The Seven Stages of Life The Masque of the Red Death Edgar Allan Poe

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Charity Chukwu

Mrs. Edmondson

English III

November 13, 2008

The Seven Stages of life

Fate is inevitable and there is no escaping it. "The Masque of the Red Death" is a short story by Edgar Allen Poe explaining how Prince Prospero stays in a state of denial unwilling to accept death until it is too late. The seven rooms in which Prospero presides in represent the seven rooms in which Prospero presides in represent the seven stages of life with their colors and features. As he rushes through each room Prospero realizes the consequences of going through life too fast.

A dark and haunting death cast over Prince Prospero's city. To escape from it he invites his royal healthy friends to a party in his abbey safely secure from any danger outside the walls of the castle. Time flies as they carelessly have fun in the seven colorful rooms in which the party is held.

When an unwanted stranger comes into the rooms the guest face an unexpected death. Prince Prospero rages through the seven rooms only to meet the same fate.

The main allegory in the story is the representation of the seven rooms in the abbey. With their various colors the rooms tell of the human life cycle. Starting with birth, the windows of the blue room are vividly blue. Upon coming into the world there is a bright innocence that is shown in the souls of people. Purple is the color of the next chamber representing the toddler years. The purple ornaments and tapestries the room gives a playful vibe giving the child in everyone something to have fun with. The third room is green and so are its casements. Green shows the teenage adolescence of life moving away from play things and into education. Thus the green room ends the final stages of the infancy years.

Entering adulthood the orange room appears. Orange is young and bursting with energy. The room shows how vibrant and exiting growing up can be. This is the age people are wild and reckless without a care in the world. Moving on to the white room more responsibility is placed as people reach their middle ages. This stage of life is where all the important events happen. Graduations, marriage, and parenthood all cause a more adult attitude. White is a peace color that shows a calm complacency. The sixth room is violet a darker version of purple. Violet represents a second childhood which is old age. Unlike in the younger days the elderly are sagacious and more accepting of their fate. Finally in the black chamber death comes. The windows of the room are scarlet showing the blood shed in the party dies. There is no escaping death and no turning back.

Prince Prospero and his guests try to hide from death by partying but die in the end. "The Masque of the Red Death" is an allegory by Edgar Allen Poe that no one can hide from fate. The seven colored rooms of the abbey show each stage of life with black showing death. Death is also represented by the unwanted stranger who arrives at the party at midnight. In the final room the stranger kills Prince Prospero and his guests showing that no one can escape the hands of death when it comes.