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Starr: Dracula was the original thug

Prof. Douglas Starr

Prof. Douglas Starr

In a recent article published by Slate Magazine, Science Journalism Prof. Douglas Starr claims today’s interpretation of Dracula is very different from the original character in Bram Stoker’s eponymous 1897 novel. As Starr writes, “He was the very model of a thug.”

Starr connects the dots between Bram’s Dracula and Italian psychologist Cesare Lombroso, who developed a theory that deformities in different parts of the brain created a so-called “Criminal Man.”

This man bore the following behavioral characteristics: “Craving of evil for its own sake, the desire not only to extinguish life in the victim, but to … drink its blood,” Lombroso wrote in his book Criminal Man.

“Given the evidence, maybe it’s time for a fact-check on the vampire’s image as presented to the TV-watchers of today. Tormented? Yes. Misunderstood? Maybe. Attractive? Not at all. The original Dracula was the embodiment of brute evil—much like his literary contemporary, Mr. Hyde.”

Read Starr’s article in Slate Magazine.

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