The Vampire Myth

Topics: Vampire, Dracula, Bram Stoker Pages: 3 (1079 words) Published: March 28, 2014
Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ represents Dracula as an irresistible lover who sucks away energy, ambition, or even life for selfish reasons. Dracula's thirst for blood and the manner in which he satisfies his thirst can be interpreted as sexual desire that fails to observe any of society's attempts to control it. What raises Stoker’s primal masterpiece above most other vampire texts is Dracula’s character through time and this due to the author’s brazen combination of vampirism and eroticism. Van Helsing (2004) is a Hollywood action horror film that appropriates elements of the vampire myth in the 21st century context. The film is a tribute to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and '40s (also produced by Universal Studios which were in turn based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley), of which director Stephen Sommers  was influenced by. Hans Makart in 1880, a Viennese artist, and a contemporary of Bram Stoker, created the Portrait of Anna von Waldberg with its vampiric skin coloration, voluptuous colouring, and insatiably hungry eyes that also hints at sexually active woman as metaphoric life suckers. Sex appeal was, at the time of the text’s conception (Bram Stoker’s Dracula) very much repressed value. It was common in people's thoughts however but considered unacceptable by the dominant beliefs of the nineteenth century society. Bram Stoker attempts to reverse this rejection particularly through vampirism. “The girl advanced and bent over me…She arched her neck … Lower and lower went her head … … Now I felt the hot breath … the sensitive skin on my throat began to tingle. … just touching, pausing. I closed my eyes in languorous ecstasy – and waited.” The novel presents the fear of female promiscuity, for which vampirism is a metaphor. Such fear can be related to the time in which Dracula was written, where strict Victorian gender norms and sexual mores stipulated that women should be either both pure and chaste as a virgin, or a wife and...
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