As in “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Cask of Amontillado,” the dramatic resolution of “William Wilson” occurs during a masquerade party. Poe relies upon the motif of the masquerade to set loose the homicidal impulses of the narrator. But he suggests that the narrator’s original desire, though not murderous, is still less than virtuous: he wants to make romantic advances toward the young and beautiful wife of the aged duke. Poe connects lust with the narrator’s obsession with his own identity. Poe exaggerates the rivalry by dressing the men in identical costumes, intimating that the narrator cannot escape his own demons, even when he dons a disguise. Only in service to his desire for the duchess does the narrator act on the animosity that has plagued him since childhood.