What is the most interesting deatail in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The most interesting detail in this short story for me is the detail we are provided of Prince Prospero in the second paragraph, who, even though his kingdom is being struck terribly badly by the ravaging plague of the Red Death, determines that this symbol of mortality and death will not impact his own personal life and his determination to live and party forever:

But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired into the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys.

Prospero thus tries to ignore the realities of death and attempts to escape it by locking himself away, thinking that death is a force that can be outwitted in this way. The stage is thus set for a rather unpleasant reminder of mankind's own mortality and susceptability to death, no matter how hard we ignore it or how we lock ourselves away from it. The story, through this detail, is really shown to be an allegory about the futility of trying to avoid dying, which is something that will come to us all.

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The Masque of the Red Death

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