Sex and Sexuality in Dracula

2487 Words10 Pages
Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, published in 1897, explores various sexual erotic possibilities in the vampire's embrace, as discussed by Leonard Wolf. The novel confronts Victorian fears of homosexuality; that were current at the time due to the trial of playwright Oscar Wilde. The vampire's embrace could also be interpreted as an illustration of Victorian fears of the changing role of women. Therefore it is important to consider: the historical context of the novel; the Victorian notion of the `New Woman' specifically the character of Lucy Westenra; the inversion of gender roles; notions of sexuality; and the emasculation of men, by lessening their power over women; in the novel Dracula. In doing this I will be able to explore the effects of the vampire's embrace in depth, and achieve a wider understanding of the variety of erotic undercurrents Stoker incorporated into the novel.

Stoker was born in Ireland in 1847, and later he graduated from Trinity College in 1867, and joined the civil service. While working, as a freelance journalist and drama critic enabled him to meet Henry Irving and entered London's literary circles, which included figures such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde. In the course of Irving's tours he also had the chance to travel around the world. Stoker later married Florence Balcome, who had previously had a romantic affair with Oscar Wilde. In my opinnion Stoker could not fail to be infuleced by these people while he was writing Dracula.

In Dracula, Stoker relied greatly upon the conventions of Gothic fiction. Traditionally gothic elements such as dark and sublime settings, and the innocent threatened by the ineffable evil obviously feature in Dracula. Stoker modernises his novel by bringing the set...

... middle of paper ...

...toker, B. (1994) Dracula, Penguin Classics, London.

Weissman, J. (1988) Dracula as a Victorian Novel in Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics, UMI Press.

Wolf, L. (1993) The essential Dracula, Byron Preiss.

Wolf, L. (1972) A Dream of Dracula: In Search of the Living Dead, Popular Library, New York.

(1997) Oscar Wilde [internet] can be found at http://www.neuroticpoets.com/wilde/ [accessed 10-11-2005]

(2000) Clash of Cultures: The New Woman [internet] can be found at http://history.osu.edu/Projects/Clash/NewWoman/newwomen-page1.htm [accessed on 10-11-2005]

(1997) Thor [internet] can be found at http://www.pantheon.org/articles/t/thor.html [accessed on 10-11-2005]
Get Access