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Dracula: History, Myth, and Literature


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Title: Dracula: History, Myth, and Literature

Dracula History, Myth, and Literature
  • History Vlad III Dracula
  • Literature Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Theatre Dracula
    1924 1927
  • Film NosferatuShadow of the Vampire
    1922-modern day

History Vlad III Dracula
  • Born 1431 in Sighisoara, Transylvania
  • Dracula Son of the Dragon/Devil
  • Second child of Vlad II Dracul, voivode of
  • Walachia principality between the Danube and the
    Transylvanian Alps in southern Romania
  • Voivode (prince and military leader) for 3
    separate periods 1448, 1456-1462, and 1476
  • To Romanians Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler)
  • To Turks Kaziglu Bey (the Impaler Prince)
  • Impalement preferred method of execution
  • Unified Walachia - resisted Ottoman advances
  • Killed while fighting Turks near Bucharest in 1476

History Vlad III Dracula
  • During 2nd reign murdered between 40,000 and
    100,000 people by 1462
  • Mid-15th century German, Russian, and Turkish
    pamphlets establish notoriety
  • The Frightening and Truly Extraordinary Story of
    a Wicked Blood-drinking Tyrant Called Prince
  • Nuremberg, 1488 "He had a large pot made and
    boards with holes fastened over it and had
    people's heads shoved through there and
    imprisoned them in this. And he had the pot
    filled with water and a big fire made under the
    pot and thus let the people cry out pitiably
    until they were boiled quite to death.
  • An immortal heroic icon
  • Never associated with vampires

Literature Bram Stoker
November 8th, 1847 Abraham Bram Stoker
born in Clontarf, Ireland Attended Trinity
College in Dublin 8 years of civil service 1872
First story, The Crystal Cup 1878 Begins
managing Henry Irving at Londons Lyceum Theatre
  • 1882 First book, Under the Sunset
  • 1890 First novel, The Snakes Pass
  • 1897 Dracula published
  • April 20, 1912 Dies in London

Literature Bram Stokers Influences 1890-1896
  • Researched eastern European vampire folklore
    (especially Transylvanian myths)
  • An Account of the Principalities of Walachia And
    Moldavia, An Extraordinary and Shocking History
    of a
  • Great Berserker Called Prince Dracula, and The
    Historie and Superstitions of Romantic Romania
  • The Un-dead and Count Wampyr
  • 1890 Met Hungarian professor, Arminius Vanbery
  • Syphilis in Victorian England
  • Never set foot in Romania

Literature Bram Stokers Influences 1890-1896
Literature Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Known as an epistolary novel is a novel written
    as a series of documents. The usual form is
    letters, although diary entries, newspaper
    clippings and other documents are sometimes used.
  • The word epistolary comes from the Latin word
    epistola, meaning a letter.
  • Authors use this device to add realism to their

Literature Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Significant plot changes
  • 2nd only to the Bible in sales
  • Inspired over 700 films
  • Never been out of print
  • Translated into every major language in the world
  • Depicts good vs. evil

Literature Bram Stokers Dracula
  • The novel is considered a work of gothic fiction,
    specifically Victorian gothic.
  • Gothic fiction is a type of literature that
    combines elements of both horror and romance.
  • Although gothic fiction was no longer a dominant
    literary genre during the Victorian era, most
    would say that the genre was entering its most
    creative period.
  • Some examples of Victorian gothic writers
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Charlotte and Emily Brontë (Jane Eyre and
    Wuthering Heights)
  • Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

Gothic Literature Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Gothic Elements Include
  • A deserted (or sparsely inhabited) castle or
    mansion in a state of ruins
  • Labyrinths/mazes, dark corridors, and winding
    stairs filled with dusty cobwebs
  • Hidden tunnels/staircases, dungeons, underground
    passages, crypts
  • Limited lighting such as moonlight (usually a
    full moon), candles, flashlight, lantern
  • The setting is usually threatening natural
    landscapes, like rugged mountains, dark forests,
    or eerie moors, exhibiting stormy weather
  • Dark secrets surrounding some tormented soul who
    is left in isolation
  • Ominous omens and curses
  • Magic, supernatural manifestations, or the
    suggestion of the supernatural
  • A damsel in distress
  • The damsels rescuer usually a lover
  • Horrifying (or terrifying) events or the threat
    of such happenings

Tone in Bram Stokers Dracula
  • The novel displays an overall dark tone. The
  • impact of Draculas actions create a bleak
  • outlook on the future. This tone allows the
  • triumph of the protagonists to be enhanced.
  • The characters, who are respectable and
  • overall good people, face this evil head on
  • and triumph. The tone helps to set the odds
  • against their success but they overcome it.

Imagery in Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Imagery is heavily used in an effort to enhance
    the tone.
  • The setting of Draculas castle and its
    appearance is described in detail. Stoker uses
    horror so that the reader will remain interested
    in the plot. He utilizes imagery when describing
    how Dracula would suck the blood out of his
    victim and how he attempted to change Mina Harker
    into a vampire.

