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Power and Control in Dracula

Power and Control in Dracula

In the universe, no one being has complete control over another. In Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, God, Dracula, Nature, and Humanity have some form of influence over each other, whether it be direct control or as the instrument through which another must exert its power. In this paper I will examine the ways that power and control are presented in Dracula.

One of the main challenges to God’s power is Dracula. God does nothing to help the character of Lucy. Why? She has not committed any great sin. Yet she still fall’s prey to Dracula. There are two possible explanations for this: First that God does not have the power to save her from Dracula. Dracula is almost outside of God’s power. Since Dracula has renounced God he (God) no longer has domain over Dracula. Or second, God feels that she is being justly punished for her sins (sins which the reader is never informed of). Lucy is very flirtatious, and possibly she is more promiscuous than we are led to believe. In Francis Ford Coppola’s film version when Lucy and Mina look at the book that shows sexual acts, Lucy states that “people can do that (sexual acts)”. Mina then asks Lucy how she knows that people do those sexual acts, and Lucy replies “because I did that last night… my dreams.” We assume that she did actually have a dream about the sexual acts, but what if she was not telling the truth? Lucy knew that no respectable woman would ever admit to have sexual relations out of wedlock in her time period. She may have been attempting to cover her reputation.

It would appear that the most likely of these choices stated before is that God is unable to save the innocent. However, this is not to say that God is powerless. God maintains power over Dracula in several ways: Holy items, such as the crucifix, holy water, and holy wafers repel Dracula. The first time we see Dracula’s reaction is when Jonathan Harker is shaving. Dracula walks up behind Jonathan Harker and sees the crucifix. He is forced to stop looking at the crucifix and he (Dracula) say’s that “our ways are different than that of your England” and “you should not put your faith in such objects of deceit”. We see, as Harker does that Dracula has a hatred of God.

Doctor Faustus Essays: The Appeal of Evil in Dr. Faustus

The Appeal of Evil in Dr. Faustus

Christopher Marlowe had a thorough idea of what his audience wanted. The audience of that time wanted to be wild and evil but due to the strong influence of the church this was not possible. Most people want to see violence, sin, and give in to temptation but could not because of the label that society and the church would place on them. Marlowe gave them a play where they could see and experience all of the things that people wanted to do but could not or would not because they were dangerous and sinful. In Act I Marlowe sets up the dramatic summoning of the Devil. First Marlowe lets Faustus describe the setting:

Faustus. Now that the gloomy shadow of the night,

Longing to view Orion’s drizzling look,

Leaps from th’ antarctic world unto the sky

And dims the welkin with her pitchy breath……(I.iii, 1-4)

If we look at this passage we see many references to how the stage looked and what the atmosphere of the audience was like. First, Faustus states that the setting is now perfect to begin the summoning of the Devil. Darkness would cover the stage and the audience as the gloomy shadow of night dimmed everything. The darkness loomed so low and black that Orion could not even be seen. Faustus went on to describe the scent in the air, the scent of Pitch, the scent of Hell! The audience was mystified and horrified at the same time. Now that the setting has been set and piqued the audience’s interest, the incantations can begin:

Faustus, begin thine incantations

And try if devils will obey thy hest,

Seeing thou hast prayed and sacrificed to them.

Within this circle is Jehovah’s name

Forward and backward anagrammatiized,

Th’ abbreviated names of holy saints,

Figures of every adjunct to the heavens,

And the characters of signs and erring stars,

By which the spirits are enforced to rise: (I.iii, 5-13)

Here we see that Faustus starts to summon the Devils from the depths of Hell. Faustus claims that he has sacrificed and prayed to them, that he has made Jehovah’s name anagrammatiized. At this point the audience would have been actually frightened. They would be fearful of what God might do for Faustus taking the names of holy men and changing the letters around and spelling words from them.

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