Featuring many of the tropes which define the genre, we witness in its pages a grim setting of a castle, and its multiple rooms which themselves resemble aspects of human personality.
The story is not without its ironies: Prospero's castle, while mighty as an ideal guard against the disease ravaging the lands outside, ultimately serves an as an oppressor to the Prince Prospero, his wealthy guests, and his retinue. As the tension ratchets and the great and majestic masquerade turns to one of horror, we witness Poe's evocative flair for grim and horrific prose.
Given the description of its symptoms, it is possible that the titular Red Death was inspired by tuberculosis, which was rife among the European continent throughout the 19th century. The Red Death somewhat resembles a highly accelerated form of consumption, which was a terror in society.
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About the Author
Creator of the modern detective story, innovative architect of the horror genre, and a poet of extraordinary musicality, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) remains one of America’s most popular and influential writers. His books of collected tales and poems brim with psychological depth, almost painful intensity, and unexpected — and surprisingly modern — flashes of dark humor and irony.