The short story “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe has often been interpreted as an allegory, most of its elements being considered symbolic of human existence between life and death.

Also, like most of Edgar Allan Poe’s fiction, it is believed that the story has been inspired by autobiographical elements, such as Poe’s wife being sick and dying of tuberculosis (the Red Death in the story), or Poe’s prosperity while he was young (Prospero being a symbol of Poe himself).

Regarding structure, the short story follows a more or less traditional plot with gothic elements; it has an exposition, a rising action (which is mostly descriptive), a climax, a falling action and a resolution.


The title of the short story already announces the Gothic genre the story falls in because it indicates the narrative will have something to do with the macabre and death. Still, it can be a little ambiguous at first, because we do not know whether someone is going to wear a masque of the Red Death or if, symbolically, the Red Death is going to disgu...

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