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The Masque of the Red Death

Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.

Critical ReadingIdentify the letter of the choice that best answers the question.

____ 1. Why do Prince Prospero and his guests lock themselves in an abbey?

a.to pray in seclusion

b.to celebrate his birthday
c.to escape an invading army
d.to escape the Red Death
____ 2. The revelers' masks and costumes symbolize their attempt to hide from the Red Death. What detail
from the story supports this interpretation?

The music stops each time the ebony clock chimes.
The uninvited guest has blood on his mask and costume.
The revelers look like dreams moving from room to room.
There are seven chambers, each decorated in a different color.
____ 3. What do the red windows in the last chamber symbolize in “The Masque of the Red Death”?

a. blood and death

b. love and hope
c. jealousy and fear
d. elegance and wealth
____ 4. Prince Prospero's guests seem happy and carefree, but they stop celebrating and get very quiet every
time the clock chimes. What does this tell you about how they are really feeling?

a. They are annoyed that the clock keeps interrupting their fun.
b. They are happy about their flawless escape from the Red Death.
c. Under their happy exterior, they are still worried about the Red Death.
d. While they are quiet, they think about how much they dislike Prospero.
____ 5. Which of the following is a symbol that suggests that the revelers will not live long in “The Masque
of the Red Death”?

a. the white room

b. the locked gates
c. the prince's dagger
d. the ebony clock
____ 6. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” what does the uninvited guest symbolize?

a. anger
b. wealth
c. celebration
d. death
____ 7. How does Prince Prospero die?

a. He is stabbed with a dagger.

b. He is stricken by the plague.
c. He is injured in a fall.
d. He is hanged from the battlements.
____ 8. The tripods' flames go out when the last of the revelers dies. Based on this detail, what might the
tripods' flames symbolize in “The Masque of the Red Death”?

a.the revelers' lives

b.the peasants' revenge
c.that it was all a dream
d.Prince Prospero's wealth
____ 9. What message is Poe trying to convey in “The Masque of the Red Death”?

God punishes sinners.
Time passes slowly.
Wealth cannot protect one from death.
One should not attend parties uninvited.
____ 10. Why does Prince Prospero decide to have a masquerade?

to show off his good decorating taste to his friends
to give the musicians and entertainers something to do
to distract himself and his guests from the boredom and fear of their seclusion
to taunt those outside the walls who are suffering and dying of the Red Death
____ 11. How do Prince Prospero's guests react to the black room?

a. They fear it and do not want to enter it.

b. They find it to be exciting and interesting.
c. They avoid it because it is too dark.
d. They are awed by its incredible beauty.
____ 12. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” the location of the black chamber at the western end of the suite

a. suggests the end of daylight and life.

b. indicates a fascination with the bizarre.
c. minimizes the presence of natural light.
d. suggests a mood of exploration and excitement.
____ 13. Prince Prospero objects to the masked stranger because he

arrives uninvited.
is costumed as a victim of the Red Death.
interrupts the musicians.
might contaminate the abbey with the plague.
____ 14. Why is “The Masque of the Red Death” an allegory?
a. Everyone dies in the end.
b. The theme is ambiguous.
c. All of the characters and settings are symbolic.
d. The story teaches a lesson about good and evil.

Essay (Complete both of these. If you need additional room, you may usethe back of this paper.)

15. The setting and descriptive details of “The Masque of the Red Death” contain many symbols.
Choose at least three symbols from the story, and in an essay, describe what each symbol stands for.
Explain how the symbols give meaning to the story.
16. Edgar Allan Poe experienced a difficult life full of hardships and mistakes. The effect his life had upon his
work is evident, even in his fictional stories. In an essay, explain how Poe’s life may have affected his
decisions in writing “The Masque of the Red Death,” providing examples from the story.