In Bram Stoker's Dracula, what does Dracula himself stand for in a symbolic sense?
Wonderful question. Dracula stands for all that is dark, sexual, and forbidden in Victorian society (and even in our own, for that matter). Dracula stands for the fear of death, the fear of the dead, and the fear of our own mortality. Dracula is the inversion of the Christian belief and he is an inversion of the Victorian ideal of the strong, cultured man. Dracula also is symbolic of the mechanics of mastery and submission, of unknowable and uncivil urges, the desire to take from loved ones and to give in return. Dracula is the embodiment of our desire for immortality. Dracula is a deal made with the devil personified.