The Masque of the Red Death Questions and Answers
by Edgar Allan Poe

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In "The Masque of the Red Death," what does blood symbolize?

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Blood symbolizes death or, more precisely, mortality. The "redness and horror" of blood is the "avatar" of the disease--which leads to sudden bleeding from the pores and a quick death. Much of the story has to do with the juxtaposition of the revelers with the passage of time (represented by the chiming clock) and the approach, with passing time, of mortality, represented in the story by the masked figure. While the prince thinks he can avoid death by locking himself and his friends away from the outside world, what the story shows is that time and mortality are ever present. In the same way, the blood, which gives life as long as it is "hidden" inside our bodies, becomes the...

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