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Dracula: History, Myth, and Popular Culture

Transformations
History: Vlad III Dracula Literature: Bram Stokers, Dracula Theatre: Dracula Film: NosferatuShadow of the Vampire 1431-1476 1897 1924 & 1927 1922-2000

History: Vlad III Dracula


Born: 1431 in Sighisoara, Transylvania

1431-1476

Dracula: Son of the Dragon/Devil


Second child of Vlad II Dracul, voivode of Walachia 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


1431-1476

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 Dracula. 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

1847-1912
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

1897

Epistolary novel Significant plot changes 2nd to the Bible in sales Inspired or influenced over 700 films Never been out of print Translated into every major language in the world

Only one page in a vast output of political pornography directed against us by our enemies; an attack on the very idea of being a Romanian. -Adrian Panescu, 1985

Literature: the Count or the Voivode

1897

2 major differences Count: Castle in Transylvanian Alps Voivode: Castle in Walachia's foothills Count: of Szekely blood, from the "northern country" 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 guard. 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 Ottomans.

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. --Niccol Modrussa Count Dracula

1897

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 Stoker

Theatre: Dracula
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 production

1924 & 1927

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

1922
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 First authorized film adaptation

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 novel

Film: Other Interpretations

1979-2000
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

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 1992: Bram Stokers Dracula D. Francis Ford Coppola, Count: Gary Oldman Closest to novel (characters & journal entries) Supernatural romance Vlad III Dracula and Count Dracula

The making of Murnaus Nosferatu

Film: Other Interpretations

1979-2000

Dracula: History, Myth, and Popular Culture