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“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe Author Notes, Culture/Context and Literary Devices.

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Presentation on theme: "“The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe Author Notes, Culture/Context and Literary Devices."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe Author Notes, Culture/Context and Literary Devices

2 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) Edgar Allan Poe is now recognized as a great writer of short stories and poetry, but he lived a short and tragic life. Edgar Allan Poe is now recognized as a great writer of short stories and poetry, but he lived a short and tragic life.

3 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a family of poor actors. His father; David Poe Jr. abandoned the family, never claiming him as his child. Soon after, his mother; Elizabeth Poe, died of tuberculosis (consumption). Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a family of poor actors. His father; David Poe Jr. abandoned the family, never claiming him as his child. Soon after, his mother; Elizabeth Poe, died of tuberculosis (consumption).

4 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) Poe was raised, but never adopted, by the wealthy Allan family. Poe was raised, but never adopted, by the wealthy Allan family. Poe and John Allan were constantly in conflict, particularly due to expulsion from the University of Virginia and later from the U.S. Army. Poe and John Allan were constantly in conflict, particularly due to expulsion from the University of Virginia and later from the U.S. Army.

5 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) Poe was forced to live in poverty with his aunt; Maria Clemm and his cousin; Virginia. Despite her relatively young age (13), Poe later married her and acted as her provider and protector. Poe was forced to live in poverty with his aunt; Maria Clemm and his cousin; Virginia. Despite her relatively young age (13), Poe later married her and acted as her provider and protector.

6 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) One evening, Virginia Clemm was singing and a spot of blood appeared on her lip… a sure sign of the deadly disease tuburculosis. One evening, Virginia Clemm was singing and a spot of blood appeared on her lip… a sure sign of the deadly disease tuburculosis.

7 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) As Virginia Clemm was dying of consumption, Poe wrote perhaps his most famous poem, “The Raven” As Virginia Clemm was dying of consumption, Poe wrote perhaps his most famous poem, “The Raven”

8 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) In the poem; “The Raven,” the tortured narrator laments the loss of his beloved Lenore (likely symbolizing Virginia, as well as the idea of grief and loss). In the poem; “The Raven,” the tortured narrator laments the loss of his beloved Lenore (likely symbolizing Virginia, as well as the idea of grief and loss).

9 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) In addition to poems like, “The Raven,” Poe is credited with several unforgettable short stories such as: In addition to poems like, “The Raven,” Poe is credited with several unforgettable short stories such as: –The Fall of the House of Usher –The Tell Tale Heart –The Cask of Amontillado –The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Poe is credited with creating the detective genre).

10 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) “The Masque of the Red Death” may symbolize, consciously or unconsciously, the loss of so many women beloved by the author, who succumbed to the terrible disease of tuberculosis. “The Masque of the Red Death” may symbolize, consciously or unconsciously, the loss of so many women beloved by the author, who succumbed to the terrible disease of tuberculosis.

11 Edgar Allan Poe ( ) Edgar Allan Poe himself died under mysterious circumstances in a Baltimore alley. What caused his death is unclear. He died poor and delirious in a hospital bed shortly after he was found. His life, though tragic, left a powerful literary legacy to future generations. Edgar Allan Poe himself died under mysterious circumstances in a Baltimore alley. What caused his death is unclear. He died poor and delirious in a hospital bed shortly after he was found. His life, though tragic, left a powerful literary legacy to future generations.

12 Culture / Context The story “The Masque of the Red Death” is seemingly set in medieval Europe, although it references events from later in history as if it is a dream. The story “The Masque of the Red Death” is seemingly set in medieval Europe, although it references events from later in history as if it is a dream.

13 Culture / Context In the 1300’s and 1400’s in Europe, a plague known as “The Black Death” swept across the countryside, killing 1 out of every 3 people for a death toll of approximately 25 million. In the 1300’s and 1400’s in Europe, a plague known as “The Black Death” swept across the countryside, killing 1 out of every 3 people for a death toll of approximately 25 million.

14 Culture / Context Carried by fleas on rats, the Black Death (likely Bubonic Plague or a variation of that disease) also swept through London in the 1300’s and again in Carried by fleas on rats, the Black Death (likely Bubonic Plague or a variation of that disease) also swept through London in the 1300’s and again in 1665.

15 Culture / Context In Poe’s day, the “plague” was tuberculosis (or “consumption” as it was often called). Since the victims often died coughing up blood, the “Black Death” becomes the “Red Death” in the story. In Poe’s day, the “plague” was tuberculosis (or “consumption” as it was often called). Since the victims often died coughing up blood, the “Black Death” becomes the “Red Death” in the story.

16 Culture / Context The “masque” in the story is a masquerade ball, such as carnival in Venice or Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The “masque” in the story is a masquerade ball, such as carnival in Venice or Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

17 Literary Terminology Allegory: Allegory: a poem, play, picture, etc, in which the apparent meaning of the characters and events is used to symbolize a deeper moral or spiritual meaning. Ex: The Creation Story of Adam and Eve from the Old Testament. Adam symbolizes Man, Eve symbolizes woman, the serpent symbolizes evil, the apple symbolizes temptation, etc.


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