Carmilla

Centuries of Paradox College

Images of the vampire over time show a cohesive relationship with the genre of gothic literature because of its complex and contradictory nature. Gothic literature’s rise as the artistic interaction between the scientific and the supernatural played with an enticing paradox that extended beyond just themes and motifs. It manifested into the characters themselves. Dating back to the 1700’s, the introduction of a paradoxical character derived from Lord Byron’s many works appears in many vampiric characters as the Byronic hero. Also an aspect of gothic literature, monstrosity served and is serving an important purpose in our culture. Whatever aspects of humanity and society are manifested into monstrosity reveal the deepest fears of said society. When it comes to vampirism, both violence and sexual liberation inform the reader a great deal pertaining to the current state of cultural principles. A comparison of modern vampire imagery and older images in literary texts suggests that our culture is simply enticed by paradox and can empathize with the complexity of vampiric figures. The difference in the components of the paradoxes reveals the ways in which our culture’s values have changed in their origins while a theme of...

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