Reply To: The Masque of the Red Death

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Grace Sword

The Masque of the Red Death is a prime example of why Poe is my favorite poets; through his use of metaphors and imagery, Poe creates a story to describe the horrors of the disease, specifically TB which took the life of his mother and, eventually, his wife. I can’t even imagine how much different this story would’ve been if he wrote this after his wife’s death, or even during the time her symptoms were consuming her. I keep thinking about how this poem relates to the reoccurring idea that literature is a fantastic form to portray illness and morality. A pandemic that acts very quickly or has life-altering symptoms like TB, AIDS, or even the Coronavirus is almost so surreal, that you kind of need a fanciful outlet to wrap around the serious situation. Literature has the ability to really unite people and remind people they are not alone in their suffering.