Poe and Irving Comparison

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About anyone within the world of literature could connect The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Masque of the Red Death together with their unnerving connotations. Washington Irving and Edgar Allan Poe refined bloodcurdling stories for that time and both helped in setting the bar for horror. Two themes found in Poe and Irving’s work include Ignorance and Imagination vs. Reality. Edgar Allan Poe’s work portrayed much spook. Throughout a certain piece, Masque of the Red Death, fear was brought through a theme of ignorance. He develops this through the thought that with prosperity and wealth, death and time can be escaped. “...But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court…” Prospero is the largest doer of the theme of ignorance. With no care for the dying populous under his reign, he throws a masquerade party with the people that he thinks “deserve” to live, thinking they will all be safe from the flagrant plague. With even more ignorance showing, his reaction to the infamous clock in the last chamber… “The musicians of the note orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to harken to the sound and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as in confessed revery or meditation” This quote demonstrates the instant fear that swept over the entire ball, the ignorance though, ironically, was ignoring the sense of fear. The people felt the fear of the sound but did not proceed to react because time was running out, death was nearing. At the height of all
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