Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Vampyre

What caught my eye the most in Polidori's "The Vampyre" was Ruthven's plea to Aubrey. This seems to connect back up with the "oath" in "Giving Up the Ghost." This need for companionship, for closeness, is still apparent:
Assist me! you may save me -- you may do more than that -- I mean not life, I heed the death of my existence as little as that of the passing day; but you may save my honour, your friend's honour...I need but little, my life ebbs apace -- I cannot explain the whole -- but if you would conceal all you know of me, my honour were free from stain in the world's mouth -- and if my death were unknown for some time in England...Swear by all your soul reveres, by all your nature fears, swear that for a year and a day you will not impart your knowledge of my crimes or death to any living being in any way, whatever may happen, or whatever you may see."
Again, a vampire has entrusted his secret to a human and desperately needs him to keep it (his secret). On the other hand, upon finishing the story, it seems that Ruthven has been deceiving Aubrey all along. It could be that Ruthven planned getting "killed" so that he could force Aubrey to promise to tell no one of his secret until after he'd married his sister. Although this is extremely sinister and not like the friendly Darvell in "Giving up the Ghost," it does show that Ruthven (or vampires in general) have a need for humans--twisted as that need may be.

I found it interesting that even though Ruthven is sort of evil, he never chooses to kill Aubrey. It would have been quick, and definitely easier than going through to whole courtship process with Aubrey's sister. This shows me that Ruthven does actually have a connection and maybe even affection for Aubrey.

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