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Why does Prince Prospero decide to have a masquerade?

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chencorb | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:57 AM via web

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Why does Prince Prospero decide to have a masquerade?

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amethystrose | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM (Answer #1)

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Six months after locking himself and one thousand of his nearest and dearest friends within a sealed palace in an effort to escape a deadly plague, Prospero decided to throw a lavish masque.  The party was to celebrate their "escape" from the Red Death which claimed its victims within thirty minutes of contracting the disease.  Unfortunately, Prospero partied too soon and learned the hard way that no one can escape death.  A grotesque masked figure appeared at a party where everyone was dressed in bizarre costumes, but this lone figure had the audacity to dress as the Red Death.  In his anger, he chased the figure through the seven chambers of the hall and it finally turned to confront him in the final chamber... the black room with red windows.  The instant Prospero came near, he dropped dead, and soon so did everyone else at the party.  Death will not be cheated.

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mrc1028 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 6, 2009 at 3:32 AM (Answer #2)

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In addition to the previous answer, it should be noted that Prince Prospero suffered from too much pride.  Pride is often the factor that leads to a character's downfall in fiction.  The Masquerade was being held because Prospero was spitting in the face of Death.  The moral of the story, is that no one can escape death in the end.

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