The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

The Masque of the Red Death book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Discuss the seven rooms in "The Masque of Red Death" by Edgar Allan Poe.

Expert Answers info

carol-davis eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2004

write1,291 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

'But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. There were seven—an imperial suite.’

Edgar Allan Poe was a master at description and imagery.  The details of his  stories set him apart from the ordinary writer because Poe’s purpose of horror astounds the reader through his settings, his characters, and the terrifying endings of his stories. “The Masque of the Red Death” exemplifies these details.

 Because of the terrible plague that consumed the majority of the citizens of his kingdom, Prince Prospero has moved into a “castellated abbey.” An abbey normally houses the religious leaders of the community, and of course, the prince is the ruler of the state.  The abbey built like an enormous castle symbolically  houses both the church and state.  The Prince since he was hiding from the plague may have thought that the disease would never dare to enter the house of God.

After several months, he tires of doing nothing ; therefore, the Prince decides to have a masque or masquerade ball.  Those who are invited will wear costumes to hide their identity.  Again, another instance of trying to hide from reality.

The Prince outdoes himself by creating seven rooms that each have a different color scheme. The colors which invade the rooms include from east to west: blue, purple, green, orange, white, violet and last but certainly least black.

The Seven Rooms

There are various interpretations of the meaning of the numbers and colors of the rooms. The analysis that is most often written uses Shakespeare’s idea of the stages of man from the play As You Like It

The seven stages...

(The entire section contains 566 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial