What kind of atmosphere or mood do the descriptions of the party create in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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kwoo1213 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prince Prospero holds a masquerade ball and locks his guests and himself in his home to prevent them from getting the "Red Death."  The rooms in his home each have a different theme and are festively decorated; however, the final room is black and has blood red windows which are ghastly looking. This room is one the guests avoid.  Another interesting addition is the large black clock that ticks loudly, as if signaling the coming end of the guests' lives:

When it sounds each hour the sound is so disconcerting that the musicians stop playing and the party halts momentarily. (eNotes)

The guests, however, continue to have a wonderful time and enjoy themselves immensely, until they notice a guest that they had not seen previously:

The unrecognizable one is dressed in such a way as to excite terror in the other partygoers. Whilst many among them wear hideous and even frightening costumes, only this figure excites true terror. He is shrouded in burial robes with a death mask covering his face, As a final grotesque touch his face and body are spread with blood. (eNotes)
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The Masque of the Red Death

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