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“The Masque of the Red Death” EDGAR ALLAN POE E.A. Poe Born 1809 Foster child to John and Frances Allan after Poe’s father abandoned the family and his mother died Kicked out of the University of Virginia AND the U.S. Military Academy at West Point Marries his young cousin who dies, leaving him devastated People viewed him as a talented writer, but socially unacceptable Death in 1849 is shrouded in mystery: heart failure from alcoholism? rabies? Who knows!! Writing Well known for the GOTHIC TRADITION See potential evil in the individual Looked at the supernatural Dark / decaying settings Tormented / insane narrators Beautiful and dead or dying females Looked at humans in extreme situations (murder, live burials, physical and mental torture, retribution from beyond the grave) Most famous poem is “The Raven” Short stories include “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” “The Masque of the Red Death” Red Death = bubonic plague that killed 25 million people in Europe (more than ¼ of the population) in the mid-14th century Symptoms included high fever, vomiting, pain, and swellings that oozed blood, and victims were dead within 5 days IMAGINE your town has been overtaken by an incurable disease. It spreads rapidly, but has not yet reached your neighborhood. How do you think you, the other members of your family and your neighbors would react? What are some actions people would take in order to protect themselves and help other people? As you read . . . Answer the BLUE QUESTIONS in the text. There are 7 questions total (each questions points to line numbers to help you locate the answer) You may work with your desk partner; complete one set of answers per pair Once you’ve finished reading and answering the 7 questions, answer this final question: What happens to the prince and the party-goers?
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