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

The Masque of the Red Death book cover
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What methods do people use to try to avoid death in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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As the surrounding countryside suffers the devastating effects of the deadly pestilence known as the Red Death, Prince Prospero and a thousand of his most revered knights and dames seclude themselves inside his castellated abbey. Prince Prospero then has the massive iron gates bolted shut to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the abbey and has his castle stocked with ample provisions. Essentially, the prince and his aristocrat friends attempt to avoid the Red Death by secluding themselves inside his secure abbey and waiting until the pestilence runs its course. Poe writes,

With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think.

While the Red Death devastates the surrounding countryside and wreaks havoc on the population, Prince Prospero and his wealthy friends mock Death by indulging in alcohol and participating in light-hearted revelries. Despite their attempts to survive the pestilence, the personification of the Red Death enters the abbey during Prospero's bizarre masquerade and kills everyone inside.

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