The theme of his story "The Masque of the Red Death"greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
Could someone pleas tell me what the theme of "The Masque of the Red Death" is. I wll really help me out on my paper that is due. THANK YOU VERY MUCH
-- Anonymous, September 22, 2002
Themes can be deceptively simple, especially when it is a popular tale by an ingenious writer of high poetic depth. Get a feel for the theme from other stories like "The Fall of the House of Usher" or "The Pit and the Pendulum" where the theme overall is the doomed man struggling vainly against the inevitable triumph of death by his ingenuity and brain. The hero is enthralled and caught up in the power of fear and surrender at the same time as he uses all his mental powers to fight it off, a self-contradiction that shows the hold death has. Now Prospero is the most vain and figure in power and denail, building a whole enclosed refuge filled with art and amusements to rebel abgainst the dominion of the Red Death whi is everywhere outside. Still it is cluastrophobic, still the Black Room and the Clock are built in reminders of encroaching doom. Why did Prospero include such betraying obsessions? Because he is thame split personality, self-defeating, rebellious, artful, intelligent who in the end must lose to the conqueror. it is interesting to see how the various protagonists, sharing that same split and that same struggle face their doom. Prospero attacks in rage. Usher is fearstruck, embraced by his dying sister and dies of the fear itself. The soldier in the "the Pit..." bravely makes one last choice remaining for a painful death rather than plunge into the utmost fear. Poe was great at variations on a theme. Try some other tales or poems.
-- Anonymous, September 24, 2002