The essay I chose to compare Dracula with was “Kiss Me With Those Red Lips: Gender and Inversion in Bram Stoker’s Dracula” by Christopher Craft. The essay explains the sexuality in Dracula, desire, gender, and even homosexuality. Craft mentions his essay gives an account of Stoker’s “vampire metaphor” (Craft 108). He highlights certain and very valid points in the story of Dracula that breaks the Victorian gender role, writing, “a pivotal anxiety of late Victorian culture.” (Craft 108). Craft examines the usual roles of the Victorian men and women, passive women especially, requiring them to “suffer and be still”.
Smartly enough Van Helsing makes a circle of wafer crumbs around them to keep them safe from the devilish spirits that roam the lands around them. This turned out to be a smart plan for Dracula's wives come and attempt to seduce Van Helsing but did not work on him unlike Jonathan Harker. In Jonathan's case the sweet singing which reminded himself of Mina's voice guided him into the ghastly chamber of the three hellish women. To his demise, he falls for their trickery as they slowly feast on his blood. As Jonathan looks upon the three beautiful beasts, he says “I felt in my heart a wicked burning desire that they would kiss me with their red lips” (53).
(Ch 5, pg. 87) Lucy is illustrated as someone who is continuously driven by sexual temptations and flirtatiousness. Stoker puts emphasis on her beauty, which is what grabs the attention of men. Lucy ends up getting killed because her sexual openness was seen as a threat to Victorian society. Stoker uses a character like Lucy in his novel to portray that sexually assertive women who try and use their beauty to win over men will not make it in the Victorian culture.
This can even allow the reader to possibly ‘fill in the blanks’ about the unknown character with her own fears, adding to the horror of the novel. Count Dracula’s first appearance takes place in his castle in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania when Jonathan Harker arrives to discuss a real estate transaction. When Harker arrives at the castle, he first hears Dracula approaching in an ominous manner before he actually sees the Count. “I heard a heavy step approaching behind the great door, and saw through the chinks the gleam of a coming light,” Stoker writes, “then there was the sound of rattling chains and the clanking of massive bolts drawn back. A key was turned with the loud grating noise of long disuse, and the great door swung back”.
Stereotypically, if not saint, the woman must be deceitful, manipulative, dangerous for men and it is possible to interpret the Wife of Bath in this way. However some may say that she is a feminist heroine, expressing her feelings and desires openly, rebelling against the domination of men. This interpretation has some evidences, for example, she evokes arguments with her last husband over a book Valerie and Theofraste which contains a stories about the most untruthful wives in history. Frustrated Alisoun wants to destroy the book, she provokes Jankyn and in a result of the fight, she loses hearing in one ear. Nevertheless, her behaviour cause laugh rather than admiration for her attitude to life and marriage.
Unfortunately, Lady Macbeth herself lacks the capability to kill Duncan. While she sincerely wishes she was able to complete the act, she asks the spirits if they could “unsex” her so that she would be capable of killing King Duncan (Shakespeare 32). As Lady Macbeth becomes aware of the witches’ prophecy, her ambition prompts her to develop a plan involving Macbeth murdering the king. However, she also suspects that her husband is “too full of the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way” (Shakespeare 30), and therefore too civil to be able to seize the throne. Throughout her soliloquy that follows, Lady Macbeth finds that the only way to accomplish her goal is to manipulate her husband and convince him to go through with the murder.
The women of Macbeth have a significant impact on the story, and their male counterparts. The three, famous, conniving Weïrd Sisters have a major impact on Macbeth and are the reasons he spirals into insanity, as evident in scene three when the third witch proclaims, “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (Shakespeare. I. III. 53). By foreshadowing what could be his, the witches sparks Macbeth’s sense of ambition and cause him to think about the possibilities of him becoming king, after all.
‘Dracula’ is a modern play which is adapted, by Liz Lochhead, from the classic horror novel written by Bram Stoker. The play is set during the Victorian era and develops the key themes that were prevalent during this era such as sexual hypocrisy. Lochhead’s unusual approach paces much more significance on the female characters, in particular, Mina and Lucy and puts much less significance on the more well-known and traditional main characters Dracula and Van Helsing. This repression of sexual desires is expressed as Lucy struggles to cope with the social convention of how Victorian women had to behave. In the opening scene, Lucy has conflicting elements in her character and struggles to cope with social convention as Liz Lochhead describes
Shakespeare’s novel diverges the audience and leads to the questionable ideologies that were said to be bestowed by the Creator himself. During the time period of Early Modern England, women were restricted to a certain way of living. This satirical and patriarchal belief led to Macbeth challenging the traditional role of women through the masculine portrayal of Lady Macbeth. Consumed by the ambition the witches prophecies game her, Lady Macbeth demands the spirits to “unsex [her] here” [1.5.2] In order to commit murder, she must first rid herself of any empathy ad love she possesses. She is subverting and undermining the
Therefore, she is punished as a scapegoat of the novel and while Gatsby rises in the eyes of the readers in the end of the novel, Daisy falls. From the feminist point of view, female characters in Fitzgerald fiction are punished because they are stepping outside of their and entering the male sphere. To show their role in the man’s world, they are dehumanised and presented like symbols, which in the end might be interpreted as that they are important as much as men give them importance. The ultimate dehumanization of female characters in Gatsby is seen in their embodiment of the American Dream. Female characters are dehumanized because they are used as of men’s desire, men’s world and men’s Dream.
The downfall of Lucy Westerna and the arrival of Dracula arose fears in which only challenging their sense of humanity and understanding of the world could they be able to overcome the dangers which had surrounded them. A sense of urgency is created in when Bram Stoker uses exclamation marks, as the turn of Lucy begins. “Arthur! Kiss me!” she states it as if it must happen now, or it never will. As Lucy becomes a vampire, she becomes increasingly sexualized.