How was the narrative misleading in "The Masque of the Red Death" by Edgar Allen Poe? I am trying to combine how the narrative contributed to the imagery portion of the "The Masque of the Red Death."

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The descriptions revolving around the masked ball (and those present at it) are the main way in which Poe's great story misleads. When Prince Prospero sees the figure "disguised" with the marks of the Red Death (the plague), he assumes it is a particular daring guest, and challenges the person. He pursues him, and the impression is that the figure has a physical form; that's how the story sounds. However, when Prospero catches him, there's nobody (and no body) inside. It's just the Red Death. This symbolizes the presence of the plague nicely…but what happened on the literal level? Was the prince hallucinating? Was there a spirit of death? Etc.

Greg

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial