The Masque Of The Red Death Analysis

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As the human race is always persistent in coming up with new innovations, they have yet to solve one problem: death. The following tale about to unfold before you is an emblem that death is inevitable. Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” may seem like a grotesque story, but in reality it shows the symbolism that no one can escape their fate. This story shows that the amount of wealth you have is no match for your ultimate demise. As a horrible plague (the “Red Death”) devoured any one who stepped foot in its path, “Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless, and sagacious.” (Baym 2007) Prince Prospero invited one-thousand knights, dames, and the pecunious people to stay in his castle to escape the “Red Death”. This left the…show more content…
But we will never know the real reason. It could be because of William Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Men”, or Christianity’s seven deadly sins. There are more speculations, but my personal perception would be one of these two. Although Poe was not very religious in his later years, he went to church a lot when he was a child which could have influenced his stories. The vivid colors used in each room would lead me to assume that the rooms actually represent the stages of life. On the most eastern side (where the sun rises) would be infant, then the colors in-between would be your years after infancy, then lastly on the furthest western side (where the sun sets) would be death since the room is black.
If this is so then Mr. Poe has based the seven different rooms as an allegation to William Shakespeare’s “Seven Ages of Men”. In this poem Mr. Shakespeare states, the seven ages of man are “the infant, the whining school-boy, the lover, the soldier, the justice, the lean and slipper’d pantaloons, and lastly second childishness and mere oblivion.” (Harcourt) This symbolizes in the story that death will come to everyone. No one can hide, and there is no escape.
On the other hand, if Poe was to use Christianity’s seven sins, as a symbol for the rooms then the dictionary defines “the deadly sins as pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.” (dictionary) In this tale some of these sins are clear like pride, gluttony, and anger. But the others are not
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