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The Masque of the Red Death

1. Poe was a master "wordsmith." Through carefully chosen diction

he is able to create a psychological effect on his reader. What effect did his description of "Red Death," in the very first paragraph of the story, have on you? Quote those details that provoke this response from you. Devastated, pestilence, fatal, hideous, Avatar, seal, pains, bleeding, scarlet, seizure, termination. Poe uses the first paragraph to set the tone for the entire story. He begins the adventure with an outright example of sheer horror. He uses the ideas of an Avatar and a seal to set a certain eerie, mystical attitude for the passage and make the ideas of scariness and terror more complex and involved.

2. Why does Poe rely heavily on imagery to provide a detailed

description of Prospero's hall? He uses imagery to describe the grandiose of the hall in which the masquerade to create a vivid picture in the readers mind. He wants the people reading about the hall to know exactly how beautiful its rooms are, and to see the brilliant colors and light (or lack thereof) filling the rooms.

3. "He had come like a thief in the night." Where in literature is this
allusion taken from? For this question you may need to put the expression into a search engine in order to find the answer. The Bible.

4. The most featured word throughout the story is blood, yet Poe has
carefully chosen it to represent horror. Find two passages in the story, where the word blood is used to describe the color. Substitute a word of your choosing and quote the passage. Is the passage as effective with your substitution? Why or why not? The panes here were scarlet a deep blood color. But to the chamber which lies most westward of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-colored panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appalls; and to him whose foot falls

upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches their ears who indulge in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments. If I replaced these words with the word crimson, then it definitely would not be as effective as the image Poe paints. Poe uses blood to express sheer terror and horror upon the readers of the story that cannot be attained by just using a simple color.

5. Read the passage highlighted in green. List and define those

words in the passage that you think produce an emotional effect on the reader. Explain your choices. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust. Poe uses a variety of words to inspire powerful fear in the readers of his piece. Words like terrible, disgust, wanton, delirious, and madman inspire this psychotic horror that he means to accomplish in this piece. "The Raven"

6. List the words in stanzas 2 and 3 that set an eerie mood for the
poem. 2] Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, and each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow from my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore Nameless here for evermore. 3] And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; This it is, and nothing more."

7. The words highlighted in blue are an example of what figure of

speech? A metaphor

8. What effect does the choice of the word "raven" have on the
poem? Would the choice of another bird name, for example "parrot" have worked as well in the poem? Why or why not? No, because the word raven is one that inspires a sort of creepy and eerie attitude and tone, one which has common and powerful meaning of a vicious bird with deep, never-ending, jet-black eyes, and sleek, oilcovered feathers. It is well known for several attitudes, with treachery and violence among them. However, other birds carry different attitudes, much like it is commonly accepted that a bluebird is an animal of simple happiness or sweetness, or that a parrot implies flavors of exotic beauty and festiveness with its strange colors and feathers.

"Annabel Lee"

9. Sadness and grief are two emotions that are almost alike. They
vary in intensity. Which word better describes this poem, sadness or grief? Why? The word that describes the poem would have to be grief, he uses various techniques to reveal his theme, when he reveals his emotion, Poe was so grief stricken that he came into the city and demanded to see her body, he continually mourned over her death because his attachment to her was so strong and the grieving process set in more and more.


List the words that you think give the poem a haunting effect. Chilling Killing Envying Dissever Demons Tomb Sepulcher Heaven