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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Why is the prince determined to kill the intruder in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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Prince Prospero is desperate to kill the intruder because he believes that he's infected with the Red Death and will spread the deadly disease among his guests. The strange masked figure is the only guest not accounted for, and the prince has got it into his head that this party crasher must be infected with the disease. So he orders his guests to unmask the intruder so that he can be hanged at dawn.

But the guests are terrified by the intruder, and so it's left to Prospero to do the dirty deed. Wielding a dagger, he chases the masked intruder from room to room until, at last, he comes to the ghastly seventh room, which the frightened guests have avoided like the plague (no pun intended).

However, it's Prospero (not the intruder) who soon lies dead. The so-called masked intruder wasn't a person after all; it was none other than the Red Death itself, which now sets about claiming the lives of Prospero's guests one by one.

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