Thursday, April 30, 2015

Werewolves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bisclavret

In the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, werewolves are humans suffering from a curse that causes them to turn into lupine like creatures during the full moon.  While in their wolf form, they are guided by instinct alone and are unable to recognize loved ones.  Some wolf instincts leak into their time as humans, such as the desire to eat meat, recognizing fellow werewolves, and heightened senses and reflexes.  People's reactions to werewolves, whether they were afflicted with the curse or not, carried amongst the characters of the show.  Some people believed werewolves shouldn't be held accountable for what is done during the full moon.  However, there are hunters that would find werewolves and kill them in order to collect their pelts for the black market, or simply hunt them for recreation.  Of the werewolves, they would often either be scared of their wolf form and do their best to restrain it, or believe that the transformation is the best part of them.

Unlike the wolf in "Bisclavret", the werewolves in Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not recognize other beings.  Buffy werewolves are said to be driven by the wolf's instinct to hunt and that the human rationality remains dormant.  There is a hierarchy in werewolf packs, but no acknowledgment of humans on the part of the transformed wolf besides prey.  In Marie's story, the wife's revulsion of her husband is because of his transformation, and no longer wishes "to lie with him" due to something he has no control over.  She does not care that he remains as a human for the rest of the month, much like the character Gib Cain in Buffy.  Cain kills werewolves during the full moon specifically so he can skin them and sell their fur on the black market and does not recognize werewolves to be regular humans when not transformed.  They both dismiss werewolves as humans, even though werewolves spend most of their life in human form and are perfectly viable members of human society.  Even several werewolves themselves in Buffy are so scared of their other form that they leave their homes and search for an impossible cure.  However, some friends of the werewolves, in either show or story, still remain loyal to their afflicted friend.  In "Bisclavret" it is because king notices that "It has the intelligence of a human," and in Buffy it is because the human self is forced to be dormant during transformation and therefore any actions are entirely that of a wolf.  A separation is created between the wolf and the human in both stories based on whether human intelligence is recognized when the werewolf is in their lupine form.

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