Monday, 30 July 2012

Shorty July: The Masque of the Red Death


Why did I read the story? It's not on my to-read list, and I'm not a fan of Poe's prose works. To be honest, Phantom brought me there. I heard that the story inspires Phantom's masquerade costume, so I read the story. But i have nothing to regret. It's a good story, and I'd like to share my thoughts about it.

In Bahasa:

Alkisah ada sebuah wabah bernama “Red Death”, yang telah menelan begitu banyak korban. Wabah ini tidak pandang bulu, dan dengan mudah merebak, membunuh siapapun yang terjangkit. Seorang bangsawan, bernama Prospero, tidak ingin terkena wabah mematikan ini. Ia dan beberapa temannya akhirnya mengungsi ke sebuah rumah yang mewah, lengkap dengan segala sarana yang nyaman, demi menghindari wabah tersebut.

Suatu hari, ia mengadakan pesta topeng, dan ke pesta itu datanglah seorang tamu tidak dikenal, mengenakan kostum yang sangat mirip dengan korban “Red Death”. Prospero marah besar, dan memerintahkan agar tamu bertopeng tersebut ditangkap. Namun akhirnya..

Kisah ini sebenarnya menandaskan bahwa tidak seorang pun di dunia ini dapat mencurangi kematian, atau bersembunyi darinya. Prospero seolah mencoba cara terakhir untuk menyembunyikan diri dari maut, namun ke situ pulalah maut menjemput. Penyajian cerita yang gelap dan kelam khas Poe juga menambah ketegangan ketika membaca kisah ini. Jelaslah, kisah ini bukan kisah pengantar tidur (pengantar begadang, mungkin?). Silakan dicoba.

In English:

Prospero was a rich nobleman who tried to escape the “Red Death” - a plague that impartially and effectively killed people in the area. This plague was terrible, marked with pain and blood. Terrified by the possibility of contracted by the disease, he and some of his friends retired to a house far from the plague. He entertained his guest in every means possible, and even held parties for them.

Once he held a masquerade, in 7 different rooms with 7 different colours. In that party, an uninvited guest came. He wore a mask resembling a victim of the Red Death, thus scaring Prospero so much that he ordered the guest to be immediately captured – with no success.

The story tells us how impossible it is to cheat death or run away or hide form it. No matter how you try, it will come and catch you one day. Poe's dark and gloomy writing style adds more thrill to the story, gives it gothic elements in it, which is fun, but not that fun for a bedtime story.  

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