Essay On Erzsébet Báthory

2212 Words 9 Pages
The legend of Erzsébet Báthory’s alleged slaughter of up to 650 Hungarian peasant girls is not terra incognita for film; from 1971’s Countess Dracula, 1981’s Night of the Werewolf, to 2006’s Stay Alive, her tale has been sensationalized and embellished beyond recognition. Often cited as the inspiration behind the vampire subgenre of horror films, the fable goes that Erzsébet (or Elizabeth, as it’s frequently anglicized.), a wealthy Countess of 17th Century Hungary, was a terribly vain and cruel woman, who murdered hundreds of peasant girls to bathe in their virgin blood as she believed it would preserve her beauty. Most films that feature Báthory’s likeness tend to follow this standard plotline, however 2009’s The Countess suggests otherwise. …show more content…
It is not because of her cruel upbringing but after the disappearance of her much younger lover that Báthory is shown on a slow spiral into madness. She meets the son of Count György Thurzó, István, at a ball after the death of her husband and, despite being 20 years his senior, quickly enters a whirlwind romance with him. István is an unknowing pawn in his father’s plan to topple Báthory, however, and is forbidden from seeing her again by Thurzó. Thinking that her lover had left her due to her age, Erzsébet slowly becomes obsessed with her skin to the point of delusion and one day, after snapping and striking her handmaid with a brush, is splattered in her blood. She swears she sees a difference in her appearance after washing her face and becomes fixated on the purity of young virgin blood, having her staff keep the peasant girl in the castle to repeatedly slice open and drain of her blood as Báthory sees

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