Monday, January 28, 2008

Box 5

Box 5, the Phantom’s requested seat in the opera house. Did he demand Box 5 because it was the best seat in the house? Was it because the box had a secret entrance that allowed him to come and go at will? Perhaps there is deeper symbolism. After all, the Phantom demanded that the box was his alone, to be kept empty and not shared with another.

If we just focus on the number itself, there are symbolic meanings that can be attributed to the Phantom. Biblical interpretation relates the number five to bondage or prison. The musical staff has five lines. Some roses have five petals. The pentagram has five sides (representation of magic or Lucifer). Humans have five senses. The Opera Ghost supposedly lived five stories under the Opera House.

Is the box just about the number or does it have a deeper meaning? If the opera house was the Phantom’s domain since childhood, and he was the ultimate ruler of it, Box 5 may be a symbol of his throne of authority and dominion. From his seat in Box 5, he could see the stage, Christine, and the domain he had power and control over.

When Raoul sat in his box, the Phantom wanted to know why his box was not kept empty as instructed. Assuredly, Raoul seated in the Phantom’s box was a threatening act, a sign that Raoul was usurping the Phantom’s claim, invading his territory, and gaining power over Christine. His domain was under attack, his throne threatened. Was that the reason why next he kills? Did he kill to reassert his authority over his domain because his instructions were not obeyed?

Perhaps if the Phantom were here, we could enter his darkened mind and ask the true reason why he insisted on Box 5. What are you thoughts? Was it just the best seat in the house or perhaps the symbolic throne of his domain -- the Opera Populaire.

If you're at an opera and have the fortune to sit in Box 5, let us know how the view is, please. I'm sure we'd all be curious to know.

The Phantom's Student

NOTE: Since posting this article, I have found someone who has been in Box 5! Read the article about the Opera House in Paris written by Ladyghost.


Anonymous said...

I'm Ladyghost, Jennifer's friend.
I'm very glad, thank you for write in my web's guestbook, it's always a pleasure for me being able to meet another Phantom "lover".
Yes, I've been able to see all the Opera levels, from the roof to the cellars, and of course, box five too, in several occasions.
There is a special atmosphere there. It can be felt a certain mystery, certain strange feeling in the air. I even had to contain my breath sometimes...
I was seated ust at the chair Erik used to be: the right one, the fist row. I think he chose that chair because it's a wonderful place where he was be able to see the operas each night, without being seen.
I feel very privileged because I've been able to see zones which no turists or normal visitors can go; that's why I try my best to update my web and thanks to it, every Phantom "fan" can see and even feel what I saw and felt.

my daroga said...

I've been to the Opera, though not inside Box 5. So unlike ladyghost, I cannot speak to the actual view. But I recall reading that it was a rather bad seat from which to watch, as you are completely on the side of the stage and while that means you're close, your view is very oblique.

It also seems like a bad spot acoustically, but then, I've heard that the Garnier auditorium is notoriously bad for hearing opera anyway.

I always associated the "5" with the fifth cellar, for some reason.

Curious said...

I was wondering, out of those of you that have been in Box 5, did you happen to rap your knuckles on the column? This was suggested in the epilogue by Gaston Leroux. He said you could feel that it was hallow and that was a hiding place that could fit two people, is this true?

Anonymous said...

Hello fellow phantom lovers...
i along with many others have wondered of these storys about the greatest love story in london. But yet i am so young i hope to learn more of the phantom, box 5, the secrets of the opera house, and much more. I have had no chances to go to paris and see the opera house, but i have been looking for info online.
student of the phantom.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it could be a reference to the 5th circle of Hell, being the circle of Wrath (Anger and Sullenness). I'm not positive however, just a suggestion.

camille said...

I've been to the palais garner many times and when i finally got a tour, i asked the guide about phantom because being the french guide she didn't usually mention that story since its not known well in france unfortunately. I did find THE box five, but i found a door in the boxes section with the number five so idk if that was the one. I also asked about going into the cellars but the guide said it was too dangerous and only used by firemen now to do drills.