There are certainly differences between Poe's Prospero and Shakespeare's Prospero.
First, Poe's Prospero fails to transcend his fate, while Shakespeare's Prospero succeeds in doing so. In "The Masque of the Red Death," Prospero takes on but succumbs to the enemy of his mortality. On the other hand, in The Tempest, Prospero regains his dukedom and is restored to his former privileged life.
Second, Poe's Prospero is ensconced in a position of power throughout "The Masque of the Red Death," while Shakespeare's Prospero spends the majority of The Tempest sequestered on an island, removed from his former sphere of influence.
Third, Shakespeare's Prospero fights his enemies to realize his personal and paternal objectives, while Poe's Prospero is mainly focused on preserving his own legacy.
In "The Masque of the Red Death," Poe's Prospero uses his wealth to protect himself from the plague. With more than a "thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court,"...
(The entire section contains 629 words.)