The Masque of the Red Death Movie Review

The Masque of the Red Death: An American Horror Film

The Masque of the Red Death is an American horror film loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's tales. Vincent Price plays the title character. This movie is known for its eerie allusions to other stories, characters, and time. Read on to discover how to analyze the film and get started on your own reading! You'll be glad you did! And don't forget to read my article on Masque of the Red Death trivia!

Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic Horror Story

One of the most classic gothic horror stories is Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," which is more than one hundred years old. Poe's story takes place in an unnamed country ravaged by a deadly "pestilence." The ambiguous setting of the story lends an element of "once upon a time" to the story. The author uses the technique of personification to assign human traits to animals and non-human objects. He capitalizes the word "Decay" and other terms to give them a mythic quality.

Interpretations of The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death has many interpretations. It can be seen as a morality tale with biblical implications, or a twisted vision of a madman. Regardless of the interpretation, the novel is a compelling read, exploring the relationship between death and art, as well as the futility of trying to avoid it. Poe's use of vivid imagery and an illusive narrative voice helps the story achieve a unity of effect.

Allusions to Other Stories

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" is a parable about the human response to death and mortality. Prince Prospero and his "thousand friends" attempt to use their material privileges to escape death. However, no amount of wealth or entertainment can free us from this fear. Neither can security or entertainment keep us from dying. Ultimately, life and death are inextricably linked.

Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

"The Masque of the Red Death" contains allusions to other works of literature. For example, Poe's most famous use of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" can be seen in the final line of the story, which is apocalyptic in nature. Further, Poe capitalized the words Decay and Darkness, elevating them above their ordinary meaning.

Biblical References

In his "The Masque of the Red Death," Edgar Allan Poe made allusions to the Bible. His characters, including the Red Death, equate him with King Herod and the divine being. Poe also referred to the day of the lord in Thessalonians 5:2. He used biblical references to enhance his theme. Many modern readers might also notice the use of these allusions.

Allusions to Time

"The Masque of the Red Death" has many allusions to time, but perhaps none is more prominent than in the description of the clock in the seventh room. The clock marks the passing of time in all the rooms, from birth to death, and it represents the protagonist's preoccupation with Time as the instrument of death. It is significant that Poe capitalizes the word "time" to indicate that he is not using the word in its literal sense. The clock is a metaphor for time in the lives of the characters, and the masked figure marks the passing of the hours in their mortal lives.


The novel "The Masque of the Red Death" has been interpreted as the interior monologue of a madman. The protagonist, Prince Prospero, mentions in passing the possibility that he is insane, but distances himself from the opinion of his followers. This interpretation does not necessarily mean that the novel is a satire of madness. Rather, it highlights the importance of reading Poe's work for its complexities and the human nature of its characters.

Exploring Human Folly and Mortality

"The Masque of the Red Death" is a literary parable that explores human folly and the response of people to mortality. The wrathful Red Death represents mortality, and Prince Prospero and his "thousand friends" attempt to escape their mortality by using material privileges to escape their impending demise. Yet, no amount of wealth or security can eliminate the fear of death.

The Setting of "The Masque of the Red Death"

If you're planning to read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death," you may be wondering what the setting was like. This is important because it impacts everything that happens in the story, from the people to the characters. The setting helps the reader imagine the setting, as well as create the atmosphere and feelings that will drive the story. There are three main types of setting: historic, fictional, and fictitious.

A Gothic Horror Story Set in 1842

Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" is a gothic horror story written in 1842. The novel depicts a masked ball where a mysterious figure, disguised as a victim of the plague, crashes the party. The story also involves the masked figure that infects the masquerade ball and kills everyone in it. Although this story may seem like a gothic tale, the setting is what really makes this story scary.

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