In "The Masque of the Red Death," what techniques are used to describe the setting?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Poe sets a distinct horrific mood with his setting. He begins by explaining that the Red Death is sweeping through the land claiming everyone in its path. On a side note, Poe lost the three most important women in his life to tuberculosis so this story was a way that he could illustrate the finiteness of life. Prince Prospero believed that his wealth ad popularity could save him from the Red Death and so the story opens upon his castle which has been sealed and prepared for a great party. The rooms are arranged by color from east to west. Each color representing a stage in life ranging from east to west, as the sun rises and sets so a life rises and sets as well. Poe's main techniques are his language and symbolism that he uses to set the stage for this short story. The language, which is dark in nature and the symbolism of the rooms, positioning of the rooms, and the colors. No one escapes death in this story.

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The Masque of the Red Death

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