Gothic fiction popularized the vampire
Gothic fiction popularized the vampire, but it in turn took up and developed figures from multiple folkloric and mythological traditions from Europe and the US.
Read the background info on vampire lore (attached below).
Consider the following to help you read carefully and critically:
- When you think of “vampire”, what characteristics do you associate with this figure? What do the versions from the reading have in common with this popular image? What differences do you notice?
- Who/what are the following figures? How/why did each become associated with vampirism? Why do you think the vampire figure is envisioned a little differently each time? How does the significance of the vampire figure change from story to story?
- Lilith in Jewish mythology
- Lamia in Greek mythology
- Nosferatu in Transylvanian folklore
- Mara in Eastern European folklore
- Which versions of the vampire legend were you familiar with before? Which new ones did you discover in the reading? How do these depictions of vampires compare to the others we have learned about so far or others you are familiar with?
Write a paragraph (100-300 words) in which you trace a characteristic motif of vampire stories from the folktales to the later works they inspired. Identify a trope or motif of the vampire you notice in one or more of the folklore figures discussed in the reading. Then explain if and how that same trope or motif appears in at least one other vampire story.
You’re free to include details from Carmilla or any other vampire stories you’re familiar with, to help support your analysis.