What lesson does Prospero fail to learn about the Red Death?

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clane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prospero believed that his royalty and riches could save him from the Red Death that was sweeping the land outside his palace. He thought that if everyone was locked inside and engaged in revelry that they could escape the Red Death. What he failed to learn is that Death cannot be locked out no matter how much money and power a person has. He failed to learn that ignoring death will not stop it, Death comes for everyone when the time is right no matter what. Death slipped into his party silently and took what was rightfully his and no one suspected it could happen.

Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "Masque of the Red Death", Prince Prospero thought that by locking himself away with one thousand of his nearest and dearest friends, as well as with plenty of money and activities to pass the time, that he could escape the Red Death, a plague rampaging through his kingdom.  His name is ironic because he believes that his wealth will allow him to prosper despite the plague.  The lesson that he fails to learn is that no one can escape death, no matter how hard one tries.

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The Masque of the Red Death

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