I was curious about something and so for today I want to talk a little bit about one of my favorite writers and inspiration , Allen Edgar Poe and one of his works The Masque of the Red Death. And I will attempt to answer the question , was the Masque of the Red Death an Apocalyptic Short Story?
Let’s first analysis what an apocalyptic story is.
A sub-genre of science fiction that deals with a world ending or being destroyed. It may involve trying to stop the impending apocalypse, or deal with the fall out of the apocalypse itself or it may deal with after the event happened and include the existence of pre-catastrophe civilization has been forgotten or mythologized. Often take place in a non-technological future world, or a world where only scattered elements of society and technology remain. It also has the themes of a pandemic, uses symbolic language, prophetic vision formula, or a context of oppression, persecution and despair.
A big check for my work in progress. My world was destroyed twice .(more to come about that later on my next podcast)
Okay but what about The Masque of the Red Death is that an apocalyptic short story?
Let’s delve deeper?
The Masque of the Red Death was written by Poe and published in 1842 and was simply put , a tale about a personified plague that kills a prince who thought he could hide himself in a castle to avoid the bubonic plague outside his door.
The prince literally invites his friends to come join him and he throws a ball while the bubonic plague is going on. That’s crazy.
Now Poe’s short story is usually classified as Gothic Fiction and was said to be influenced by the first Gothic novel, Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto. And Poe was said to adopt many convention of classical Gothic fiction. An example is the castle setting he uses in the story. But when Poe first published the story in 1842 he himself classified the tale in a tagline as a fantasy.
But does knowing this one thing that Poe’s story involves the bubonic plague itself automatically makes it an apocalyptic tale? The bubonic plague was in fact a pandemic. I’m afraid not . It simply has elements of the apocalyptic genre and most likely a subgenre of horror fiction .
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Did you ever read the The Masque of the Red Death ?
I want to know so let me know in the comments below.
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