Dealing with Death: Lessons from Dracula

12403472973_fd940b493aThere is no way of knowing a stranger’s life without spending a great deal of time living with her. But at times, a person’s potent characteristics are revealed during his death (especially a dramatic or heroic one). We can also draw interesting realizations about people’s general view or reaction towards death using fictitious characters as a paradigm.

When it comes to horror fiction, no other figure has eclipsed the entire genre better than Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula. What is even more interesting is that his fictitious profile bears a strong resemblance to the real Vlad III: the Dragon of Wallachia and the Scourge of the Turks. As a menacing undead creature, someone needs to give him a number of funeral services. People in his one lifetime might have severely slighted him on the following areas:

Upon honoring your ancestors

There has to be a perfectly good reason why the undead nobleman was condemned to exist for centuries in a miserabledecaying castle. If we derive the theory from the latest Dracula: Untold film, his descendants isolated themselves from him (for better or worse). They never spoke of him as a hero. As humans, we all have a similar collective belief of honoring our departed predecessors. We are obliged to offer funeral flowers, either in veneration to their legacy or for fear of their haunting.

Upon venerating your heritage

Bram Stoker’s chief antagonist is a powerful undead being with a powerful urge to reminisce of his past glories as a warrior. Historically, the ancient Hungarians were oppressed by the Turks. Despite their bitter resistance and eventual emancipation, modern Hungarians were not nearly as proud of their warrior heritage as they ought to be. Tales about Vlad III are often presented in a negative light, even by its own superstitious kin. Count Dracula’s malicious undead character is a reflection of a misjudged culture (taking a life of its own). The living has an obligation to honor not only the departed ancestors, but also their cherished traditions and beliefs.

Upon seeking salvation/closure

We can look at Count Dracula as an example of a damned being. As portrayed in Dracula: Untold, he sold his soul to the Devil to defeat the Turks. He is a standard for “what not to do” during our last days on earth. As the story told, he roamed the earth in eternal unrest.