Reply To: The Masque of the Red Death

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The Masque of the Red Death tells the story of a plague that progresses in each individual within thirty minutes, escalating in extreme bleeding. Prince Prospero locked himself away in his castle, buying pleasurable activities and security. Away from the outside world, he protects himself from the disease. Eventually, at a masked ball that the Prince arranges, attention is drawn to a man who appears similar to a corpse. It is apparent that he is bleeding, infected by the plague, and eventually, the Red Death consumes every one at the ball.

This reminds me of other illnesses and conditions that we have talked about in class. It is common to an extent to think of certain conditions as only affecting “the other.” When class and wealth cannot protect an individual from falling to the ailment, the illness is universal and taken almost more seriously. We see that now with coronavirus. Pandemics do not respect geographic boundaries or pick their victims based on wealth. Everyone is equal in the face of disease, which is shown in the Red Death. While the Prince puts up physical boundaries to protect him from the outside world, he is no different from anyone else when exposed to the plague.