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    Dracula and the Cross

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    Nathan James Norman
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    Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 16th 2014, 11:47 am

    There's another great video review from Paeter on "Dracula Untold" (no relation to the Untold Podcast).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-uxgQZM2rk

    He mentioned the "cross repelling vampires" troupe. I actually like that image. (Although I haven't seen the film).

    Here's why:
    In Bram Stoker's Dracula... Dracula is literally an anti-Christ.

    Where Jesus lays his life down for others - Dracula takes others' lives for himself.
    Where Jesus dwells in unapproachable light - Dracula lives in the darkness.
    Where Jesus defeated the grave - Dracula literally dwells in the grave.
    Where Jesus sheds his blood so others may live - Dracula takes others' blood to extend his own life.

    There's a number of other comparisons, but Dracula is certainly a type of anti-Christ.
    In literary terms, he is the anti-Christ.

    I like the image of the cross repelling Dracula... and other vampires, because it is a powerful symbol and a metaphor. Remember, this is speculative fiction... so I'm not suggesting that we walk up to enemies of the church, invite them to debates, then try to chase them out of the auditorium with wooden crosses.
    But the metaphor is a powerful one.

    This terrifying, seemingly immortal, powerful, seductive, destructive creature can be overcome with a simple wooden cross. The metaphor is bold... the enemy of our souls is also seductive, powerful and terrifying - but he can be overcome by even the simplest faith that calls upon the Name of Christ.

    Any-who... just my $0.02

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Paeter on October 17th 2014, 7:45 pm

    Wow! You gave me a lot to consider. I had NEVER considered Dracula as an "anti-Christ". Really interesting and you make your case well. Any chance that was Bram Stoker's intent?

    My beef with the cross in vampire flicks is that it often seems to be used as a "magic" device. Granted, it HAS become more common in vampire flicks for real faith to be a required component to use the repelling power of the cross effectively. But if that's the case I have to ask myself, why not just pray in that moment for the intervention of Jesus?

    I think the answer is in your comments. The cross is a powerful visual tool for the metaphor. So storytellers have continued to use it. I just wish they could come up with stronger internal consistency for its use.

    REALLY interesting thoughts, Nathan! I'll never see Dracula the same way again! Thank you!


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    Nathan James Norman
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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 17th 2014, 8:50 pm

    It was likely his intent. He was a devout Protestant in the Church of Ireland. He had a literary fascination with the occult, but not in real life.

    It's been some time since I read the novel, but some of the contrasts are *almost* spelled out for the reader.

    I think you're right about the transformation of the cross from metaphor to magic totem. It's a subtle shift but one with massive consequences as you've pointed out. (i.e. Aaron's rod as a reminder/symbol of God's faithfulness vs. a totem that is worshipped.

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 18th 2014, 9:28 am

    Oh, one more... Dracula means "Son of the Dragon" Jesus is the Son of God.

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Paeter on October 20th 2014, 3:05 pm

    Nathan James Norman wrote:Oh, one more... Dracula means "Son of the Dragon" Jesus is the Son of God.

    Dude, shut up! You're blowing my mind!!!!!

    Wow! Almost makes me want to read the original work. Just afraid it will be too stuffy.


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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  tmorrill on October 20th 2014, 9:04 pm

    Nathan,

    That is pretty awesome. I've never been too interested in vampires or Dracula, but finding this out has put Dracula on my reading list. ...Once this semester is over...

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on October 22nd 2014, 1:57 pm

    the book isn't terribly stuffy... but it is dated.

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  mikel.withers on October 31st 2014, 9:25 am

    Oh, the hurt....
    Okay, let me start by saying that I probably take things too literally. So, caveat emptor.

    Now, as to Dracula being the Son of the Dragon...yes, and no. Vlad II Dracul, was so called because he was a member of the Order of the Dragon, a Christian order of knights set up to defend Europe against the Turk invaders. So, Vlad Tepes, Dracula refers to him being the son of a member of that order, not a literal or figurative son of the Serpent.
    Granted, the historical figure and the literary figure are separate, and I understand that, in essence, we are talking about one, not the other; however, I think we find a pitfall of historical fiction wherein we try to fit the facts to our conclusions/story rather than the other way around.

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on November 1st 2014, 4:48 am

    Yes, Stoker based his Dracula off of Vlad (or maybe it's better to say he drew inspiration from Vlad), but he transformed the character into something entirely different.
    In literary terms I really do think Stoker was building a satanic character more than trying to portray a creature with a solid historical background

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  mikel.withers on November 1st 2014, 11:27 am

    Now, Elizabeth Bathory, on the other hand...

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    Re: Dracula and the Cross

    Post  Nathan James Norman on November 1st 2014, 12:09 pm

    That's hilarious Smile

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