Friday, April 30, 2010

Blood: Symbol of Life

Vampire legends, then, may be allegories for real-life monsters -- perhaps like Vlad Tepes -- that have refused to honor the sacred taboo against consuming the vitality of other humans.

SHOOT: An interesting if somewhat disturbing article this, on the source of vampire legends.

Most Christians wouldn't infer vampirism from the story of the Last Supper. Christ offers the chalice containing wine to signify his blood to his disciples and directs them to drink it. But there is a parallel between the Eucharist and vampire legends: Both suggest that the consumption of blood is an act of obtaining vitality.

Christ told his disciples he'd shed his blood for their forgiveness. By drinking it, they were taking part in his everlasting divinity. Similarly, through ingesting the blood of others, vampires of lore may live eternally here on Earth.

According to some sources, blood is also reputed for its mythic ability to maintain beauty. When Bram Stoker's fictional Dracula fed on blood, his appearance reverted to a handsome, youthful version of himself.
Anthropophagy (cannibalism) is another example of the symbolic (and literal) vitality derived from eating the flesh or drinking the blood of others.
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