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The Masque of the Red Death

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  19,455 Ratings  ·  584 Reviews
"The Masque of the Red Death", originally published as "The Mask of the Red Death", is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in 1842. 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, e ...more
Published by Feedbooks (first published 1842)
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Bookworm Sean
Death waits for no man. Time can’t stop the inevitable; it can only delay it. This tale, perhaps, embodies the idea that death is an unavoidable end for all; it is one that we all must embrace because it simply cannot be escaped. Time will run out for everyone eventually.

And now was acknowledged the presence of 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 his despairing posture of his fall. An

Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

I don't know how I overlooked "The Masque of the Red Death" when I was in my Poe phase a few months ago, but someone's review yesterday reminded me of it (Thanks, random Goodreads friend!). So I found a copy of it online here and gave it another read to refresh my memory.

This story is both less and more than I recalled. It's long on setting and mood and short on plot. The plot could probably be described in about two sentences. Let's give it a try:
A deadly plague is ravaging the land, and the u
Nov 09, 2016 Pantelis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Climate change and poverty is the real Red Death, you can't raise walls against that
Glenn Russell
Feb 09, 2014 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 healthy
Feb 20, 2016 Nayra.Hassan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
يدرككم الموت ولو كنتم في بروج مشيدة
صدق الله العظيم
كأن ادجار الان بو سمع الآية الكريمة و استوحى منها صفحاته القليلة الصاعقة
قصة ثورية بامتياز

اذا كان من حقك اختيار من سينجو معك من الموت..فماهي معاييرك؟؟
وهل هذا من حقك؟ا
سؤال شديد الخرج

الأمير القوى قرر النجاة بالف من خاصته و حاشيته..و حشدهم في دير جبلي حصين ملىء بالمؤن ..و صهر خلفهم الابواب..ما هي معاييره في الاختيار؟المحسوبية و لا شيء سواها

و بمفراداته القوطية الكئيبة يخبرنا بو "بعد مرور 5اشهر ...كان الطاعون يفتك بالناس في الخارج..عقد الامير النية عل
Jun 18, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe are playing a round of golf in the Great Hereafter and discussing Poe’s short work The Masque of the Red Death.

Vonnegut: Damn! Hooked it.

Lovecraft: You’ve been pulling it left all day, you raised your head on the swing.

Bradbury: I saw you move your front foot.

Poe: You need to keep your arm straighter.

Vonnegut: OK! Damn it. Ed, what in the hell made you write the Red Death story?

Bradbury: Masque of the Red Death, one of my favorites, t
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
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
The Masque of the Red Death, written in 1842 by Edgar Allan Poe, is a surprisingly short story, which is generally regarded to be allegorical. In it, Prince Prospero is so terrified of the pestilential "Red Death", that he walls himself and a thousand wealthy nobles up in his castellated abbey, where they have a masquerade ball, moving from room to room. Obviously they are going to come to a sticky end. At the time of writing Poe's wife was suffering from tuberculosis, and there was an epidemic ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Claudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You cannot escape him, the death of the mask. What are you doing now? Do you read a good book, maybe you drink a glass of wine......Let it taste you, it might be your last? The bell is ringing. DO YOU GET VISIT TONIGHT?????

Sleeping well, friends. :-)
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
I love the premise- fearing a horrible sickness that has seized his lands, a hedonistic prince locks himself and hundreds of his friends away in a castle, with an enormous wall running the length of it so nothing can get in or out. But soon the prince's fanciful denial is shattered in a very... strange way.

Basically, what my dislike of this comes down to is the length. It's only four pages, which (for me at least) simply is not enough time to become invested in a story and care about its ending.
Mar 28, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not even within the deep seclusion and iron gate security of Prince Prospero's Abbey (view spoiler)

Am loving reading POE!

Mohammed  Ali
Oct 02, 2016 Mohammed Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الساعة العملاقة تدق..تك..تك..تك..من هذا الشخص ؟..لماذا لا نستطيع الإقتراب منه ؟..ما هذه الرائحة ؟..هل للموت رائحة ؟..يإلهي لماذا توقفت الموسيقى ؟..انزعزا عنه القناع..القناع...إنه شخص ميت..لا..لا..إنه الموت الأحمر بعينه !!!

