Among the more counterintuitive tropes of the vampire genre is the propensity of vampires to attempt suicide (often successfully). This chapter focuses on three motivations for vampire suicide – vampire guilt, vampire martyrdom and vampire ennui. In relation to guilt, this chapter will discuss Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series, James Malcolm Rymer’s novel Varney the Vampire; or, The Feast of Blood and Park Chan-wook’s 2009 film Thirst. Vampire martyrdom will be discussed in relation to David Slade’s 2007 American horror movie 30 Days of Night, based on Steve Niles’s 2002 graphic novel, and Darla in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, Angel . As for vampire ennui, the characters of Godric (Allan Hyde) in HBO's True Blood and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) in Jim Jarmusch's 2013 Only Lovers Left Alive will provide examples. After noting the motivations for vampire suicide in Gothic narrative, the emphasis of the chapter will be on the ways in which vampire suicidal tendencies constitute a half-hearted attempt to recuperate the vampire genre from charges of immorality through a strategy of inversion.
This chapter pinpoints 27 December 1601 as the date of the first performance
of Twelfth Night – and demonstrates that Shakespeare wrote his play for two
audiences, one at Elizabeth’s Court, the other at the Inns of Court.