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The apocalyptic flamboyance of the story constitutes pure Gothic imagery: The story also marked the beginning of a new tendency in nineteenth century literature. In Poe, Baudelaire thought he had found a twin soul, one who had given voice in prose to the dark sentiments Baudelaire routinely expressed in his poetry.
Its ornate manner and nihilistic trajectory were widely imitated, but there remained a sense in which they remained unsurpassable, having already sounded the extremes of potential. It is also curiously triumphant in its echoing of the grim consolation of the medieval danse macabre, an image often found on church walls and intended to remind rich and poor alike that Death—characteristically personified as a hooded skeletal figure—will, in the end, lead everyone away in an endless procession.
Thus, masques had always had the kind of climactic and valetudinarian aspect that Poe exaggerates to its limit in his short story.
No other American writer has proved as influential, and there is a tragic irony in the fact that Poe was so completely unappreciated in his own time that he virtually starved to death, leaving behind a highly misleading reputation as a drink-addled maniac.
Griswold, as the criminal act in question.
There are, however, numerous critics who insist that no such secondary elaboration is necessary and that the story is exactly what it seems to be on the surface: That appeal to meanspiritedness does not, however, reduce the work to the status of a mere revenge fantasy, because the narration maintains a grandeur and magnificence of its own while it recounts the devastation of the grandeur and magnificence it describes.
The symbolism of its garishly colored rooms, incarnate dreams, and ebony-cased timepiece had already been echoed and imitated so many times by the time Poe wrote the story as to seem hackneyed, and such apparatus was already standard in the Gothic fiction produced at the end of the eighteenth century.
Poe, however, distilled and purified this symbolism with a rare economy and an unprecedented intensity of focus, forging a veritable masterpiece.Directory of teaching and learning resources, including lesson plans, teaching guides, study guides, reading guides, discussion guides, litplans & more.
Carrie Kipling's Diaries Alastair Wilson has just completed his notes on the Rees and Carrington extracts from Carrie Kipling's Diaries from to , illustrated and edited by .
This webpage is for Dr.
Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies.
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A summary of “The Masque of the Red Death” () in Edgar Allan Poe's Poe’s Short Stories. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Poe’s Short Stories and what it means.
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