Free Essay: Compare the Raven to the Masque of the Red Death

Published: 2023-04-24
Free Essay: Compare the Raven to the Masque of the Red Death
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Edgar Allan Poe World literature Comparative literature
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1236 words
11 min read

'The Raven' and 'The Masque of the Red Death' are writings of Edgar Allen Poe, that employ both darkness and gothic styles of writing. The Raven is a narrative poem that follows an unnamed narrator who experienced a dreary night. He was sited peacefully reading the "Forgotten Lore" to forget his beloved Lenore. He heard a tapping sound at the door, opened to find no one. Opening the window, the Raven enters his chambers. Charmed by the Raven, he inquires its name, and the Raven answers "Nevermore." The narrator engaged himself and the Raven into a conversation but did not end fruitfully. He only got the 'Nevermore' replies. He got angry and asked the Raven if he will be reunited with his wife, and it again replied nevermore. Enraged, he called it a liar and commanded the Raven to go away to Plutonian shore, although it did not move.

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On the other hand, 'The Masque of the Red Death' follows a happy, dauntless, and sagacious prince who attempts to escape death. A terrible plague had arrived and cleared many from the land, and so Prince Prospero hid to cheat death, but instead, it found him. People were experiencing symptoms of sharp pain, sudden giddiness, and copious bleeding at the openings before they died. Prince Prospero and his people intended to wait for the culmination of the spate while dining in their extravagance and safety behind the bulwarks. He had a masquerade ball, and rooms were colored differently. People were afraid of venturing into the last darkroom. Prince Prospero and the nobles saw a figure with a blood-dashed coat. He confronted the figure, and when it looked at him, Prince Prospero made a piercing cry and dropped dead. The guests were infuriated and petrified; they rushed and removed the mask only to find nothing beneath. They realized the costume was hollow, and they had contracted the disease, and they succumb to it. The two writings of Edgar Poe will be analyzed to illustrate the similarities and differences the two books have.

Comparison of the two stories

In both 'The Raven' and 'The Masque of the Red Death,' Edgar Poe used death and color to deliver his message. 'The Masque of the red death' tells of a dangerous epidemic that exterminated most of the Europeans' populace, and the Raven displays an image of black areas like the talking impart fear in the reader (Poe & David, 1). The Raven conveyed very dark scenery using the term dreary, while 'The Masque of the red death' used the expression 'pallid' to define paleness and death. The Raven's narrator dreads death for taking his wife away from him. He wanted to meet his wife, and when he asked the Raven if he could, the Raven replied, 'Nevermore' annoying the narrator (Poe, 319). The theme related to death. The Raven itself was a symbol of death, which terrified the narrator, especially when it talked back to him. In 'The Masque of the Red Death,' it entirely talks about death, a plague that takes people's lives away.

Both 'The Raven' and 'The Masque of the Red Death' are creepy and have a horrifying side. The Raven paid the narrator a mysterious visit, talked back to him, which is unusual. When he tried questioning the Raven, it only answered him "Nevermore," which was creepy to the raconteur (Poe, 22). Similarly, 'The Masque of the Red Death' was horrifying. An eerie, dangerous plague ravaged the people of Prince Prospero, killing them. It came with sudden dizziness, sharp pain, and profuse bleeding, causing death. The Prince was afraid and tried to escape death by locking himself up (Poe, 322). The stranger comes into the masquerade, and the Prince confronts it only to get attacked and dies to the plague.

In both 'The Raven' and 'The Masque of the Red Death,' death had occurred. In 'The Raven,' the narrator's wife, Lenore, died, and 'The Masque of the Red Death,' the Prince, and the noble guests died when the stranger visited them (Poe, 323). The central characters got infuriated and insane that in The Raven, the narrator was angry and sent it away, and in 'The Masque of the Red Death,' the Prince was enraged when the stranger visited the masquerade.

The contrast of the two stories

The Raven, is a narrative poem, unlike the Masque of the Red Death, which is a short descriptive story. The Raven was arranged in a poetic style with stanzas, where it used the styled musical language to narrate its story. Conversely, 'The Masque of the Red Death' employed the traditional gothic style to tell the anecdotal story in an allegory manner (Poe, 322). The poem had a lot of rhyming words with repetition, which were seen in 'The Masque of the Red Death.'

'The Masque of the Red Death' is more descriptive in the character's looks, thoughts, and feelings, which was not seen in 'the Raven. 'The Raven' gave simple details of what the narrator said and how he felt without any further description. The Masque of the Red Death was described in detail, the colors used in the masquerade, and what they represented (Poe, 320). The poem was written in the first person, while 'The Masque of the Red Death' was written from an omniscient point of view. The narrator's words were used, unlike 'The Masque of the Red Death,' where a third party narrated the story of what happened.

The poem, the Raven's central theme was death and devoted love, while 'The Masque of the Red Death' is death that could not be escaped despite the time that had passed, death was still waiting for them (Poe & David, 3). The other theme in 'The Masque of the Red Death' was madness or/and insanity. It was insane and madness for the Prince to hold a ball in the middle of the plague and expect not to contact it. Stupidly, he confronted the dark figure which took his life.


In summary, 'the Masque of the Red Death' and 'the Raven' were written by the same author. They do have a few similarities as compared to the many differences. Edgar Poe's writings are exclusively petrifying, fascinating, and always bring up the queries of life and death. In 'The Raven,' the narrator was sacred and going insane, just like Prince Prospero. Death had visited them both, and they do not like it. His central theme in his writings was death and color. He used color and imagery in his writings to convey a message. 'The Raven' and 'The Masque of the Red Death' tell the story of death, which was and is experienced by everyone in every society (Poe & David, 3). The two oeuvres have significant similarities where they depicted Poe's obsession with death and oblivion.

Works Cited

Poe, Edgar Allan, and David Scattergood. "The raven." (1873).

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Masque of the red death. Strelbytskyy Multimedia Publishing, 2019.

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