What happened to the other people at the party in "The Masque of the Red Death"?
In Poe's classic short story "The Masque of the Red Death," Prince Prospero invites a thousand of his aristocratic friends to seclude themselves inside his magnificent castellated abbey to survive the Red Death. Outside of the abbey's walls, a deadly pestilence called the Red Death wreaks havoc throughout the countryside, severely diminishing the population. While the Red Death is ravishing the countryside, Prince Prospero and his aristocrat friends indulge in alcohol and party without a care in the world. Around the fifth or sixth month of their seclusion, Prince Prospero holds a bizarre masquerade in his seven-room imperial suite.
During the ball, the aristocrats wear grotesque, unique costumes and participate in the revelry as they travel from room to room. As the masqueraders are enjoying the celebration, the ebony clock strikes twelve and the personification of the Red Death enters the imperial suite. Prince Prospero initially instructs the aristocrats to seize the intruder but no one dares touch the Red Death. The Red Death then proceeds to walk towards the seventh chamber.
Prospero follows the Red Death with the intention of killing him and suddenly dies at the figure's feet. The masqueraders then rush toward the Red Death in the seventh chamber and discover that the shrouds and corpselike mask hide no tangible form at all. Upon their discovery, the courtiers fall down and die one by one while the flames of the tripod expire.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial