Masque of the Red Death symbolism : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I'm working on "The Masque of the Red Death." I understand that each of the seven rooms are allegorically connected to the seven stages of life and to the bible and all that question is one of color symbolism. Each room is designated a specific color, and though black is an easy one to decipher, others such as orange and yellow are not. If any one has insight on what stages of life these colors are supposed to be symbolizing...I'd highly appreciate it. Thank you, justin

-- Anonymous, October 22, 2000


Dear Justin,

How fascinating that you should venture forth such a question, one which also concerned me when I first read Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the 'Red Death'"!

Of course it is patently obvious what "black" represents in the tale. I think that you shall have some difficulty in finding any criticism which deals specifically with the significance of the others colours for the suite.

However, nil desperandum! I do recall reading somewhere a possible explanation of these colours and their significance, though I do not have access to my textual information on Poe at the moment. I shall search for you and try to find the critic who offered the theory on the colours:

Please write to me if you would like me to send on my findings to you:

Yours sincerely,

Pragmatic Poe

-- Anonymous, October 24, 2000

This is what someone told me; There is a longer explaination under new questions! Blue - Birth Purple - Royalty, Power Green - Growth & life Orange - Distruction or Fire White - Purity Violet - Knowledge & memory Black - Death Hope it helps!

-- Anonymous, December 06, 2000

I dont' know, Mr. Krishka, maybe you should tell me??? Are you saying you didnt' know what the colors meant before you told us?? That's funny. I'm laughing!!!! I'd tell you what the colors meant, but I dont' have my Lit. notes home. Darn!

-- Anonymous, December 16, 2000

Ogidy Boo, You are all retards for caring about a stupid poem written by a mad man.

-- Anonymous, October 23, 2001

I understand that White means light, Blue means heaven and truth, Green means nature and hope for eternal life, Purple means sorrow and suffering, Black means death or grief, Orange means strength and endurance, and Red means the color of blood. Good Luck!

-- Anonymous, December 19, 2001

the 7 colors of thechambr represent the 7 deadly sins

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2002


-- Anonymous, September 21, 2002

The seven rooms represent the 7 stages of life and it is kewl how the rooms he used the sun as a way of making the direction the rooms go. If anyone knos exactly wut the seven stages of life are plz tell me.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2002

The seven stages of man are in Shakespeare's play, "As you like it" in the famous, "all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players . . ." Somewhere in act 3. --mel the rooms can stand for both the seven deadly sins AND the seven stages of man

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2002

weeny wack, Poe is on crack.

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2002

Maybe not helpful, but do the colors relate somehow to the visible spectrum of light?

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002

The color spectrum goes kind of like this: Shortest <------------------> Longest wavelength Violet, blue, something, something, Red

-- Anonymous, December 08, 2002

It's not the spectrum. There is white, violet and black for the last rooms.

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2002

well, this might a bit far-fetched but i think the reason why yellow is not included is because yellow represents light and light is hidden in the story by the windows indicating how life cannot enter the rooms.

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2003

As unhelpful and pointless as it may seem for me to be saying this, I think that all of us are probably wrong in the answers we're giving you simply because only Poe knew what each color represented. Poetry is always open to interpretation, but that doesn't mean our interpretation is correct. Maybe you should try getting a documentary or seeing if Poe took any notes with his writings to get the absolute right answer.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2003

first i have to say to the last person to respond, that if you knew anything about "the masque of the red death" you would know it is not a poem, but a short story. that is being a little picky i know, but when you analyze a piece of literature, you must be picky. also, even if we were to look at notes from his writing and such, we would just be interpreting those as well. so there is no way to be absolutely sure about any of our interpretations. i am not so sure that he even knew absolutely what he meant!

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2003

In answer to the seven stages of man question: Birth, toddler age, childhood, teen age, middle age, old age, death. And in the story, the rooms go from east to west, representing the direction the sun rises (or is "born" each day) and sets (or "dies" each day.) The light being kept out of the castle represents Prospero's need to keep everything, even light that stands for life, OUT.

The seven deadly sins are: sloth (laziness), lust, gluttony (eating too much), avarice (greed), pride, anger, and covetousness (taking what does not belong to you). I believe the Prince committed all of the above, which would certainly allow an explanation of the seven rooms representing each sin.

-- Anonymous, July 31, 2003

You guys are such nerds. Go get a life.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2005

Moderation questions? read the FAQ