Monday April 14 our class meets in Geisel Library, Classroom 2--Room 276. This is on the first floor of Geisel. Enter through main address and you should see room on the left--if not, ask for info. at Info. desk.

Possible quiz question for Wed., April 16

Polidori’s Lord Ruthven is often considered the beginning of the “Bryonic vampire,” an aristocratic and magnetic figure, modeled after Polidori’s employer, Lord Byron, who was attractive and gifted, but also “mad, bad and dangerous to know.”  We can consider vampires such as Lestat, Barnabas Collins, Edward Cullen and even Dracula as part of this tradition.  How does Polidori create this new type of vampire?  What are the characteristics of Ruthven and why is he attractive?

Possible quiz question for Fri. April 18

Both Geraldine and Lord Ruthven are dangerous, seductive beings who cultivate friendships with Cristabel and Aubrey respectively, only to betray them. Pick one aspect of the two friendships (for example, mutual attraction, mystery, erotic elements...)to compare and contrast briefly. How is this element alike/different in two portrayals?

Polidori, “The Vampyre”  

1. Polidori’s “Vampyre” has a complicated publication history.  The story was originally attributed to Bryon, Polidori’s former employer and a wildly successful poet.  What is the relationship between Polidori’s “Vampyre” and Byron’s “Fragment of a Novel”?  What elements of Byron’s story idea doesPolidori seem to adopt? Is this plagiarism? 

2. What is the nature of the friendship between Aubrey and Ruthven?  What sort of “hero” is Aubrey? 

3. What is the nature of friendship in “the Vampyre?”

4. What is the significance to the settings for the story? 

Coleridge: “Christabel”

5. This story was not always presumed to be about vampires.  What hints do we have that Geraldine is such a being?  How does Coleridge develop the supernatural element in the poem?

6. What is the nature of the relationship between Christabel and Geraldine?  How is the homoerotic element handled?  How do they seem in comparison to one another?

7. At certain moments it seems difficult to tell the two girls apart.  At line 65, for example, the pronoun “she” could be read as referring to either girl.  How does this seeming identification function in the poem—what does it mean that they sometimes seem alike? What do you see as the emerging significance of the doppelgänger in vampire fiction?

8. What is the role of the mother in the poem? 

9. When is this poem set? What is the significance of that setting?