The protagonist and story of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula have been widely interpreted and adapted in films throughout many years. Despite almost a century of time since the initial publication, Dracula has maintained its ability to frighten and mesmerize readers. Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula; however, utilizes the erotic romance of the original novel in order to depict a tragic love story. The film accurately follows the general plot of the novel, yet presents the characters in a unique manner that provides for a different appreciation of the characters.
Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Stoker's novel begins with the presentation of how Dracula became an immortal creature doomed to thirst for the blood of living animals. This story is essential to the interpretation of Dracula in Coppola's film. Dracula was a knight in the sacred army of the church, who left his wife in order fight against an invading Turkish army. He was successful in preventing the invasion of the Turks, yet they retaliated by sending his wife, Elizobeta, a letter that falsely reported his death in the battle. Upon hearing this tragic news, Elizobeta committed suicide by jumping into a river. When Dracula returns from the battle he discovers that his beloved wife is dead, and when the church tells him that her soul cannot be saved because she had taken her own life, he turns against the church and renounces God for betraying him. Dracula strikes the stone crucifix behind the altar in the church, which causes blood to gush from the stone. Dracula drinks the blood and vows to oppose God for eternity, whereby causing himself to become eternally damned as a vampire. The mos...
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...by comparing Bram Stoker's original novel, Dracula, to the film adaptation by director Francis Ford Coppola, the main theme of the movie is discovered to be that Dracula sacrificed himself for his true love. James Craig Holte agrees in his statement that parallels the conclusion of this paper "In Coppola's vampire world, the world of contemporary gothic fiction and film, the moral universe has changed: good and evil are no longer opposites, and actions no longer expected consequences, since love conquers all" (Holte 87).
Holte, James Craig. Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1997.
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Signet, 1992.
Bram Stoker's Dracula. Screenplay by James V. Hart. Dir. Francis Ford Coppola. Perf. Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkin, Keanu Reeves. Columbia Tristar, 1992.
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