Critically analyze Dracula's lines: "Yes, I too can love; you yourselves can tell it from the past." Does he have a tragic love story in the past ? At what points in the novel does Stoker seem to elicit the reader's sympathy for Dracula?

While Stoker never specifies whether or not Dracula had a tragic love at some point in the past, he does little to make Dracula sympathetic beyond suggesting he once could love and that he mourns the loss of his family's power.

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Stoker's novel never specifies a former tragic romance for Dracula despite the presence of these lines. Multiple film adaptations have played fast and loose with this bit of dialogue. Most famously, the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola movie adds an ill-fated past wife from Dracula's human existence and makes her the...

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Stoker's novel never specifies a former tragic romance for Dracula despite the presence of these lines. Multiple film adaptations have played fast and loose with this bit of dialogue. Most famously, the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola movie adds an ill-fated past wife from Dracula's human existence and makes her the former incarnation of Mina Harker. However, such a wife is never mentioned in the source material.

One must examine the dialogue before Dracula delivers these lines and regard who he is delivering them to: his three vampire brides. One of the brides complains to Dracula that he has "never loved" anyone at any point. The aforementioned lines are his response to this claim. This could suggest that Dracula did once love one or more of his brides, but Stoker never elaborates.

Outside of this scene, Stoker does not seem interested in making Dracula terribly sympathetic. About the closest Stoker gets to suggesting Dracula's loneliness is when he tells Jonathan Harker about the history of his family, of which Dracula is the last. Dracula mourns the end of the days when the Dracula family were warmongers and conquerers. He seeks to escape Transylvania to be around the "life" in London, a phrase which initially connotates a desire to escape solitude, but in the light of later plot developments is actually an admission of Dracula's desire to feed off London's populace.

While his longing for a glorious past where his family ruled over Transylvania does give Dracula some dimension beyond being a mere satanic figure, this alone does not make him sympathetic. He is interested in asserting power over others: his seduction of Mina is not a man desperately trying to regain his former love as it is in the 1992 movie, but a case of forcing someone to succumb to his will for the sheer pleasure of corrupting her. Stoker suggests that Dracula might have been a sympathetic human being who could love long ago, but even if that is so, about the only humanity left in him is the old human desire for power.

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