Characterisation in Dracula
Character development is a
crucial aspect of any narrative.
Which characters are permitted to
develop the most in ‘Dracula’ and
in what ways?
What constraints or limits are
imposed upon character
development by the style of the
Dr Jack Steward
• Known to friends as Jack
• Main Narrator
• Profession: medical specialising in treatment of
• Main role is provide a sounding board for Van
Helsing’s arguments. Ins.1.a
• Fails to wins Lucy’s love and fails to protect her
• He is identified with the modern aspects of
society e.g. uses a phonograph to record some
of his narrative.
• As a man of science he is unable to
protect Lucy or understand what is
happening to her.
• A misdirected Telegram means he is not
around to save Lucy.
• Like Jonathon he fears for his own sanity.
“I am beginning to wonder if my long habit
of life amongst the insane is beginning to
tell on my brain.”
• He is observant in detail.
• He often mistakes or doubt the evidence
of his senses.
• He belatedly discovers the reasons for
Renfield’s madness. He rightly suspects that the
Count and Renfield are in contact.
• He is wrong in keeping Mina out of the hunt for
• He has very traditional views about ‘Men of the
• He suppress his emotions
• He knows what it is like to be a hunter when he
kills Lucy the vampire
• Despite all his failings and uncertainties, he is a
large part of the novel because he learns to trust
• Dr Steward who beings broken hearted is
restored through his journey of faith and duty
and we a told is a ‘happily married’ man
• Narrates about a third of the Novel.
• Is the first immediate link to Dracula
• Romantic role of lover, husband and hero.
• The balance of the narration prevents him as
being seen as the hero.
• His narrates the most openly erotic episode in
the book and discusses the desires aroused by
the three vampire women.
• He is brave and manly proven by his climb down
the castle walls “At worst can only be death.”
• Inabilities to face the realities of his memories
leave him in weaken state of mind.
• Appears to be less certain in himself after
Castle Dracula experiences.
• At same time given wealth and position in
society through inheritance.
• His restoration resonates with Christian
• All fears banished when he realises what
is written in diary is truth not madness.
• Ins 1.c.
Mina Harker (Née Murray)
• She see herself as dutiful subordinate partner
and role model for Lucy
• Ins 1.d.
• During the novels climax the battle between men
and Dracula Mina love for Jonathon almost
• Sympathetic character and her compassion is
even extended to Dracula.
• She is aware of he place in society and in the
• Her character clearly embodies the
Christian understanding that suffering, self
sacrifice and redemption is part of an
unknown divine plan.
• Her acceptance of her fate is a test of her
faith with god this shows courage, humility
• Her last contribution to the novel is not her
own feelings but “our bitter grief” at the
lost of their friend Quincy Morris.
• Ins 1.e
• Her role in the novel is the fallen woman. The
woman who cannot be saved from herself.
• Contrast with Mina; sufficient versus insufficient
• Ins 1.f
• No strength of character to call upon in her crisis
• In facing death her thoughts are negative
• Stoker increases her physical attractiveness as
she approaches her transformation to vampire.
• Lucy character embodies the
interconnection of sex and death in the
• Her beauty and vanity are warnings of the
dangers of indulging in the pleasures of
• Her ‘voluptuousness’ is the parody of a
Victorian prostitute; combines fears of sex,
disease and death.
Dr Abraham Van Helsing
• Only narrates a few times
• Able to move Dr Seward into thinking with a
open mind and accepting aspects of the
• He recounts his adventures in Dracula’s Castle
the ‘butcher work’ when dealing with the three
• Most of his other activities narrated by Dr
• Ins 2.g
• We first meet him when he is brought to
• His temperament is explained as arbitrary
• He is able to present himself to the other
characters is a way that suits his purpose.
• He is able to bring in ‘the weapons of
superstition’ such as the symbols of
• He is open to the possibilities of the
• He is the combined role of priest and
• By the end of the novel Van Helsing has
travelled further in his beliefs than might
be appreciated at first glance.
Arthur Holmwood, Lord Godalming
• He is one of the suitors of Lucy
• Calls Seward to care for Lucy when she appears
to be suffering from the strange disease.
• His duties; to be with his father when he is dying
even though Lucy is ill.
• Able to attend to her momentarily to make a
blood transfusion be then must leave to his
• Displays fortitude as he comforts her during her
• Ins 2.h.
Quincy P. Morris
• The American from Texas
• Although he is from the New World he holds Old
• Man of action; shoot first ask questions later.
Keen to use the latest technology the
• His readiness to leap into battle costs him his life
• His name lives on in the next generation of the
R. M. Renfield
• Initial interest in him aroused by Seward
because he is unlike ‘a normal lunatic’
• There is an immediate connection with Dracula
but it is not explained.
• No reason is given for Renfield adopting Dracula
as his ‘master’
• He grants Dracula access to the asylum
• He too pays the price for assuming that he will
become immortal, recalling old wisdom of the
Greek dramatist Euripides: ‘Those whom God
wishes to destroy, he first makes mad.’