رائعة جدا..مخيفة..رعب حقيقي لا يولد و يتولد إلا في مخيلة مجنون عبقري مثل إدجار ألان بو..لن أتحدث عن هذه القصة و أحداثها لأن قصيرة و لن تأخذ الكثير من وقتكم :)
Nov 07, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this but Poe scares the hell out of me. His prose sinks into your mind, setting the soul on a fire of fear. Man, the personification of a plague, stylized Zorro-like. Disturbing!
A-Ile Self-hallucination
يا إلهي .. ماذا يدور في رأس بو ؟!
لن تقرأ شيئاً عادياً، لن تقرأ حكمة مبتكرة، قناع الموت الموت الأحمر فيلم قصير مخطط بأحرف مخيفة.
لدى بو الموت لا يُشعَر ولا يُشمّ. الموت يُلمَس. حتى في رؤيته فهو مختلف ومرعب. لا حكمة في قصته. فقط الموت هو الشيء الحاضر بعذوبة وخوف وتسلية في قلم بو.
أشعر أحياناً بأن بو هو ذلك الرجل الذي يقتني أفكاراً وحالات مريضة ليتسلى بقارئه. أتخيّله وهو يكتب تلك القصة أنه كان يبتسم بغموض.
Scarlet Cameo
Dec 04, 2015 Scarlet Cameo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"En los corazones de los hombres más temerarios hay cuerdas que no se dejan tocar sin emoción. Hasta en losmás depravados, en quienes la vida y la muerte son siempre motivo de juego,hay cosas con las que no se puede bromear."

Esta historia es tal vez una de mis favorita de Poe. La manera en que describe a la muerte roja, el final que da a los que la sufren y sus apariciones...tenemos todos los elementos que nos llevan a que esta historia llegue hondo.
Aug 20, 2011 Shanon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
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
Isa Cantos (Crónicas de una Merodeadora)
La Máscara de la Muerte Roja es, sin duda alguna, de mis cuentos favoritos de Poe. Lo leí por primera vez hace unos 8 años y quedé fascinada por la historia del Príncipe Próspero, por su soberbia, su excentricidad y, sobre todo, por el invitado inesperado que se escabulle en su castillo.

Quizá uno de los mejores elementos de este relato es lo palpable que se vuelve todo lo que va describiendo Poe: las siete estancias de diferentes colores, la luz de las antorchas, los bailarines enmascarados, lo
Aug 15, 2016 Özlem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A typical Poe short story in terms of its dark, gloomy, gothic atmosphere and also its obscurity since the story requires deep-analysis and interpretation. However, it is different from others due to its didactic message: Death is inevitable, no matter what you do and no matter who you are, you cannot escape it just like the Prince Prospero - an allusion to the Tempest- and the other 1000 comprised of the knights and the dames of his court were not able to escape by secluding themselves into the ...more
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.
Jul 23, 2016 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first proper Poe, I've skimmed The Raven but I actually enjoyed this. He's very hard hitting with his elaborate, descriptive language, this man loves to experiment with the word, however, I love the symbolism and the message that, no matter how rich you are, death is inevitable for all.
Ali Di
Nov 28, 2016 Ali Di rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
a brilliant Gothic literature!
Vane J.
Mar 06, 2015 Vane J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I read this quite a long time ago, but when I read it, I honestly had no idea about what to write for a review, besides, it's too short, and it's always really difficult for me to write reviews for short stories.

Well, anyway, this story starts telling us there's a plague spreading and a prince locks himself and some other people in a castle while everyone else is left outside to die. In there, he throws parties and whatnot. There's a particular one that is a masquerade party. Where the par
Emm S.
Aug 24, 2016 Emm S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Prince Prospero
Recommended to Emm by: the Red Death
My personal favorite horror short, pretty much ever.
I don't think anyone will have gotten the full Poe Experience without reading Masque at some point.
Lavish in detail and honestly, more powerful than a lot of full-length novels I've read. I wish there were a way to describe it without feeling like I'm squashing the whole point of reading it.
Samir Nammoor
A short but a delicious story. I enjoyed the twisted and dark ambiance Edgar Allan Poe had created.

A masquerade to escape the red death. The prince and his beloved revelers in their seclusion are trying to deceive time and escape the inevitable.
Then a wild stranger appears and darkness and decay and the red death held illimitable dominion over all.
Aug 29, 2011 Kristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005
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.
Ahmed Ibrahim
من افضل القصص القصيره اللى قرأتها واللى ممكن اقرأها
المعنى الحقيقى للعبقريه
Andrei Tamaş
Fuga omului de moarte şi ghiarele nesăţioase ale acesteia.
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!
Aug 20, 2015 Amina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes hair stand on the back of your neck :D
If you want some slow sneaking horror, by reading this book, you'll be generously served :D
As always, awesome work by the master..
Ivana de Bona
Loved it!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Rats in the Walls
  • The Devil and Tom Walker
  • The End of the Party
  • Ponies
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • The Judge's House
  • Chickamauga
  • In a Grove
  • The Signalman
  • Lois the Witch
  • By the Waters of Babylon
  • The Nightingale and the Rose
  • The Enormous Radio
  • Mother, Crone, Maiden
  • The Lady or the Tiger
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 hundreds of ...more
More about Edgar Allan Poe...

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“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.” 351 likes
“Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.” 114 likes
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