What is the plot of "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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janeyb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Masque of the Red Death is a story of many levels, but basically its a macabre tale of death. Prince Prospero learns that the Red Death ( a plague) has been sweeping the country killing people. He takes a thousand of his most loyal supporters and sequesters them within his castle walls to prevent them from getting sick. No one may enter or leave the abbey. After several months Prince Prospero decides to have a masquerade ball to alleviate what surely must be boredom. The party is extravagant and beautiful with seven different rooms all decorated differently. The party guests start to notice one guest whose costume truly terrifies them, he is wearing burial robes and a mask of death, his clothing covered in blood. Prospero tells the partygoers that they must unmask the figure to see who would dare insult the prince. The partygoers are slow to do so, because they are scared. The Prince catches up with the figure, looks at him, gasps, and drops dead. The partygoers go to attack the figure and find only robes, they have been visited by the Red Death. They all fall down dead and the castlelights soon extinguish.

mickey2bailey eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pain lingers on beyond these castle walls.
The red death is taking them all while the king and his court dance the night away at the masquerade.
The hour of midnight grows near.
Masque of the red death; No one is safe from the poisonous plague that you breed.                                                 Dance while you may in the dark of the room with the stranger
Laugh while you may, laugh at the danger.
Is this a message from god or fate guiding hideous hands?
Won't you show us your face?
Masque of the red death no one is safe from the poisonous plague that you breed
Masque of the red death no one is saved, no one remembers your name
On and on, one by one we fall into the bleeding arms of the stranger                                                                   Ripping the masque from your face I feel your disease running
through my veins
A new king of death threatens us all
Masque of the red death
No one is safe........

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The Masque of the Red Death

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