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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prince Prospero shows his pride by believing that he could, with all his money and vast resources, actually escape death.  He retires, with a thousand of his most hearty friends "to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys."  He and his courtiers believe they are safe behind the "lofty wall" that encircles the edifice and its iron gates (which they actually weld shut to make it even more secure).  He believes that there is no way in to the abbey and no way out, that not even death will be able to sneak into his presence from the outside.  His proud insistence that money and status will keep him safe from the plague that is decimating his kingdom, that he can drink and revel away from the world in which everyone else must succumb, seems like the ultimate in hubris: overweening pride.  Prince Prospero feels that he is a man apart, that he can decide to escape death.  In the end, he learns that he is wrong.