Paper On Elizabeth Bathory

2019 words - 9 pages

Elizabeth Bathory has been portrayed over time as one of the most prolific and sadistic serial killers the world has known. She was nicknamed "The Blood Countess", and also "Lady Dracula". Elizabeth Bathory is reputed to have not only drunk but bathed in the blood of young virgin girls. She is perhaps less well-known only than the infamous Vlad Dracula, who was an inspiration for Bram Stoker's fictional Count Dracula. During the years since Dracula was published, the Blood Countess has exercised a powerful fascination on many writers and film-makers. However, recently, there have been many books and films that go against the usual image of Bathory, and take a new look at her. Through my essay, I hope to give a fresh look at the life and death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory and pick out the truth from many myths surrounding her, due to the portrayal of Elizabeth Bathory's crimes in popular culture. Countess Erzsébet Báthory, also known as Elizabeth Bathory, was a member of a powerful family from an estate at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, the Bathory family. She was born in 1560 to Baron George Bathory and Baroness Anne Bathory ("Blood Countess," par.1). Elizabeth was raised on Ecsed, an estate in Transylvania. Elizabeth was not an easy child, nor was life easy for her, despite being a member of the privileged class. She was said to suffer from a brain disorder associated with increased aggression which could be due to inbreeding, which was very popular in royal families in order to keep wealth within the family ("Blood Countess," par.2). She was married off at the age of 15 for political gain to soldier Ferencz Nadasdy and moved in to the castle Sarvar. Ferencz Nadasdy was not present much during their marriage due to commitments to war campaigns, which he was involved in ("Blood Countess," par.1). Bathory was in charge of the house, making sure that everything ran smoothly while he was away, one of the jobs which she had to takeover was the punishment of slaves for their wrong doings. While her behavior toward servants is legendary today, it was not uncommon among aristocrats to exercise their power in brutal beatings and even death for those they considered lesser beings. After fathering four children with Elizabeth, three boys and a girl, Nadasdy fell ill in 1601 and was confined to his bed until he died in 1604, leaving Elizabeth at the age of 44 ("Blood Countess," par.2). She moved at once to their castle in Vienna, where she had a more active social life, but eventually returned to her estates, castle Cesjte, in Hungary where she had more privacy for torture sessions (Ramsland, par.1). There are some accounts that say it was Nadasdy who taught Elizabeth how to torture the servants. One of his alleged methods was to spread honey over a naked servant girl and leave her tied down outside for the bugs to nibble and bees to sting. He also showed his wife the art of freezing a girl to death during the winter by pouring water over her body until it hardened and she was unable to move (Ramsland, par.1). Elizabeth continued to use torture after her husband's death, and even refined her methods. Valentine Penrose, who was a historian, has written many books on the crimes of Elizabeth Bathory during the middle of the 1990's. Valentine claims that Elizabeth Bathory first started killing her servants due to lesbian urges which she was having during her adolescences, and soon the only way to feed these urges was through the sadistic killings of these young servants ("Blood Countess," par. 1). It is also at this time a legend was told that she discovered, on striking a servant girl who accidentally pulled her hair while combing it, that blood appeared to reduce her the signs of ageing on her skin ("Blood Countess," par. 4). This leads to the torturing of her slaves and draining their blood in order to bath in it. In the name of vanity and beauty, she was soon entwined with witchcraft, cannibalism and vampirism, killing hundreds of servant virgins in her reign of cruelty. It was little known that she was not alone in her vile activities. Others knew, approved and participated with her. In fact, there was a widow of one of her tenant farmers named Erzsi Majorova who encouraged her to kidnap girls from the lesser nobility ("Báthory's Accomplices," par.3). When the crop of peasant girls had run out, Elizabeth offered to teach courtly etiquette to young women from noble families, and when they arrived at the castle she had her pick. After the murder of such young lady in 1609, which Elizabeth tried to stage as a suicide, the authorities finally decided to act (Ramsland, par. 5). This suspicious incident, coupled with many other rumors over the years, required action. King Matthias supported it, because Elizabeth had been asking him to repay funds he had borrowed from her husband, and if the rumors proved true and she was arrested, he would be free of his debt (Gelhaar, par.6). In other words, everyone would win except the lady in question. In 1610, King Matthias assigned Thurzo, who was a high-born relative of Elizabeth, to investigate. Even before obtaining the results, Count Thurzo moved quickly to save the family as much face as possible by negotiating with the king that a trial and execution would have caused a public scandal and disgraced a noble and influential family ("Blood Countess," par.1). Thurzo originally planned for Elizabeth to be spirited away to a nunnery, but as accounts of her murder of the daughters of lesser nobility spread, it was agreed that Elizabeth Bathory should be kept under strict house arrest, but that further punishment should be avoided ("Blood Countess," par. 2). Thurzo went to Csejte Castle on 30 