"The Masque of the Red Death" Symbolism assignment

posted Nov 19, 2015, 8:15 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Nov 19, 2015, 8:25 AM ]
After reading "The Masque of the Red Death" by Poe this week, it should be clear that story is an allegory. The characters, the plot, and the setting all fit symbolically into a large metaphor. What you think the lesson or message that Poe was trying to send in this story is up to you to interpret, but how do the symbols fit into that message.

With a partner, you will choose at random a potential symbol from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”. You should consider how this story is an allegory and what its allegorical lesson might be, and then teach the class how your symbol fits into the allegory. To complete this assignment, you must:
  • prepare a slideshow that gives us the most important information
  • prepare an oral presentation to the class that teaches about the symbol
  • make the necessary connections to literature, history, and culture to show how the symbol works.
  • present enough information for the class to understand the symbol
  • make your presentation attractive with images to support your ideas
Use this image made by Audrey in class to help you visualize the rooms in Prince Prospero's castle, and read Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man" poem to better understand how the colors and rooms fit into the allegory.