The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

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Why is madness/insanity the theme of "The Masque of the Red Death"?

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Prince Prospero and his guests certainly give the impression that they're incredibly eccentric, if not completely insane. After all, their response to a deadly plague raging throughout the land is to lock themselves inside a giant castellated abbey and have themselves a ball while thousands of people outside suffer a painful, lingering death.

The suggestion here is that once people start isolating themselves from society, they're forced back on their own limited resources. All too...

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