Synopsis

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We thought it would be useful to sum up the principle themes we discussed in these pages: we'll list the main topics we examined, just to conclude this work we hope you appreciated.

· First of all, we described the nature of some bats, three types of chiropters who feed on the blood of their pray; then, we explained the etymology of the "surname" attributed to these animals: vampires. (Introduction)

· Secondly, we talked about other living beings who draw blood from their victims: mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, horseflies and so on. We added that there's also another creature (whose existence is not proved) who's said to drink blood: the chupacabra, probably an old wolf mistaken for a monster. We observed that it often happens that something very rational is transformed into something irrational: even nowadays somebody takes strange lights in the sky for UFOs. (The Origins of the Legend)

· We dedicated a chapter to porphyrias, genetic diseases whose symptoms coincide with the characteristics attributed to vampires by the myth: the belief in the existence of the vampire dates back to the times in which this group of illnesses wasn't explicable in any other way except the one of the preternatural. (Porphyrias: between real and supernatural)

· The following section deals with the behaviour of the vampire: it avoids sunlight, during the day it sleeps in a coffin, it's scared by sacred symbols, it can be killed by wooden sticks if they are drive into their heart and so it fears them, etc. (Symptomatology of Vampirism)

· We inserted two stories among this project: we can title them The Tricks of Death and Knight at arms, borrowing the second title by the first line of Keat's La Belle Dame sans Merci. (Appendix, Appendix II)

· Sixth point: we summarised two films and we pointed out that, from the first trials to the latest movie about vampires, the rendering of this dark creature changed. The tendency is the one to abandon horrible and wicked characters to present on the screen lovely and beautiful vampires: we said that there's a kind of "evolution" of this figure, even if sometimes film directors move steps backwards.

· In one of the last chapters we analysed the huge amount of writings about proto-vampires and vampires, from Gilgamesh's Saga to the Bible, from Sumerian mythology to Greek and Latin ones (in particular, we quoted Horace, Ovid and Lucan). We proceeded listing some more modern works: G. A. Burger's Lenore, J. W. Goethe's The Bride from Corinth, E. A. Poe's Ligeia, C. Baudelaire's Les Metamorphoses du Vampir, J. W. Polidori's The Vampire, M. Elide's Domnisoara Christina, T. Gautier's La Morte Amoreuse, J. S. Le Fanu's Carmilla. In the end, we briefly portrayed some "vamps", i.e. femmes fatale such as the one presented by Baudelaire in the fleur Le Vampire, focusing more on Italian literature (we mentioned the works of E. Praga, I. U. Tarchetti, G. Verga and G. D'Annunzio).
(Trough Myth and Literature)

· We sketched two horrifying biographies: the one of the prince of Wallachia Vlad III the Impaler and the one of Erzsébet Báthory, called Countess Dracula or The Blood Countess for her horrible actions. (Trough History)

· In the second-last section we focused on Christian and Dionysian religions: in both of them the blood of the god is represented by wine, which is drunk by the faithful during particular rites. (Religion)

· In the very last chapter, we thought it would be nice to conclude with a praise of imagination, the faculty which gave birth not only to vampires, fairies, witches, sirens, monsters and other fantastic creatures, but also to art, literature, music, things we couldn't live without but in a very gray way; we need to dream, to believe in angels and Elysium, otherwise we will die, if not physically, spiritually.

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