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  • The soul, a punishment or a gift.

    After the latest issue of Angel:ATF the discussion returned.

    Should you give vampires their soul back?


    It's the way to offer a vampire redemption, but is it fair? No matter what you believe (is the soulles vampire the same person as the soulled vampire etc.), it's a creature that can't help being evil gets punished in a terrible way. (if you believe that it are two different persons, an innocent gets punished.) Vampires were in the most cases no bad people, still they get punished because they were killed and did evil stuff when they were soulless. But it gave Liam/Angel a second chance to prove that he is more than the man who was killed in Galway 250 years ago, you could even argue that this is the reason that Angel earned a ticket to get into heaven.
    27
    a punishment
    33.33%
    9
    a gift
    33.33%
    9
    something else (explain?)
    33.33%
    9
    Last edited by Nina; 22-12-08, 04:16 PM.


  • #2
    You might say that being evil is a punishment in itself - as in, you're missing out on true joy, true love and an ability to enjoy the world fully. Being a vampire can bring excitement and pleasure, but perhaps you are never truly whole, because you are always driven by this evil inside you and because you can't empathize or truly connect or trust anyone.

    But then again, vampires probably don't mind that much.

    So I'm not sure you could "sell" a soul to a vampire as a good thing for them. But perhaps you could argue that it's better for them to survive, suffering, with a soul, than be staked? Give them that choice


    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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    • #3
      The soul is what you make it, really. To pre-Whistler, pathetic, rat-eating Angel, and to pre-"Never Leave Me", half-crazy or feeling-worthless Spike, it was a punishment. To the hero Angel and hero Spike we have now, it's a gift.

      (set made by Francy for me)

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      • #4
        Re-ensouling vampires makes for some interesting storylines.

        But if we're looking at this from a realistic viewpoint, I'd say it's a bad thing. A stake is a much, much better thing to use on a vampire than trying to put the soul back.

        For starters, you're burdening the person with the horrific memories of an evil vampire. The "person" wasn't responsible for what the demon has done in thier absence, wouldn't it be better to let the soul rest in peace rather than subjecting it to the guilt and remorse that a souled vampire would most likely suffer.

        Then there's the question of whether or not it would do any good. All the instincts and temptations of the vampire are still there. In the very first episode of AtS, Angel had to restrain himself and tell the girl to get away from him. A lot of people would either fail to restrain their inner demon, or they might even enjoy it. The danger is still there, even Angel has stumbled from time to time. If you were thinking of ensouling some random vampire, why not just use a stake instead?

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        • #5
          I think that the soulled vampire can turn it in a good thing, but that is really thanks to the person who is soulled. That Angel and Spike ended up as good guys is something they did and should get credit for.

          But I can't see a soul as anything else as an unfair punishment, especially the cursed version. It was the worst thing the gypsies could think off, staking would be to easy. Liam was maybe not a good person (even that is debatable, I think that he is a standard depressed person) but he wasn't a killer or a psycho. Now he is. He will remember his victims until his last moment and care about that. And it's hard for a vampier to live like one when they have a soul, no longer is being undead something fun.
          Last edited by Nina; 22-12-08, 07:59 PM.

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          • #6
            Both blessing and curse. A vampire receives a chance to redeem himself, yet it is bound to torment him because of his dark past. Both sides of this are shown - after all, Angel is cursed with a soul, while Spike actively seeks it out like a price, and to both of them it is both torment and chance of redemption.

            Re-ensouling vampires instead of staking them would seem rather cruel to me; I agree with Nina there (that the soul was meant as a punishment for Angelus). Not everyone would have the strength to live (or be dead ) through it, and not everyone would become a champion. I imagine many would stake themselves.
            Sin is what I feast upon
            I'm forging my crematorium
            Your tomb is waiting here for you
            Welcome to my ritual

            -Judas Priest, Death

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            • #7
              Since the Demon isn't the person anymore, but rather a demon who has set up shop, I think it's cruel to shove their soul back in there and make them suffer the memories of that demon, as if they were their own.

