Monsters & Madness

Secret Lives in Victorian Literature

Fancy me a cup of three will ya please?

While reading Dracula by Bram Stoker there has been some really interesting points being made about 19th century culture being portrayed in the writing and how social roles are being changed in the book and during the time period as well. However, one aspect of the book has always intrigued me from the start and that is the fact that there are three “witches” that Jonathan Harker meets towards the end of chapter three. I found this very exciting because in one of my favorite plays, Macbeth by William Shakespeare. In this play there’re three witches that lure Macbeth into a quite a horrible person. I get a sense that this will be the case in Dacula because of the first interaction that Jonathan had with them. However, putting aside, the characters for a moment I wanted to focus on the number three for a second. I did some research into why the number three comes up in writing a lot and wheat I found intrigued me. The number three represents in some cultures a beginning, a middle, and an end but what I found most important is the fact that some cultures believe that humans have a spirit, a soul, and a body. After reading this I completely understand why in a text like Dracula and Macbeth why a writer might have the antagonist of the story to have something to do with three because not only could you hide the character in three personalities you could have three different horrific events lead up to a final problem, like a beginning middle and an end. The possibilities are numerous. I’m very excited to see how this book plays out in terms of using the number three. 

1 Comment

  1. The idea of there being three iterations of a person is interesting. I think you’re right to point out that a villain who is made to seem like multiple people is a more frightening one. This hits on something that has seemed strange– the strength of Dracula while he’s still in Transylvania comes in part from his charisma and ability to interact with Jonathan relatively normally, talking all night and being sociable. Suddenly in England he’s a nonconfrontational character, hiding in the shadows, working through other beings like rats and wolves, staying out of sight and generally being evasive. I had assumed that this was done by Stoker as a demonstration of the sort of undercutting of power that happens when Dracula his made a foreigner, but the idea that it could also be a sort of new Dracula meant to be seen as a separate character wasn’t something I’d given thought to.

Leave a Reply

© 2018 Monsters & Madness

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