December 1610 and arrested Bathory and four of her servants, who were accused of being her cooperators ("Blood Countess," par.1). In January 1611, a trial was held with the testimony of the four defendants, as well as thirteen witnesses. All of Elizabeth's accomplices jostled one another to be first to win clemency through cooperation or to avoid further torture. Elizabeth herself did not attend the trial and did not testify. Instead she remained in her castle, maintaining her innocence (Ramsland, par. 5). The principal testimony against Elizabeth was offered by her servants and by people who had assisted her in her bloody campaign. Each of her cohorts was asked the same questions about how and what things had been done in the castle that related to the crimes. They were also pressed to describe any tortures they had used and what had happened to those girls who had died. More to the point, they were to describe fully the countess's involvement ("Blood Countess," par.3). What they had to say revealed a practice so vile that Elizabeth is still known to this day as one of the cruelest monsters in history. Ficzko, a dwarf who had worked for Elizabeth for 16 years, claimed he had been taken there forcibly. He said that the girls had been lured from the country with the promise of employment in the castle. If the girls did not come willingly, they were beaten into unconsciousness and carried off. The girls had been chosen for the softness of their skin, even of their tongues and for their youth and beauty ( Ramsland, par.2). The descriptions of torture that emerged during the trials were often based on hearsay. The atrocities described most consistently included: severe beatings over extended periods of time, often leading to death; burning or mutilation of hands, sometimes also of faces and genitalia; biting the flesh off the faces, arms and other bodily parts; freezing to death; starving of victims and sexual abuse ("Báthory's Accomplices," par. 2). Based on the skeletons and cadaver parts found in and around the castle, as well as witness reports, Countess Bathory and her cronies were convicted on 80 counts of murder. One witness who spoke at the trial mentioned a book in which a total of over 650 victims was supposed to have been listed by Bathory (Ramsland, par.2). Reportedly, the location of the diaries is unknown but 32 letters written by Bathory are stored in the Hungarian state archives in Budapest. Two of Elizabeth accomplices, Helena Jo and Dorothea Szentes, were named as the foremost perpetrators and sentenced to have their fingers torn out with red-hot pincers, and then to be burned alive. As a lesser offender, Ficzko was decapitated before his body was burned alongside the two women. On 24 January, Erszi Majorova was also sentenced and executed ("Báthory's Accomplices," par.6). In the end, Elizabeth Bathory was imprisoned for life, with no formal sentencing, locked in a small set of rooms in her own castle at Cahtice. On 21 August 1614, Elizabeth Bathory was found dead in her castle. She was buried in the church of Csejte, but due to the villagers' uproar over having "The Tigress of Csejte" buried in their cemetery, her body was moved to her birth home at Ecsed( "Blood Countess," par.1). Many accounts of the life and crimes of Elizabeth Bathory only go into great detail about cruelty but fail to mention the fact that she was a very intellectual person who could read and write in four languages. The Countess also gave generously to the church, patronized scholars and the arts, and even protected incomes of the clergy (Craft 148). Kimberly Craft, the author of "Infamous Lady: The true story of Countess Erzsebet Bathory", even states in her book that the Countess repeatedly petitioned to testify on her own behalf but was denied each time by Count Thurzo because this would have risked the loss of her lands and shame being brought to both the Bathory and Nadasdy families (Craft 203). Recently new books such as "Countess Dracula: Life and Times of Elisabeth Bathory, the Blood Countess" by Tony Throne, "The Infamous Lady" by Kimberly L. Craft and also the movie "Bathory" produced by Juraj Jakubisko have given us a new insight on the life and crimes of the Blood Countess. These books and film mainly focused on the theory of Bathory being a scapegoat rather than a ruthless murderer (Gelhaar, par.5). The perception of Bathory has been under vigorous change due to plenty of films that portray vampires being good rather than bad, for example: the American television series "True Blood" based on "The Southern Vampire Mysteries series" by Charlaine Harris . To conclude, the story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory has somehow been exaggerated and she has become more of a legend than a reality and is an archetype of a serial killer, whose power and status had allowed her to kill many young servants. The interpretation of Elizabeth Bathory as a horrendous serial killer who bathed in the blood of her victims will still stain her name for centuries to come. Reference: 1. Ramsland, Katherine. "Countess Elizabeth Bathory - The Blood Countess." TruTV.com. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/predators/bathory/8.html>. 2. Gelhaar, Jimmy. "Countess Elizabeth Bathory Guilty or Innocent?" Squidoo. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://www.squidoo.com/countesselizabethbathory>. 3. " Elizabeth Bathory - the Blood Countess." BBC - Homepage. Web. 19 Sept. 2011 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A593084>. 4. "Elizabeth Báthory's Accomplices." Elizabeth Bathory. Web. 19 Sept. 2011. <http://elizabethbathory.com/elizabeth-bthorys-accomplices.html>. 5. Craft, Kimberly L. Infamous Lady : the True Story of Countess Erzsebet Bathory. Lexington: Create Space, 2009. Print.

