The language of the short story “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe is rather complex, as the author employs sophisticated or old fashion words and there are multiple passages filled with descriptive detail related to setting and characters. Dialogue is almost missing from the story, only one line of Prospero being rendered using direct speech:

"Who dares?" he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him --"who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him – that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!"

The rest of the story is a mix of narrative and descriptive passages filled with symbolism and foreshadowing elements. Also, the choice of words reflects the Gothic genre, with many words being from the field of the macabre and grotesque.


Imagery – the general images a text conveys through descriptive words – is extensively employed by the author. Almost everything in the story is described in detail, from the effects of the plag...

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