12 April 2010

Care for some claret?

"I never drink. . . wine." The character, Dracula, utters this famous line in the 1939 movie. "The scene created a use of wine, the blood of the grape, as a metaphor for human blood," (Melton 779).

Dracula is hardly the only fictional work that associates wine with human blood. Anne Rice's Lestat reports sitting in taverns clasping a cup of wine while drinking in the vision of human life, in the book The Tale of the Body Thief. In the film rendition of Interview with a Vampire, the same character is shown draining the blood of a rat into a wine glass to serve to thirsty Louis. At times, vampiric characters may imbibe wine in an attempt to placate their desire for the other red drink. "Unlike Bela Lugosi's Dracula. . ., Varney enjoys a good glass of claret, 'for it looks like blood and may not be it'" (Jenkins 83).

Similarity in color encourages the association of blood and wine, but symbolism makes the correlation irresistible. Buried in vampire legend are elements of Christianity. Vampire fiction is imbued with Christian symbolism, dogma, and mysticism. It is no wonder that writers have translated the Eucharist into their vampiric stories. Jesus calls the Passover wine his blood, and so the vampire calls the blood his wine.

Anyway, it makes for a convenient cover-up. Doesn't it? A wine glass in hand doesn't scare away dinner guests like a bleeding heart does.



Jenkins, Mark Collins. Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend.

Melton, J. Gordon. The Vampire Encyclopedia.

Vampire Vineyards. www.vampirevineyards.com [photo]

No comments:

Post a Comment