John William Polidori's Lord Ruthven

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Lord Ruthven, is a vampire from Dr. John William Polidori “The Vampyre”.  In the story, Lord Ruthven’s origins are of unknown, but what we do know are of who he is from his devious actions. Lord Ruthven befriends a young man by the name of Aubrey who accompanies him on his travels. Lord Ruthven soon arrives in Rome and seduces a mutual friend’s daughter, leaving Aubrey in distraught. Aubrey travels to Greece where he falls in love with a girl named Ianthe. Soon afterLord Ruthven arrives in Greece, Ianthe is killed by a mysterious creature, a vampire. While on their travels, Lord Ruthven is attacked and killed leaving a Aubrey with a promise not to tell anyone about him for a year and a day. Lord Ruthven is magically back but instead, married to Aubrey’s sister. In frustration, he writes his sister and letter about Lord Ruthven before dying. Lord Ruthven reveals himself as the vampire and kills Aubrey’s sister before escaping.

Lord Ruthven is portrayed as a vampire from older-generations. During this time, vampires were portrayed as dark, menacing creatures in search for misery and destruction similar to the vampires in, "The Sorceress, The Vampire, and The Peasant and the Corpse". These vampires scout of innocent victims before deceiving them and ruin the lives of them and their families for his entertainment. Lord Ruthven reveals his sinister side as he tortures Aubrey mentally through the use of killing Ianthe and marrying his sister. This villainous portrayal of vampires is an example of the folktale told in the past.

When comparing Lord Ruthven to other vampires of today’s age, Ruthven can be seen as a villainous monster that most folktales describe vampires to be as. In today’s age, vampires are seen as sexy, emotional, loving, human-like people with a thirst for blood and weakness to werewolves and sunlight. A modern example of this can be found in modern films such as The Vampire Diaries and Twilight





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