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The Masque of the Red Death: Language and Symbolism Edgar Allen Poe's The Masque of the Red Death is an elaborate allegory that combines objects in the story with visual descriptions to give focus to the reader's imagination. In the story,a prince named Properso tries to dodge the Red Death through isolation and seclusion. He hidesbehind impenetrable walls of his castellated abbey and lets the world take care of its own. But nowalls can stop death because it is unavoidable and inevitable. Visual descriptions in the story areused to symbolize death. Poe's use of language and symbolism is shown in his description of theseventh room in the suite, the ebony clock, and the fire. These objects are used to depict thetheme of the story death "held illimitable dominion over all" (363).The first symbolic mean of death is depicted in the seventh room in the suite. Poe says,"The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over theceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue"(359). He uses the seventh room to symbolize the final stage of life, death. He sees the blackvelvet tapestries as blood flowing from the ceiling and walls to the floor. The relationshipbetween blood and death is important because he wants the reader to have a visual image of theblood pouring down the walls as a form of death.The fire lighting the suite of rooms is another object in the story that represented death.He says, "...There stood, opposite to each window, a heavy tripod, bearing a brazier of fire thatprojected its rays through the tinted glass... But in the western or black chamber the effect of thefirelight that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in theextreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered..." (359). Thefire was meant to produce a shadowy atmosphere in the west and a favorable one in the e...

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