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Literature & Language
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Death in Edgar Allan Poe's short stories: The Premature Burial and The Masque of Red Death (Essay Sample)

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Describe and discuss the themes, plots, and literary devices found in the short stories by Poe that we read. I have the stories here in a PDF format how can I send them to you? Also as far as the source goes, just use the material Im sending you. Cite the source, and I will do the reference page. source..
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Death in Edgar Allan Poe
An analysis of Poe’s two short stories
Edgar Allan Poe’s works are usually described as dark, eerie and profound psychological explorations of the depths of human nature. This paper will analyze two of his works namely The Premature Burial and The Masque of Red Death and discuss the recurring themes among them.
The Premature Burial and The Masque of Red Death
The Premature Burial is a collection of accounts about individuals who have suffered from premature death and with a malicious stroke of fate have been buried alive. His first account concerns that of the “wife of one of the most respectable citizens-a lawyer of eminence and member of Congress…” (Poe, p. 309) After an illness has befallen this lady, that which no physician has the ability to cure, she suffered from premature death. She was then deposited to the family vault only to realize, after three years, that she was actually alive when she was left at the vault. She struggled to get out but to no avail and so “she remained, and thus, she rotted erect” (Poe, p. 310). Another account concerns a lovely young heroine from an illustrious family. Then there was the story of premature death of an officer of the artillery who accidentally fell from his unmanageable horse. The account about the premature death of a certain Mr. Edward Stapleton followed.
These narratives are particularly interesting which, “through the sacred awe of the topic itself, very properly and very peculiarly depends upon our conviction of the truth of the matter narrated” (Poe, p. 313). Then, Poe narrated his own actual experience of the matter. Poe wrote of vivid images about the illness that he suffered, often standing on the edge where Death calls out from below. And so, to prevent any premature burial, he asked that no one should bury him until “decomposition had so materially advanced as to render farther preservation impossible” (Poe, p. 317). But “what avails the vigilance against the Destiny of man?” (Poe, 317) In one instance, after a gunning expedition with a friend, they were forced to stay in a small cabin in Richmond because of the storm. There, he suffered again from his illness but it was momentous epiphany for Poe. After the incident, he discarded any subjects that spoke of Death and became a “new man”; his terrors, “like the Demons… they must sleep, or they will devour us – they must be suffered to slumber, or we perish” (Poe, p. 318).
The Masque of the Red Death similarly tackled the subject of Death and the unrelenting struggle to escape its woe in the face of the feebleness of human nature, always prone to delusions. The story starts with the “Red Death”, the crimson scourge that devastated the country. And there lived a man named Prince Prospero who “was happy and dauntless and sagacious” (Poe, 1842, p. 319). When half the population of his d...
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