The Masked Figure
The ‘‘masked figure’’ that appears at Prince Prospero's costume ball is the most illusive ‘‘character'' in the story. Upon the stroke of midnight, the guests first notice this ‘‘masked figure,’’ who is ‘‘tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave,’’ and looks like the corpse of a body afflicted by the Red Death, its face ‘‘besprinkled with the scarlet horror.’’ Prince Prospero orders that the figure be unmasked and hanged at dawn, but his guests refuse to unmask him. The...
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