Wednesday, September 8, 2010
While reading The Vampyre by John William Polidori a few things stood put to me. First, during the “Introduction” it was said that, “A stake was driven entirely through the heart and the body of Arnold Paul, at which he is reported to have cried out as dreadfully as if he had been alive. This done, they cut off his head, burned his body, and threw the ashes into his grave. The same measures we adopted with the cor[p]ses of those persons who had previously died from vampyrism. Lest they should, in their turn, become agents upon others who survived them.” Reading this excerpt it made me think of how vampires nowadays are portrayed to “die.” So this story was written in 1819 so it is pretty much ancient. It says that to kill a vampire you have to stake it, then cut off its head and then burn and bury it. So how does this portrayal affect the portrayal modern day writers’ use? Well, in the Sookie Stackhouse books (True Blood) and in the Vampire Diaries series to kill a vampire all you have to do is stake it and it turns into dust. So there is one part of Polidori’s ideas. In the Twilight Saga, to kill a vampire it has to be ripped into pieces by another vampire and then burned. So this is also a take on Polidori’s story. It is crazy to think that ideas from stories that are almost 200 years old are still used today. Another thing in this story that caught my eye is when Lord Ruthven made Aubrey swear not to tell what he truly was. When I first read this conversation I really did not see any big deal about it but then at the end of the story I see its significance until this happened, “He began to speak with all his wonted warmth, and to congratulate her upon her marriage with a person so distinguished for rank and every accomplishment; when he suddenly perceived a locket upon her breast; opening it, what was his surprise at beholding the features of the monster who has so long influenced his life.” This makes me wonder whether Lord Rithven’s whole plan was to get shot on purpose so that Aubrey would make the oath and not be able to say anything about the true identity so that he could take his sisters life. I guess the reason that I think this is because most vampires in stories are made to look like they are bad and deceiving.