Comparing the Book and Stage Versions of Dracula c

omparison compare contrast essaysComparing the Book and Stage Versions of Dracula

The play was very enjoyable. It brought to life many of the most interesting aspects of the book. There were however some differences, that, having just read the book, were very obvious to me. However, this altering of the Dracula novel, did not diminish my enjoyment of the play production. I was very impressed by the special effects and thoroughly enjoyed Friday night’s play.

It started off at the very beginning. The opening introduction was by Renfield. In the book, Renfield was not introduced until more towards the middle. Stephen Dietz, the playwright, used a different sense of time in the play. The novel was pretty much chronological. Things happened in the order they were presented to the reader. In the play, however, there were many flashbacks. One such example, was Jonathan Harker’s time at Dracula’s castle. This episode opens the book for us, but this was a flashback towards the middle of the play. I think that the use of time alteration helped the plot of the play move better because Dietz could put certain events where they fitted best. He also ended the play in a different manner: a closing soliloquy by Van Helsing. This differed from the book, as it let the audience have time to calm down, because like the novel, the play did come to a rather rapid conclusion.

Another difference that is noticed right away, is that Quincey Morris, and Arthur Holmwood (later Lord Godalming), are not in the play. Dietz probably decided that too many male characters on the stage would just confuse the audience. It would have been fine, except that they (Quincey and Arthur) were both mentioned in the first act. If Dietz had just deleted those characters fully then it would not have been so confusing. (Note: Dietz may have felt it was necessary to mention Holmwood, because otherwise why would Lucy turn down Dr. Seward when he asked her to marry her. However, there was no need to mention Quincey Morris if he was not part of the story).

Another difference between the play and novel, was that, at the very end, Dracula was finally killed (i.e. stake put through his heart) by Mina. In the novel, she was incapacitated (not decapitated HA) and Harker and Morris killed Dracula. I don’t think that affected the plot of the story that much, it was most definitely a difference.
Those three differences mentioned in this report, are the three main ones. There are also many little differences, but those are too numerous to mention. Dietz, did however, in many parts of the play, use actual dialogue from the novel, so in that sense he followed the book closely. Overall, it was a very enjoyable novel and play, and our theater department should be proud of the work they did on this production.