Saturday, May 23, 2015

Poe's Red Death... Superhero?

Dario Rivarossa has sent me his drawing of Poe's Red Death rendered as, ahem, a superhero!

















A concept worth considering.

6 comments:

Dario Rivarossa said...

Doesn't he fight against the villains? (or, villa-in-habitants?)

Carter Kaplan said...

Indeed he does! How about a sequel? Maybe a story of The Red Death chasing Hitler around in his bunker?

Dario Rivarossa said...

Modern Capitalism, rather than Hitler. They gathered all goods and enjoyed life while all others died.

Carter Kaplan said...

I was rather thinking about the scenario in the bunker. Wasn't thinking about the political implications. Maybe capitalism (essentially, it isn't an "ism"; it is rather the activity of trade) produces too much wealth, and supports a population that is not educated enough to control its politicians and armies? All things being equal, I would prefer an educated populations and liberal trade, if it could be done. Have to pay teachers more, maybe. And create standards for cultural artifacts--literature, TV, film and music--that encourage individual virtues and civic mindedness? Very much what we do at International Authors! We are the Athens of the Internet.

But really I have not got a clue!

I've always wondered if the red death might be compared to adolescence and coming of age; the end of childhood (red blotches = teenage acne). Or--and certainly this has been written about--the story is about waking up from a night of dreams. The red death is the manifestation of flesh around the face of the spirit that had been free in the realm of dreams, our true native home.

But your point is well taken.

Dario Rivarossa said...

My main suggestion is that Red Death is Christ. Poe provides a clue in the final lines: "He had come like a thief in the night," that's what Jesus told about himself dealing with his Second Coming.
This seems to be a key for a great part of Poe's narrative, starting from "Metzengerstein" (that opens with the quote "Death, I will be your death," as St Paul said with reference to Christ) all the way up to "Hop-Frog." The Divine Judge who destroys an evil and selfish world.

Carter Kaplan said...

Excellent suggestion. I hope to re-read these stories soon.