RELATED

Literary Analysis - Hills like White Elephants - WR 303 - Literary Analysis

1555 words - 7 pages 1 Madison Evans Jake Sauvageau WR 303 Literary Analysis 8/30/18 Ernest Hemingway’s Hills like White Elephants The short story Hills like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway is a story about a man and woman who are sitting at a bar at a small train station somewhere in Spain. They seem to be having a heated conversation about a mysterious “operation”. The author never explicitly says what the issue is between the man and woman, but it can be

An Analysis of Walter Freeman, Father of the Lobotomy - NKU HNR 151H - Essay

1433 words - 6 pages 1 Brandell Hannah Brandell Prof. Tamara O’Callaghan ENG151H-007 5 May 2017 Walter Freeman and the Invention of the Lobotomy In Steely Library’s digital archives, one of the postcards from the Gilliam family collection is entitled Western Kentucky Asylum for the Insane, Hopkinsville, KY. The postcard dates back to 1915 and portrays a beautiful building, complete with red bricks and white columns. Many of the insane asylums around this time were

Lost Treasure, A story about a psychopathic father - Amity college 11BB - Creative Story

1130 words - 5 pages Lost Treasure When I was a child, my late father and I would spend every moment of the summer season on the sparkling white sand of the beach near our home. We would dance, kicking up the shiny surface so that the droplets glimmered like diamonds in the sunlight. We would lie on our backs and stare at the sky, until the swirling clouds began to take on our imaginative shapes mingled together by our fantastical minds. We would grip imaginary

robotics revolution represent for human employment in New Zealand in the next 30 years - massey university - management

1357 words - 6 pages Rebecca Hastie 11256694 How much of a threat does the robotics revolution represent for human employment in New Zealand in the next 30 years? In order to understand the threats that robotics may pose to human employment in the future, it is important to examine the ways in which robots and computerization are already influencing different employment industries today, and how they have changed our labor practices in the past. If this information

A review of “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”. - ANU - literature review

1115 words - 5 pages Free A review of “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”. In the article “Indigenous remain ‘asset rich, dirt poor’ 25 years after Mabo”, Indigenous affairs editor, Fitzpatrick (2017) presents the socioeconomic situation of the Aboriginal people, using the views of the former prime minister’s advisor, Josephine Cashman. Miss Cashman pointed out that the promises made to the indigenous people, presented in the Mabo case, had not

Comparison of Tom and Jay from Great Gatsby - English - Essay

749 words - 3 pages Annie Shepherd-Barron, Luxmoore Comparison Between the Portrayal of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby in Chapters 1 to 6 Fitzgerald purposefully portrays Jay Gatsby and Tom Buchanan in contrasting ways to emphasise the variety of money within the American market, during the era in which the novel is set. A major difference between the two men is ‘new money’ and ‘old money’, where Gatsby represents ‘new money’, but Daisy and Tom represent ‘old money

term project of marketing strategy - global business management 1 st semester - essay

405 words - 2 pages Boston Pizza Boston Pizza is a Canadian fast food restaurant, which began in Edmonton, Alberta, on August 12, 1964. The restaurant had begun operations on 17 different locations in western Canada by 1970. In 1968 a royal Canadian mounted police officer Jim treliving noticed the growing popularity of Boston pizza and he bought the rights to start a restaurant in British Colombia. He was the first franchisees of Boston pizza. At present, Boston

