The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

The Masque of the Red Death book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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 info

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

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.


Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Unlock This Answer Now