              Whosoever Shall Call Upon the Name of the Lord Shall Be Saved!

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              • #8
                I agree with Nina, the vampire in question can define whether or not the soul is a gift or a curse. This is why I've always liked Angel, he's used his unique condition to identify with others, to feel their pain as much as he feels their own. So it's not just the soul but also the pain that comes with it, that can turn into a thing of beauty.

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                • #9
                  Hm.. It depends.
                  For Angel is a punishment
                  For Spike is a gift.

                  Anyway, I think it?s a punishment... I mean.. even Spike went crazy because of it. If it makes you suffer, can?t be a gift, right? And there?s nothing better then don?t have guilt
                  What is so great about normal?

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                  • #10
                    I agree with those who find it to be what you make of it. Much like slayerhood, ironically. Those that had it forced upon them generally found it to be a burden, those who could choose it wanted it and liked it.

                    But even those that had it forced upon them eventually found things about it they liked. So really...

                    It's also one of the reasons I sympathize more with those who had it forced upon them. (And this goes for vamps with a soul, slayers, even Giles and his watcher duties) Because they had no choice and had to overcome what was, essentially, a burden.

                    -Luc
                    Last edited by lmblack21; 25-12-08, 04:06 AM.
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                    "If you're an Angel/Buffy fan, there's a big payoff," - Jeremy Atkins, Darkhorse

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cheryl4ba View Post
                      Since the Demon isn't the person anymore, but rather a demon who has set up shop, I think it's cruel to shove their soul back in there and make them suffer the memories of that demon, as if they were their own.
                      This isn't what's happening though, never has been advertised as such. This is made very explicit in "Surprise" and "Innocence". The demon is afflicted, if you will, with a soul, so that the demon itself experiences human remorse for what it's done.

                      So, by definition, from the people who *invented* reensouling a vampire, it's a punishment.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                        This isn't what's happening though, never has been advertised as such. This is made very explicit in "Surprise" and "Innocence". The demon is afflicted, if you will, with a soul, so that the demon itself experiences human remorse for what it's done.

                        So, by definition, from the people who *invented* reensouling a vampire, it's a punishment.
                        So you believe Angelus, the demon, actually experiences remorse for his actions because he has a soul? Cause I can't say I agree really...

                        -Luc
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                        • #13
                          Yes, yes I do. The series has belabored the point so often, both subjectively (his own telling of it, starting with "Angel" and never looking back) and objectively (the curse as described by the gypsies) that I don't really see it as a question with much debate to be had. Every single time Angel has been put on the spot and, pardon the expression, has bore has soul to someone, he claims personal, intimate, and direct responsibility for what he did without a soul. As is the purpose of the curse. He always admits that "Angelus" is how he dissociates his current life from his past, it's how he copes. More technically, "Angel" is how he copes, since that's the name he adopted ("you think you are Jenny Calender now? You are Janna!" -- nice parallel, really.).

                          I'd say it's more plausible than for the soul of a man who wasn't even there to feel personally responsible for and obligated to atone for things someone else did.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                            Yes, yes I do. The series has belabored the point so often, both subjectively (his own telling of it, starting with "Angel" and never looking back) and objectively (the curse as described by the gypsies) that I don't really see it as a question with much debate to be had. Every single time Angel has been put on the spot and, pardon the expression, has bore has soul to someone, he claims personal, intimate, and direct responsibility for what he did without a soul. As is the purpose of the curse. He always admits that "Angelus" is how he dissociates his current life from his past, it's how he copes. More technically, "Angel" is how he copes, since that's the name he adopted ("you think you are Jenny Calender now? You are Janna!" -- nice parallel, really.).

                            I'd say it's more plausible than for the soul of a man who wasn't even there to feel personally responsible for and obligated to atone for things someone else did.
                            Well, as per usual, we will never agree. I think the show so often belaboured the point that Angel and Angelus were separate entities, with enough canon to support this that that is how I see it. And the Jenny/Janna parallel is not even close to the same thing. More like.....Cordy and Jasmine Cordy. Xander and Hyena Xander. Possessed by is not the same thing as IS.

