Theme Of Madness In Bram Stoker's Dracula

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1. Introduction Madness as a theme plays an important role in Bram Stoker 's “Dracula”, almost every character at some point exhibits some kind of behaviour which could be connected with mental instability. “The working notes for the novel show that the idea of madness was present from an early stage; a cast list dating from the spring of 1890 includes a mad doctor and a mad patient who has ‘a theory of perpetual life’.” (Pedlar136). Even though, male and female characters are equally susceptible to madness, their actions and states which are similar in their nature are seen and dealt with in different ways. Madness in its most broad definition is a concept that is frequently used, but not fully explained or understood by Stoker “…the idea of insanity was an integral part of the Stoker 's conception, but his reading…show more content…
There were “… three areas in which a Victorian man had to assert his masculinity within society: home, work and all-male associations.” (Pedlar 16) and failure to do so will mean to be marked as a social deviation and could ultimately lead to a greater degree of degeneration and even to madness. Generally speaking “… the concept of manliness included chivalric ideals of protecting the weak and innocent, particularly as they were domesticated in the idea of the gentleman who would show loyalty, courage and unselfish devotion…moral qualities deriving from Christianity.” (Pedlar 16) The manliness was also depicted as “… the opposite of childishness, beastliness and effeminacy” (Pedlar 16) the concepts that are closely connected with and which to the some extent depict the nature of the madness itself, so we can conclude that the masculinity was in direct opposition to the madness. The problem of this understanding of masculinity was that in 19th century even men themselves started to deviate from this norms leaving opportunity for a deeper social
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