Afiqah Izzati Azhar
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Malaysia


Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) represents the amoral contrivances of love and desire that express the psychology of the author; particularly “subversive’ or ‘subcultural’ genres such as the Gothic that may facilitate clearer approach to the unconscious of both individual and culture. The purpose of this study is to examine the queer sexuality of the monstrous body and argues that Count Dracula faces sexual desire not only for the women, but for the men as well. These men woefully reciprocate Dracula’s seduction through the Count himself and his female victims. Blood, in this respect, is therefore read as a menstrual taboo by seductive women as one of the many punishments for New Woman. Furthermore, Dracula the monster resembles Dracula the body of text that must be read like a woman’s body, which therefore must be protected from foreign influence and corruption. In response to the New Woman and the Suffragette movement, this study also argues that Dracula is read like a menstrual narrative where he embodies feminization by giving ‘birth’ to other vampires through his seduction and foreign sexuality. This is because the novel genders male blood as good and female blood as bad, like a menstrual blood which provokes a sense of ‘horror’ and uncleanliness. Stoker’s representation of the vampire and the victim is a trope for the relationship between the Victorian male doctor and the female hysteric patient. This study thus presents that male characters in Dracula are seen as raping the women into becoming hysteric and impure, while menstrual taboo functions as a means to protect men from the threats poses by menstruating women. Through these interpretations, this study helps to locate Stoker’s novel within a complex place at the end of the nineteenth century concerning the status of women.


Dracula, Menstrual Taboo, Queer Sexuality, Gothic Monster