Dracula Transformation Essay

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Shadow of the Vampire is a post-modern text which is a reconstruction of Dracula, a novel by Bram Stoker, and Nosferatu a film directed by F.W. Murnau. The use of intertexuality in Shadow of the Vampire is a key aspect which allows it to echo; themes, the gothic mode and issues that are present in the other two texts. Through a clear pastiche, Merhige produces a new text from the old. Immortality is a key theme which has been subverted from the physical sense through sucking blood, as it’s represented in Dracula, to the spiritual sense through art by producing a perfect film which will outlast and entertain many generations. Bram Stoker uses many motifs such as the; wafer, stake, crucifix and garlic flowers to demonstrate the Count’s immortality as these reoccurring symbols show the limited objects that can rid of a vampire, emphasizing his strength and power. Although these symbols are all present and continual in Shadow (‘crosses aren’t for decoration’- villager says to Murnau), they don’t portray the immortality, instead Merhige uses film techniques to replace the language techniques of Dracula. The zoom in of the camera is an example as it shows the deep expression and desperation of Murnau to achieve his perfect picture and effectively his immortality. Dialogue and particular quotes make his goal obvious; ‘our memory won’t blur or fade’ and ‘context that will last like the graves’ and also shows his obsession to earn immortality. Murnau’s obsession with his picture in Shadow causes him to turn into the mad protagonist of the film and instead all our sorrowful emotions become aimed at Count Orlock, who is a poor and weak replication of the vampiristic image set by Dracula1. In Dracula the protagonist (being the Count) also becomes obsessed with immortality and the female characters (Mina and Lucy) as he repeatedly visits them; the illicit love that Dracula has for these women adds to the terror and gothic romance of the novel. As...
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