The Masque of the Red Death
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The Masque of the Red Death

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  11,213 ratings  ·  272 reviews
The story follows Prince Prospero's attempts to avoid a dangerous plague known as the Red Death by hiding in his abbey. He, along with many other wealthy nobles, has a masquerade ball within seven rooms of his abbey, each decorated with a different color.

In the midst of their revelry, a mysterious figure disguised as a Red Death victim enters and makes his way through eac...more
Paperback, 54 pages
Published by Tale Blazers (first published 1842)
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Masks
8th out of 165 books — 74 voters


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Erin (Paperback Stash)
In one of my Literature textbooks, this is the story the book chose to best set the example of how important setting can be to a story.

Poe's incredible talent in setting mood through the most miniscule of details is powerful as he establishes dread, irony, and a hefty infusion of Gothic feel by detailing the colors of a series of rooms and what they represent to the audience and characters. The symbolism of the clock is musical and alluring; the ominous clang and the dancers reactions, with its...more
Shanon (Escaping With Fiction)
This short story is hands down one of my favorite Poe stories! I love the symbolism and imagery in this tale. Basically, the "Red Death" is a plague that is wreaking havoc on the town in the story and Prince Prospero decides to lock himself, and many of his friends, away in his home. He ultimately ends up hosting a very grand masquerade party and while him and his people are lavishly partying it up within the confines of his sanctuary, everyone else is dying a terrible death. There are seven uni...more
Kristina
Without a doubt, this is my FAVORITE, FAVORITE, FAVORITE EAP short story. Oh my goodness all the symbolism, the creepy feelings, the gothic horror. Oh my! Do yourself a favor and read this! I found that I liked it even more because we read this in my freshman English class and so we broke it down to the most basic level and I was able to appreciate the writing so much more.
Kruti
So damn eerie and beautiful! On one hand, it's a simple story where guests at a party meet their ultimate demise but nothing's so simple when it comes to Poe.

His stories are painted so vividly and if you look past the simple plot, you'll notice the subtleties; you'll see the exquisite imagery and the symbolism. It's a powerful story with a bleak message: you can't hide from death. No matter how hard you try. It will creep upon you like a thief in the night. Ready to take the one thing we have l...more
Thomas
A good short story with a fascinating setting. You have to read it a few times to ascertain any deeper meaning, though one read through would provide enjoyment too. Great for Halloween, and picking up the symbolism behind the deeper colors, the inclusion of sickness, various social classes, etc. made it fun to dissect in short story club. If you're searching for a scary yet thought-provoking piece, I'd highly recommend Masque of the Red Death.
Tammy
Deliciously creepy and atmospheric - Poe is an absolute master at creating an impending sense of doom right from the start; only to leave you feeling highly unsettled long after you've finished reading it.

I hope Bethany Griffin's Masque of Red Death will be as good!
Jason
I heard about this story while reading about The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers. I don’t remember reading any Poe (I think I read a condensed version of The Fall of the House of Usher when I was younger), and even after learning of the climax, I decided to sit down and read it for myself. Fortunately I have my brother's hardcover mystery collection, and Masque of the Red Death is included in the Poe volume.

SUMMARY
At some point in history (or the future, or some other world), a terrible dis...more
Glenn Russell
I’ve always felt a strong connection to Poe’s ‘The Masque of the Red Death’, perhaps because I listen to loads of medieval music, perhaps because I enjoy the art and history and philosophy of that period, or, perhaps because I’ve always been drawn to literature dealing with issues of life and death. Whatever the reason, I love this tale. Here are my reflections on several themes:

The Reality – The tale’s Red Death sounds like the Black Death of 1349 where a family member could be perfectly healt...more
حسام عادل
تلك القصة وكذا (سقوط منزل آشر) هما أشهر ما كتب بو..هنا سينقسم شعورك حيالهما إلى أحد اثنين: إما أن تهيم بهما حبا وتقديرا وتراهما عبقريتين..أو ببساطة تمقتهما بجنون.
للأسف..كنت أنا من التصنيف الثاني.
Simply
Of all his chilling and bone rattling stories that make you see shadows in the dark, The Masque of the Red Death is the one of the most enticing of Poe's stories alone. You're drawn by the festivities of the palace, and how they all choose to ignore what is really going on in the world.

It would seem ideal to anyone in the situation. Imagine how many Jews just wished they could build a castle and have a good time until is was over. To a highschooler, a never ending kingdom of fun is so much more...more
AK Fielding
Okay! This was the CREEPIEST story that I have read ever, by any author!

