What happens to the people who have the Red Death?  

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Red Death refers to the Great Plague of 1665. It was worst in the poor areas of London. Symptoms of the Plague were first red, circular blotches on the skin. The blotches turned into pus filled sacs. They were very painful. After this stage, the patient experienced intense sneezing, that ended in death.

The disease spread quickly. The wealthy people escaped to the countryside. The poor people could not escape. A big red x was pinted on the door if someone in a family has the Plague. They had to stay indoors for 40 days and 40 nights.

msmegmaynard eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Red Death in this story is a reference to the Black Plague, but does not bear the same symptoms. Poe describes the disease as so sudden, gruesome, and contagious that even friends and family of the stricken will not be near them as they die.

The Red Death begins with tremors, and then the infected begin bleeding from their pores, especially from the pores in their faces. It is in this manner that they bleed to death within the span of 30 minutes. You can see why the Prince and his buddies would want to avoid this.

Read the study guide:
The Masque of the Red Death

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