What does the number seven represent in "The Masque of the Red Death"?

Expert Answers
Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This question has already been asked and answered.  Please see the following links. 

meagandyan | Student

Poe's story takes place in seven connected but carefully separated rooms. This reminds the reader of the past significance of the number seven. (The history of the world was thought to consist of seven ages, just as an individual's life had seven stages. The ancient world had seven wonders; universities divided learning into seven subjects; there were seven deadly sins with seven corresponding cardinal virtues, and the number seven is important in mysticism.) Therefore, an allegorical reading of this story suggests that the seven rooms represent the seven stages of one's life, from birth to death, through which the prince pursues a figure masked as a victim of the Red Death, only to die himself in the final chamber of eternal night.

Read the study guide:
The Masque of the Red Death

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question