                            Que sera sera.

                            -Luc
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                            "If you're an Angel/Buffy fan, there's a big payoff," - Jeremy Atkins, Darkhorse

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                            • #15
                              But when did they state that vampies are possessed?

                              And if they are possessed, how do you explain that soulled Spike is a lot like soulles Spike in his way of behaving? Why do Angelus and Angel share the same hobbies? And why is human Darla just as manipulative as vampire Darla?

                              Jasmine is nothing like Cordelia, the same for Hyena Xander and Jenny when she possessed etc. It look like the vampires are the twisted form of their human form. We saw in Ats season 1 what a soulless kid looked like and it's pretty much as evil as a vampire. Remove the soul and there is a vicious person left.

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                              • #16
                                Yeah I agree, for me personally Angel/Angelus are the same. His whole fight for redemption wouldn't make much sense, or at best have the same impact If that wasn't the case.

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                                • #17
                                  As I've always said, the definition of the soul has been inconsistently portrayed. The original story is the vampire is the human it once was. The 'meness' is gone to the ether and the demon with the memories. Then it seemed to be depicted as the conscience.

                                  Various quotes on the show have supported either theory.

                                  The one that makes me laugh is that Spike claimed credit for getting a soul yet when Fred's soul was destroyed, he says that he and Angel are experts yet in this context it means the spirit. I don't think the vampires in question even know what the soul is lol.

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                                  • #18
                                    The one that makes me laugh is that Spike claimed credit for getting a soul yet when Fred's soul was destroyed, he says that he and Angel are experts yet in this context it means the spirit. I don't think the vampires in question even know what the soul is lol.
                                    Oh I think that both Spike and Angel are 'experts' in that as souled demons know what iit is to be both souled and unsouled and what a difference it means. How when souled the weight of what they did to others weighs heavily with them and yet unsouled they just felt free to do whatever they desired and sod the consequences.

                                    I agree though Joss has always played 'fast and loose' with what that actually means in the context of the Bufyverse. It changed from episode to episode, and changed depending on where they wanted the plot driven.
                                    Last edited by sueworld; 25-12-08, 07:25 PM.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Nina View Post
                                      But when did they state that vampies are possessed?
                                      They never did. They're not. There's no evidence that the book is anything but closed on the people that inhabited those bodies before they were sired. What you end up with is a demon -- a demon with an identity built entirely on a person who no longer exists, but a demon. Then what you have is the question of whether that demon has a soul.

                                      This is really the only interpretation that can reconcile *both* what we learn about vampires at the start of the series and what we see those vampires experience.
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Nina View Post
                                        But when did they state that vampies are possessed?

                                        And if they are possessed, how do you explain that soulled Spike is a lot like soulles Spike in his way of behaving? Why do Angelus and Angel share the same hobbies? And why is human Darla just as manipulative as vampire Darla?

                                        Jasmine is nothing like Cordelia, the same for Hyena Xander and Jenny when she possessed etc. It look like the vampires are the twisted form of their human form. We saw in Ats season 1 what a soulless kid looked like and it's pretty much as evil as a vampire. Remove the soul and there is a vicious person left.
                                        Vampires are not possessed. The bodies are possessed by the demon, the vampire. The soul added adds another person. So you have the demon Angelus and the soulled person Angel. Much like Xander was still there when he was infected with the hyena demon and Cordy was infected with Jasmine. But Cordy was NOT Jasmine, nor was Xander HyenaXander.

                                        Remove the soul and Angel is gone. Remove the demon (ie: make Angel human ala IWRY or the comics) and Angel remains.

                                        And I believe the show illustrates that quite well and ad nauseum. I know others disagree though and always will. I don't have a problem with that though.

                                        Merry Christmas, by the way!

                                        -Luc
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                                        "If you're an Angel/Buffy fan, there's a big payoff," - Jeremy Atkins, Darkhorse

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