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 are the gothic elements present?

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Setting is crucial in qualifying Gothic literature; typically there is a gloominess with death and decay evident. From the opening sentences, we are presented with a gruesome death that is gripping the land:

The “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood.

The action begins with the background of death, one that is quite fatal and hideous. The seventh apartment, which is the most clearly described, is hung in black velvet tapestries, and the window panes are a deep, blood-red color. Fires provide the light for the chambers, and in the seventh room, this provides quite the gruesome atmosphere:

In the western or black chamber the effect of the firelight that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold...

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