Essay on Bram Stoker's Dracula as a Romantic Myth

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Bram Stoker's Dracula as a Romantic Myth

In this paper, I will present my reflections and thoughts on the myth of Dracula in particular, and the vampyre in general, as a love story and show the deeply rooted links between the two myths and Christianity, as refracted through the prism of Francis Ford Coppola's film Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992).

One of the most well known aspects of a vampyre is that it must feed upon the blood of the living; Dracula must drink to survive, (akin to people drinking the blood of Christ--the blood of divine life). However, I do not believe that this act of survival should be the basis by which the myth of Dracula is labeled as horrific and evil. From a mythical perspective, Dracula was simply, to
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Constantinople had fallen. Muslim Turks swept into Europe with a vast superior force, striking at Rumania, threatening all of Christendom. From Transylvania arose a Rumanian knight of the sacred "Order of the Dragon", known as Dracula. On the eve of the battle, his bride, Elizabetha, whom he prized above all things on Earth, knew he must face an insurmountable force, from which he might never return. (Coppola, 1992)

Dracula is victorious against the Turks. However, seeking a measure of revenge, the Turks shoot an arrow into his castle, carrying false news of his death. Elisabeta, overcome with grief, hurls herself into the river from atop the castle ramparts.

The prologue establishes Dracula as a Christian knight, defending God's church and the light of Christendom from pagan, heathen forces of darkness. It is a fascinating combination of mythic-religious symbols residing on the extreme eastern edge of 15th century Christian civilization. The sacred, blessed "Order of the Dragon" is a very pre-Christian symbol of feminine strength and magic connected with the earth, whose story is beautifully presented by John Boorman in his 1981 film "Excalibur". Dracula, an earthly rooted warrior, swinging a sword in his left hand with murderous intent, and cradling a crucifix in his right, faithfully devoted to an airy, non-earth residing God.

The link between the name Dracula and the dragon is interesting.
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