Voice in Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Stoker utilizes a more personal voice. Rather
    than Stoker offering his own voice in the novel,
    the voice comes directly from the characters due
    to his writing style. The novel is composed of
    journal entries, letters, and newspaper clippings
    written by the protagonists. Through this, they
    offer their own opinions on the situation which
    may vary from highly optimistic to having a
    negative outlook on the probable outcome of the
  • There isnt one specific voice and this allows
    the reader to have a better understanding of what
    is taking place.
  • The novel is written so that the actions and
    thoughts of the protagonists are known in detail
    by the reader.

Importance of Irony in Bram Stokers Dracula
  • Irony is not very important to the overall
  • plot in Dracula. Everything is described
  • and actually is as it seems.
  • The protagonists are good in every
  • aspect and the vampires are evil in
  • every aspect.
  • This novel is basically the battle between
  • good and evil with good prevailing.

Literature the Count or the Voivode
  • 2 major differences
  • Count Castle in Transylvanian Alps
  • Voivode Castle in Walachia's foothills
  • Count of Szekely blood, from the "northern
  • Voivode of an older Walachian stock
  • 2 Major Similarities
  • Count Dracula describes his royal heritage "Is
    it a wonder that we were a conquering race that
    we were proud that when the Magyar, the Lombard,
    the Avar, the Bulgar, or the Turk poured his
    thousands on our frontiers, we drove them back?
    ... To us, for centuries, was trusted the
    guarding of the frontier of Turkeyland aye, and
    more than that, endless duty of the frontier
  • Count Dracula alludes to an "ancestor" who "sold
    his people to the Turk and brought the shame of
    slavery on them!" Vlad III Draculas younger
    brother, Radu, surrendered Walachia to the

Literature the Count or the Voivode
  • Vlad Tepes
  • He was not very tall, but very stocky and
    strong, with a cold and terrible appearance, a
    strong and aquiline nose, swollen nostrils, a
    thin reddish face in which very long eyelashes
    framed large wide-open green eyes the bushy
    black eyebrows made them appear threatening. His
    face and chin were shaven, but for a moustache.
    The swollen temples increased the bulk of his
    head. A bull's neck connected with his head to
    his body from which black curly locks hung on his
    wide-shouldered person.
  • --Niccolò
  • Count Dracula
  • His face was strong -- a very strong --
    aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and
    peculiarly arched nostrils with lofty domed
    forehead, and hair growing scantily round the
    temple, but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows
    were very massive, almost meeting over the nose,
    and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its
    own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see
    it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and
    rather cruel looking, with peculiarly sharp white
    teeth these protruded over the lips, whose
    remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality
    in a man of his years.
  • --Bram

Theatre Dracula 1924
1924 Dracula, by Hamilton Deane, premiered in
Derby, England popular 3 year tour 3 acts set
mostly in a drawing room in London Count Raymond
Huntley (2000 performances) Count from
cadaverous to charming American entrepreneur,
Horace Liveright, bought rights to the Deane
John Balderston young journalist/playwright
assigned by Liveright to 'Americanize' Deanes
script Toned down theatrical dialogue structure
remained Huntley turned down role Bela Lugosi
hired (speech) 1927 Dracula opens in Fulton
Theatre in New York City Runs for 33 weeks,
earning over 2 million
Film Nosferatu
  • Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grayens (The
    Undead, a Symphony of Horror)
  • Directed by F.W. Murnau (1889-1931)
  • German Expressionist cinema silent
  • Earliest surviving vampire film
  • Max Schreck as Count Orlok isolated, pathetic,
    and withdrawn
  • Murnau drew on popular Vampire lore and Stoker's
    novel (without permission)
  • Changed names and setting
  • Florence Stoker and the British Incorporated
    Society of Authors destroyed the original
    negatives and most of the prints
  • Wordy - journal entries, letters, etc.
  • Straightforward, unromantic, gruesome, cynical
  • Max Schreck myth

Film Dracula Horror of Dracula 1931 1958
Dracula (1931) D. Tod Browning Dracula Bela
Lugosi (speech) Script draws heavily on stage
play Dracula a suave, continental lover -
handsome and charismatic Victorian-era English
aristocrat Omits explicit sexuality
Horror of Dracula (1958) D. Terence Fisher
Dracula Christopher Lee Significant changes to
Film Dracula
http//www.youtube.com/watch?vGG-TwX5A49g Directe
d by Francis Ford Coppola Dracula was played by
Gary Oldman Dracula returns to England to try to
find his lost love Closest to the novel
(characters and journal entries) Supernatural
Film Other Interpretations
  • 1979 Nosferatu, Phantom der Nacht
  • (The Undead, Phantom of the Night)
    D. Werner
    Herzog, Count Klaus Kinski
  • Set in Netherlands, not England
  • First film to portray Dracula as tragic figure
  • Dracula as the plague" personified with
  • no romantic power over mortals
  • 1995 Dracula, Dead and Loving It
    D. Mel Brooks, Count Leslie Nielsen
  • Unpopular parody
  • 2000 Wes Craven Presents Dracula 2000
    D. Patrick Lussier,
    Count Gerard Butler
  • Set in America, modern day
  • 2000 Shadow of the Vampire
  • D. E. Elias Merhige, Count Willem Dafoe
  • The making of Murnaus Nosferatu
  • Best Dracula Quotes (clips)
  • http//www.youtube.com/watch?vwpjQQE7rwr8

Film Other Interpretations
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