The guy was an absolute genius!!! And still remains so.
Roy Klein
I read a different edition that's not listed on GoodReads (see here) with the purpose of practicing my Spanish.

This is the most challenging book I've read in Spanish so far, even with the English translation available for immediate reference. One reason is that so far I haven't read a book whose content is mostly intricate description of scenes, rather than rapid sequential happenings. The other reason is that the vocabulary is extremely challenging in both English and Spanish. Often enough I've...more
Emilia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Willy
willysbookreviews.blogspot.com

This story is the reason I fell in love with Edgar Allan Poe, I read this in class in September. I read it again last night.

Poe's stories are all around the same theme: there are no happy endings. And I can say that in everything that I have read by him, none of the characters live HAPPILY EVER AFTER. And in Masque Of The Red Death, there is NO escaping death.

The story starts off with Prince Prospero. He, in order to escape the red death, has a long lasting masquer...more
M. Ashraf
This was a very short story ,but one of the best stories I've ever read.
This is my first Poe story, he was great, the use of colors and symbols is fantastic.The ending was ... I can't describe it, the whole story was creepy and really dark!!!

this was the ending:-
And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the l
...more
David jones
This was a great story. I found this and read it in my awesome Edgar Allan Poe book (barnes and noble classic edition, with leather bound binding and silver, sparkly end papers). And it was good. I like the real descriptiveness of this story, how it all comes together, and how complicated and unique this story was. In the book it was only a couple of pages long, but the story itself took me about ten minutes to read. Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite writer of that era (I might start reading other...more
Wendy Darling
Rereadad the story online since I'm reading Masque of the Red Death soon, and I'm so glad I did. Wow, what an extravagant, fantastical setting! This is one of those stories where you have to read it several times to look past the plot to delve into the symbolism; it's a masterpiece of a short story, and one I know I will be reading again.
Kyle
Jul 14, 2012 Kyle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anybody who loves the extravagant
You can read this eerily written Gothic tale of grandeur and death here:

http://www.online-literature.com/poe/36/

It's too short for a review, but I will say that it's unlike anything I've ever read, fantastically written, and is definitely strange. However, anybody who loves the dark and gothic sides of literature will find themselves captivated by this for a short amount of time.
Derrick Williams
I really really love this!
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
A hauntingly gothic tale showing that no one is safe from death and disease. Not the arrogant, the rich or the privileged can escape it's clutches. It's only a matter of time. Tick, tock.
C.D. Bennett
The ebony clock tolls for thee.

The Masque Of The Red Death is a hallmark in classic, Gothic literature. Edgar Allan Poe was a master of his craft, and remains one of my biggest influences in my own work as an author. Another of Poe’s works, The Raven, is by far the most familiar to those with only a passing knowledge of his writings; and like so many others, I too love The Raven, but it was The Masque Of The Red Death that offered me my first glimpse into Poe’s unique brand of madness.

Click here...more
Jim Ef
One of Poe's best, just love it.
Rhonda Greene
The first Poe story I was exposed to that moved me to the point of demanding that friends not in my AP class in high school read it. First book in my experience that builds so much suspense just from the setting. The levels of complexity in just the symbolism of objects and colors are brilliant. Though the plot /storyline is not at all similar, this story came to mind after I watched the movie SEVEN. They both kind of follow a predictable demise for the main characters but I really have no idea...more
Lou
A very horrific way to present a disgrace but with the mastery of Poe's writing.
Laura
Available at LibriVox. These scary stories are becoming better and better...
Nichole
100% my favorite story of all time and I'm sure it will remain that way.
Kelly
Loved reading and analyzing this with my 8th graders for Halloween!
Ryanne
Oct 24, 2008 Ryanne rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Everyone in highschool
Recommended to Ryanne by: Ms.W
This book is dark, and
Elisa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anonymous
Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite author. No one saw into the void as deeply as he did. Perhaps no one should look into that unending night. But Poe saw that complete, utter darkness, and he put it into his stories.

The Masque of the Red Death is my favorite Poe stories. This is at least partially due to the fact that it is the first Poe story I ever read and its appearance in the book/musical The Phantom of the Opera. This tale is a part of Gothic fiction, and set in the 12th to 16th century; the t...more
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundr...more
More about Edgar Allan Poe...
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings The Complete Stories and Poems The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales Essential Tales and Poems The Cask of Amontillado

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“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.” 248 likes
“Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.” 83 likes
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