The Vampyre

“The Vampyre” by John William Polidori is one of William Polidori’s famous works that was published in the Victorian era.

The Vampyre is known as a short prose work that is based on terror, suspense, and horror. There are not various works in the Victorian Age which are based on horror elements.

That is why it is unique. It was written in 1819 and after publishing this becomes famous for its authentication.

The theme of Vampyre by William Polidori

This is a gothic short story filled with deep gothic elements. The central theme of the story is horror. this is not the end, here, the Vampyre is the devil-like character.

Characters of ‘The Vampyre’

Lord Ruthven is one of the main characters of the short story. He is a British nobleman who goes out with Aubrey for a tour. Though he made several seduced to women.

Vampyre, a Tale
Vampyre, a Tale

The central character is Aubrey who falls in love with a Greek young woman. Aubrey is a good man because he left Ruthven for seducing. And he started having tour along.

Then comes Lanthe, who is a young, beautiful Greek woman. She falls in love with the protagonist Aubrey. Later she prevails the truth of Vampire. But later she will die. People will start talking that she is being killed by the Vampire.

Aubrey’s sister also plays a small role. She gets committed with Ruthven and when Aubrey gets to know he says to get married. But on the marriage day, she will die.

Summary of Vampyre by William Polidori

This prose has a great narrative style. In the plot, there is a man who comes first called, Ruthven. He is a nobleman of England also have wealth. Once he starts thinking of going outside of England for a tour.

William Polidori had taken inspiration from many other works on horror. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” plays a big role in writing “Vampyre”. Once a critic had written,

“often even cited as almost folkloric sources on vampirism”

So, coming back to the story, Ruthven finds Aubrey Who agrees to give him company for a tour to Rome. When then get into Rome, Ruthven plays gambling and he wins huge money and he distributes his money among the poor men and women.

Book Cover of Vampyre
Book Cover of Vampyre

But after that Aubrey found him seducing a woman, daughter of a mutual acquaintance. Aubrey feels angry and he left Ruthven and went to Greece alone.

Till now everything was ok but after reaching Greece he found a young woman called, Lanthe. She falls in love with Aubrey and they both started living peacefully in Greece.

One day Aubrey is riding his horse and suddenly found Lanthe lies in the ground and her throat remains cut and people start talking that the Vampire killed her.

Once Lanthe told Aubrey about the story of the Vampyre. In that situation suddenly Ruthven comes at that place. Layer, Aubrey joins him but after that many bad circumstances started taking place in the story.

Then bandits attack them both in their way and Ruthven becomes wounded. Before Ruthven died, he makes an oath to Aubrey that he will never prevail the truth of Ruthven’s death.

Aubrey becomes disappointed and could not connect the death of Lanthe with Ruthven’s. Later, he goes back to England and finds Ruthven is still alive though he did not say anything about the past of Ruthven because of the oath.

The Bloodshed
The Bloodshed

Once he found her sister with Ruthven that he is seducing his sister. Aubrey remains silent if the fact. Later he commits suicide and writes a letter dedicated to his sister about the past life of Ruthven.

But it becomes too late. She never finds the letter and marries Ruthven. At that night people find her lying dead and Ruthven is missing.

The Vampyre Analysis

In the beginning, when Ruthven comes in front of all readers nobody can guess that he is the Vampyre who kills people. And in Rome, he killed this woman to whom he was seducing. There is a line where William Polidor writes,

“his character was dreadfully vicious,

for that the“ possession of irresistible powers of seduction,

rendered his licentious habits more dangerous to society.”

Aubrey feels something is not right and later he leaves Rome and went to Greece. In Greece, Lanthe told Aubrey about the Vampyre perhaps for this reason Ruthven kills her but Polidori never mentioned that he seduces her or not.

“He thought, in fine,
that the dreams of poets were the realities of life.”

After coming back to London when Aubrey finds Ruthven is still alive then he can get the truth and get his original identity. If Aubrey starts prevailing the truth perhaps he also kills him.

“His lordship seemed quite changed;
he no longer appeared that apathetic being who had so astonished Aubrey; but as soon as his convalescence began to rapid, he again gradually retired into the same state of mind,
with a smile of malicious exultation playing upon his lips: he knew not why, but his smile haunted him.”

He is known as a Lord but nobody knew his original identity. Perhaps William Polidori calls him lord because of his works. He is the Vampyre who killed many people for no reason. And at the last, he also kills his wife.

Questions from the Readers

Who really wrote the Vampyre?

John William Polidori wrote Vampyre.

Who is the hero in the Vampyre?

Lord Ruthven is the hero.

What does Vampyre mean?

A man who never dies and sucks the blood of other people.

What is a female vampire called?

It can be said, lady vampyre

What is the difference between vampire and Vampyre?

Vampyre is an archaic character but Vampyre is a mythological character that can be found in books.

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