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Title: "The Masque of the Red Death" - Castle of alterity
Author: Zôrro, Iolanda de Brito e
Keywords: Gothic
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Centro de Estudos Anglísticos da Universidade de Lisboa
Citation: Anglo-Saxonica: Revista do Centro de Estudos Anglísticos, nº1
Series/Report no.: 3ª;
Abstract: The theme of alterity has haunted Humanity since it first could conceive the ideia of the Self. “The Masque of the Red Death”, by Edgar Allan Poe, striked me as the perfect opportunity to think and write about an important and global theme such as this one we are dealing with. Being a product of the Victorian era, it is curious to notice how such a subversive short story subsisted in a fiercely repressive culture that asphixyated itself with a morality and mores that were too strict to thrive. Thus, we should expect that the main taboo in this short story is the threatening idea of the Other that finds its own legitimacy not only in the very characteristics of the fantastic discourse but also in the atmosphere of revelry that pervades the entire narrative. We have to try to harmonize the Inside space and the Outside space while they struggle with each other for dominion over the Self. These two worlds of light and darkness act as an extended metaphor for the irrepressible multiplicity of the human being. We will follow Todorov’s structuralist approach to textual analysis while trying to draw our attention to elements that play a crucial role to the moment of final anagnorisis where it becomes clear that the Other is contained in the Self, no matter how hard one tries to relegate it to the borderline of the human.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 0873-0628
Publisher Version:
Appears in Collections:CEAUL/ULICES - AS - Série III - nº 1 – 2010

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