the color. Substitute a word of your choosing and write the passage. Is the passage as effective with your substitution? Why or why not?
1.“But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet – a deep blood color.”
2. “But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all.” 1.But in this room only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. The panes here were scarlet – a deep blood color.”
2.But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was awful in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all.
For the first passage mine sounded less dark due to the word “chamber” being more grim. The second passage was also not as effective due to awful not fitting into the scene of the passage as ghastly.
5. Read the passage highlighted in green. List and define those words in the passage that you think produce an emotional effect on the reader. Explain your choices.
Excited – very enthusiastic and eager.
Bizarre – very strange or unusual, esp. so as to cause interest or amusement.
Delirious – in an acutely disturbed state of mind resulting from illness or intoxication and characterized by restlessness, illusions, and incoherence of thought and speech.
Disgust – a feeling of revulsion or profound disapproval aroused by something unpleasant or offensive.
Madman – a man who is mentally ill
Wanton – (of a cruel or violent action) deliberate and unprovoked.
The words chosen are descriptive to the situation and create an image/emotion for the reader.
1. Sadness and grief are two emotions that are almost alike. They vary in intensity. Which word better describes this poem, sadness or grief? Why?
I believe that it is grief that this poem conveys. This is due to the writer feeling prolonged periods sadness, loneliness, and mourning. We can see this from “For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;”.
2. List the words that you think give the poem a haunting effect. chilling