The advantages and disadvantages of social media - Bucks County Community College - essay

830 words - 4 pages Sioe Liang Ngeow ( Caden ) Alan Rubin COMP110.N12 15 June 2017 Wisely Use Of Social Media In the era of modernity, the application of technology is already inevitable, especially the use of social media. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have come into widespread use globally. As we all know, Mark Zuckerberg, as the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook is ranked as one of the top ten wealthiest people in the world

Pet Peeves Public Speaking Speech - Public Speaking - Speech

506 words - 3 pages ​I’m​ ​not​ ​usually​ ​the​ ​kind​ ​of​ ​person​ ​to​ ​express​ ​when​ ​things​ ​annoy​ ​me--other​ ​than​ ​rolling​ ​my​ ​eyes,​ ​but​ ​there are​ ​actually​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​things​ ​I​ ​don’t​ ​like.​ ​I​ ​can’t​ ​say​ ​I’m​ ​not​ ​guilty​ ​for​ ​some​ ​major​ ​pet​ ​peeves,​ ​like​ ​always​ ​being late,​ ​but​ ​here​ ​are​ ​my​ ​pet​ ​peeves​ ​that​ ​people​ ​should​ ​really​ ​work​ ​on. This​ ​one​ ​goes​ ​out​ ​to​ ​my​ ​mom…​ ​Yes

math Algebra Define Variable 1 Math - Algebra 1 - Algebra 1

868 words - 4 pages Evaluate each expression when y = 6. 1. 7 – y = 2. y – 3 = 3. 6 + y = 4. y + 2 = 5. y – 2 = 6. y – 1 = 7. 7 + y = 8. y + 8 = 9. 3 + y = 10. y + 4 = Evaluate each expression when y = 4. 11. y + 5 = 12. y – 7 = 13. 2 – y = 14. 7 – y = 15. 9 – y = 16. y + 6 = 17. 6 – y = 18. y – 5 = 19. y + 4 = 20. y + 9 = Evaluate each expression when y = 8. 21. y + 5 = 22. y – 8 = 23. 2 – y = 24. 6 – y = 25. y – 1 = 26. y – 9 = 27. 4 + y = 28. 1 + y = 29. 9 – y

home automation haow its work in the society - speech comunication - home automation

1618 words - 7 pages Free Introduccion A home automation system typically connects controlled devices to a central hub or "gateway". The user interface for control of the system uses either wall-mounted terminals, tablet or desktop computers, a mobile phone application, or a Web interface, that may also be accessible off-site through the Internet. Also it will control lighting, climate, entertainment systems, and appliances. It may also include home security such as

Intercultural essay on my culture - mesa high - essay

599 words - 3 pages Lopez 1 Lopez 4 Danielle Lopez Michelle Young COM 263: 18FA5689 9 September 2018 My Personal Culture The Hispanic culture has different values, beliefs, and traditions. Family is highly value. Family is a close-knit group and the most important social group to gather in any events or special days. The Hispanic “family unit” includes not only parents and children but also grandparents and extended family. Individuals within the family have moral

History Paper for Us History Class - US History , Hudson County Community College - Essau

2229 words - 9 pages Ramos7 Johanna Ramos History Research Paper November 30, 2017 US History II 106-01 How 9/11 Impacted Our Population History is the study of past events. Within history many major events have occurred that has change the equilibrium we know of today. If we look back as recent as the events of September 11, 2001 we can speculate that many bodies of government, personal ethical issues and dynamic peace we lost within our economy and everyday lives

Be your true self no matter what people think of you. - Trevor Highschool english 5 - essay

450 words - 2 pages Lopez Jose Lopez Mrs. karen 14 september 2017 Be your true self Fredrich Nietzche once said “The individual has always struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the the privilege of owning yourself.” In my opinion, I believe this quote is true. Many people feel like they have to be a certain way for society to like them. When in reality, they

Brown v.s Board of Education Background Information - English9 - Expository Essay

668 words - 3 pages Greifzu Brown Vs The Board of Education Background Information Expository Essay The Plessy v Ferguson, the Supreme Court Case that stated although colored and white people were separated, as long ad the facilities were equal, it was constitutional. Now, people know that isnt the true because a lot of the colored facilities weren’t equal. Over 50 Years later a new cases, which consisted of five separate cases that were combined into one that is