Behind the Mask

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"Seize and unmask him - that we may know whom we have to hang, at sunrise, from the battlements!" (Poe p. 8)

Most often we are afraid of what we do not know. This is also true of Prince Prospero, who was not only angered that someone had crashed his party, but also that the person was hidden by a mask. His anger was a direct result of the fear he felt.

The mask  added to the personification and mystery of the Red Death while creating suspense of what would be behind it; was it a man, a figure, a ghost, or a corpse?. In truth, , it really didn't matter what was behind the mask, because we knew it all along.

3 Comments

Jennifer Prex said:

That was an interesting choice to personify the Red Death as a creepy uninvited guest to a masked ball hiding behind a mask looking like the face of a stiffened corpse. It was a way of giving a physical being responsibility for this plague that no one understood.

Jeremy Barrick said:

I think that the mask could be a representation for fear. The prince did not know what was underneath it, yet he was so confident. When faced with our personal utmost fears, we tend to stand brave before we greet them. Then completely brekdown when they occur. So I am agreeing with you on this. Fear is a normal aspect of our lives.

Kayla Lesko said:

I think that the mask was there to let people know right off the bat that they were staring into the face of death itself.

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Jennifer Prex on Behind the Mask: That was an interesting choice