The Vampire in Folklore vs the Vampire in Literature

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The vampire, from folklore to literature is described as a “dead person that awakens in the night to suck the blood out of the living”. (Bartlett, pg 1) The evolution of the vampire itself has seen drastic changes from the time of the vampire in folklore; where he was seen as a scapegoat, being the cause of the plagues and had to be killed to restore a healthy civilization to, Bram Stocker’s literary vampire; where the vampire had become the heroic figure and had to be blamed for all the victims that had past. Both of these are based on the Penguin English definition of a vampire but how is it that the vampire today has changed so drastically from the one people feared in legends and folklore. One can say that the vampire in literature has mainly influenced the vampire we see today in movies. The vampire seen in movies of the 20th century differs from the vampire in folklore because he has become an attractive, heroic and more than a highly sexual figure falling in love with the damsel in distress.

The vampire in folklore was described as being a hideous creature almost demon-like, like “ a “revenant” , a being from beyond the grave, which destroys life in order to continue its own unholy and unnatural existence (Bartlett, pg 1). Unlike it, the more observant people might notice that in some of the more recent film versions of Dracula, such as “ Love at First Bite” and the Badham interpretation as well as the two comic books by Marvel, “Tomb of Dracula” and “Dracula Lives” issued in 1970 portrayed the vampire as a more attractive human being which soon to be followed by many other pieces of writings and movies such as the series Twilight. (Senf, pg 2) The truth is, there is little amount of films that portrait the vampire being described as the hideous creature of Bram Stocker’s description. The few films who did this are Murnau’s Nosferatu 1922, Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s lot 1979 and Tom Holland’s Fright Night 1985 not to forget Blade Stephen Norrington...
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