Hypocrisy In Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'

Powerful Essays
‘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…show more content…
In Act 1: Scene 8, Lucy’s feelings about marriage are meant to represent how Victorian men said that women should act towards marriage when she says, “Why can’t they let a girl marry three men at once, or at least as many as want her?”. By describing Lucy as saying this, it emphasises the promiscuous nature of her character who comes across to the reader as an immature young woman who is playfully suggesting becoming a bigamist. However, another idea that is created is that Lucy has been brought up to believe that marriage is the be all and end all of an upper-class woman’s existence. This would explain why she is instinctively tempted to accept any marriage proposal that she might be offered from any male character that ‘want to have her’. Thirdly, it’s also implied that her main priority in life is to get married and that any other ambitions should be put to one side until that day. Another part of the play that represents ideas relating to marriage and motherhood is after Lucy has had her head shaved during her post-seduction ‘illness’, she tells Florrie, “Said he loved it long and loose and me looking a little like a school girl”. When Florrie asks whom she is referring to, Lucy replies, “Daddy…Arthur!....Someone…? I forget.” Lochhead has cleverly purposefully made it so Lucy mixes up the identities of Lucy’s father and groom-to-be to emphasise the…show more content…
During a dialogue with Florrie, Lucy is asking her about sex and she says, “is it absolutely the most sweetest delicious swoony magical marvellous thing you ever…” The breakdown of syntax when asking about such things is like that of a child to reflect that, despite being curious about sex which was considered distasteful at the time, she is an intrinsically innocent character. Her innocent, childish tone here highlights the danger of ‘protecting’ women from the reality of sex, as well as demonstrating how such restriction placed upon them by society means that females are not prepared for the complications of sexual relationships, which remain a mystery to them. This is the primary cause for Lucy later being seduced by Dracula because the truth has been hid from her, allowing her imagination to conjure the action of sex to be something so incredibly wonderful that the obvious danger that Dracula himself possesses is shoved aside by Lucy as she is desperate to experience such a blissful event. In addition, this also relates back to the child symbolism as when a child is told not to do something it almost always results in the child almost instinctively doing whatever they were told not to do. After Lucy has been seduced by Dracula, Lochhead creates a link between women and Lunatics. Lucy says to Florrie: “I know things,
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