While designing Prospero it became obvious that my attraction to Poe’s “Red Death” was due primarily to Roger Corman’s RED DEATH –the 1964 film starring Vincent Price.
The short story describes him briefly, “the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious.” (Sagacious means wise, old. I had to look it up and I think it was an arcane even for Poe.) No physical description whatsoever, but we know he’s a hedonist so we can assume he’s a jolly, well-fed guy. I also found myself a little sympathetic toward him. In the story he doesn’t do anything overtly cruel or evil. He makes the best of a bad situation by walling himself off from the plague and letting the wine flow. Of course his effort is futile, but his failing (denial of death) is a common human one.
However, a plump, jolly Prospero just didn’t work for me. It was Vincent Price’s sly, satanist prince that attracted me in the first place. He was the template for Prospero.
Again I’m using the unique features of ebooks to get two layouts out of one.