Having sardonically invited the villagers to eat scraps off his table at a feast, Prince Prospero learns that one of their miserable hovels is plagued with the dreaded Red Death. Prospero orders the entire village to be burnt to the ground. Unperturbed by this, Prospero assembles his noblemen for the commencement of the masque. Every guest is to come in disguise. Gradually the ball is transformed into a terrifying Dance of Death, as a man in red, the Red Death, comes to claim Prospero in the macabre finale.