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VAMPEDIA

Vampedia entry

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John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” is a very detailed and beautifully written piece of work that was created in the year 1816. This story about southeastern European legends was what established what the vampire is as we know it. One character that I would like to expand on and who I found to be tragically innocent in a sense was the character of Aubrey in “The Vampyre”. He was a gentleman who came to London and only had a sister left after his parents passed away. He also possessed wealth left by his parents and took care of it just as his parents had instructed him to do so. Aubrey was a very humble man who believed “the dream of poets were the realities of life.” He travels to Rome in the company of Lord Ruthven, whom ignited feelings of awe from all of those who he met. Later on in this story, Ruthven is supposedly killed and comes back to life and marries Aubrey’s sister, leaving him speechless and on the brink of insanity. He simply could not believe Ruthven came back from the dead. Aubrey became extremely sick and died after he wrote a letter to his sister warning her about Ruthven, but the letter never arrived to her. Ruthven drains her of her blood and passes away as well. This is a very tragic way to die, after having been such a frank young man with good intentions. This character could definitely be a representation of the author, John Polidori, who travelled with Lord Byron as his physician in real life. There are already similarities there, with both of the real life and fictional people traveling together. The downfall of Aubrey is also tied to Lord Ruthven, just as the death of John Polidori’s life was taken by his own hand due to feeling like Lord Byron was literally destroying him alive. Lord Byron also took Polidori’s “The Vampyre” and published it as his own, furthering his destruction and humiliation of Polidori, who could not take any more suffering and ended his own life. The character of Aubrey could be seen as the fictional parallel to Polidori, who foreshadowed his own death in “The Vampyre.” 

Works Cited:

  1. Biography of John Polidori:

http://www.public.asu.edu/~cajsa/thevampyre1816/polidori_bio.htm

https://publicdomainreview.org/2014/10/16/the-poet-the-physician-and-the-birth-of-the-modern-vampie

2. John Polidori's "The Vampyre" published 1819

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