How does Prince Prospero invite death into his home in the story "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Prince invites death into his home simply by virtue of his being mortal. Further, his proud belief that he can somehow render himself invulnerable to death is even greater reason for death to enter his home and take him.

When the prince retires to the abbey with one thousand of his healthiest and most amusing lords and ladies, he stocks the residence with enough supplies to last as long as necessary. "The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion." Thus, despite the fact that "no pestilence had ever been so fatal," the prince and his friends believe that they can hold themselves apart, that their fortune and position entitle them to life when half of the kingdom has already perished of this disease. The prince, especially, is incredibly proud and arrogant, and people who believe that they can escape death are always wrong. His pride makes him a ready target for death's attentions because death always wins, and it does not care about one's position or wealth.

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The Masque of the Red Death

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