Dracula is an iconic character today, with tons of books, movies, tv shows and even video games featuring him. People dress up as him on Halloween, people write Wattpad fanfiction and just go gaga over him in general. In fact, it is Dracula’s character which has inspired all modern vampire stories, including everyone’s favourite – Twilight. But the question is who first wrote about Dracula? How Dracula Developed with time as character? So, it’s seems only fitting that we rewind time and take a look at this age old character which has inspired so many other characters and stories.
So, for those of you who don’t know wo Dracula is, are you living under a rock? Dracula is a vampire featuring in Bram Stoker’s beloved classic of the same name. The book itself is an epistolary one. Its plot follows Dracula who is a Transylvanian Count, whom a solicitor called Harker visits. Harker flees after realizing that Dracula is not human. Following this, Dracula himself moves to England, where he is hunted by some humans.
Incorporating elements of horror, gothic and drawing on Transylvanian folklore, Stoker crafted the enduring masterpiece in the major part of the 1890s. It was finally published in May 1897 in London, and this is how Dracula was introduced. Critics and readers alike viewed it positively. The minority who disliked the book compared it to other gothic fiction of the era. They also described it as scary. It was quite modern for the times – with its discussions on seduction and sexuality, dehumanization and loneliness, race and disease.
Since then, the novel has sparked widespread interests in students of literature (especially gothic fiction) and regular readers alike. There are over thirty varied movie adaptations of the novel, most notable the one starring Christopher Lee. There are also Spanish, Asian and German versions of the story set to screen. Plus, many comic spoofs have Dracula at the centre. In addition to this, countless films feature Dracula as the villain. Even more use the word Dracula in their title. In fact, the Universal Studios has immortalized the character by using him as a villain in several movies. In the process, they have made him a household name.
Films are not the only platforms to have put this brilliantly created character to use. There are innumerable musicals and dramas as well. In fact, Bram Stoker himself directed a drama featuring Dracula, by the name of Dracula, or the Un-Dead. Other great dramas include Dracula, The Vampire Play by Tim Kelly, Countess Dracula by Neal Du Brock, My Sidekick Dracula by Kate Aksonova and more. Musicals such as John Gardiner and Andrew Parr’s Dracula Spectacula, Paul Michael Brown’s Dracula and Dracula, Another Bloody Musical are important parts of the Dracula pop culture. There are also several operas bearing the character’s names that audiences have appreciated.
Coming to books, several authors have tried their hand at retelling the story of this wonderfully fleshed out character. Some of these tell the story from his perspective, others tell it from the perspective of other characters. Still others portray him as the villain. Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, Dan Simmon’s Children of the Night and Will Hill’s Department 19 are all retellings of the story. Apart from these, Fred Saberhagen’s The Dracula Tapes and Mark Latham’s unconventional A Betrayal In Blood are among the hundreds of books portraying Dracula as a character. Manga series the likes of Digimon, Hellsing, Shaman King and Kaibutsu-Kun also revolve around him. The Marvel comics also featured him, just like several other comics. In addition, there are numerous anime, ballet performances and children’s animations about him as well.
Among other forms of media – E G Marshall’s CBS radio show called Radio Mystery Theatre, Robert Forrest’s radio play Voyage of the Demeter have Dracula at their centre. Everything from video games like Vampire: The Masquerade and music such as Bea Miller’s pop rock Dracula to the cereal mascot Count Chocula bears the vampire’s legacy.
With a pop culture of its own, this character owns our heart, and it will own yours if you’ve read Bram Stoker’s extraordinary novel!