What mood does Poe evoke in "The Masque Of The Red Death"?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The mood, which is a mixture of revelry and terror, is the whole purpose of this particular story, which differs from many of Poe's other stories in relying so heavily on description with little action or plot development. Poe seems to be describing human life. He was preoccupied with thoughts of death, and he seems to be showing mataphorically how people know that life is futile and death is inescapable but humans will still continue to seize whatever pleasure they can and continue to behave as if they are immortal. The mood of "The Masque of the Red Death" is strikingly similar to that evoked by Poe's poem "The Conqueror Worm," which is likewise a reflection on human mortality and the inevitability of death. The mood of both these works is unrelentingly depressing and even horrifying. What is obviously from both works is any hint of the kind of hope that has been offered by religions. A somewhat similar mood is evoked by Poe's famous poem "The Raven."

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user3778901 | eNotes Newbie

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"the figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask was made to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse. And yet all this might have been endured by the mad reveler. But the mummer has gone so far as to assume the type of the red death. His virtue was dabbed in blood-and his broad brow was be sprinkled with the scarlet horror. When the eyes of prince prospero fell upon the spectral image, his brow reddened with rage." Explain how this scene conveys the mood of the story? Use text evidence to support your answer .

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