Think of Dracula and what comes to mind? Bela Lugosi’s genre-bending villain? Christopher Lee’s indomitable terror? Gary Oldman’s haunting menace? No matter which portrayal of the horror icon you can think of, each version owes its mere existence to Bram Stoker’s gothic masterpiece Dracula – it’s a book that redefined the horror genre much like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein did in the early 1800s. But Dracula is much more than a scary monster novel – it’s also a love story for the ages.
While every second vampire novel nowadays borrows its plot from the classic story, the original is the one that stood the test of the time. Overflowing with emotion and conflict, it’s a sad and tragic tale in the same vein as Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. The monster is eventually slain and there’s no real traditional happy ending for anyone. However, there’s a certain liberation in his death, for the main characters and Dracula himself, as everlasting love is shown to be more powerful than the carnal, worldly one we’re all too familiar with. Perhaps the biggest lesson of Dracula is, to not obsess so much with today and tomorrow, but to think of the forever.
In the end, the Count let his heart rule him. It caused him to do questionable and downright despicable things – spare a thought for poor Jonathan Harker here – but can we really judge him for his actions? I mean, who hasn’t done something silly and stupid in the name of love? Our mouths dry up, our hearts thump harder than the bass at a Skrillex concert, our bodies tremble in excitement and our entire lives change direction as our path crosses with someone else’s. We lose our minds to the madness and the addiction of love. Deep down, we know we can escape if we truly want to – but we don’t, because the glimmer of eternal love is too tempting to resist…
This February, the proclaimed month of love, it’s a good time as any to explore the pages of Dracula and its message of undying love. Share the moment, experience the emotions, and find your light in this darkened world and hold onto it forever.