Lucy Harker, one of the main characters in Nosferatu the Vampyre, is a good example of the power and powerlessness of women, a topic we covered recently in the course. She is initially portrayed as young and beautiful, innocent and somewhat defenseless. She worries for her husband and he shows some form of protectiveness over her. Yet, as the film moves along and more unfolds, we learn more about Lucy’s true nature.
Dracula becomes a bit obsessed with Lucy after he sees a small portrait of her, and she subsequently suffers from night terrors that portray illustrations of inevitable doom. Later, after Dracula arrives in Wismar, he meets Lucy and pursues her, attempting to get her to oblige to a relationship with him. Yet, she daringly refuses to love him. She also hurriedly tries to convince her fellow townsfolk of the impending danger of Dracula being responsible for the numerous deaths, and that it is not a plague that has struck them. Initially powerless, now Lucy has become powerful, refusing to love Dracula and trying to save her fellow townsfolk. She is braver and bolder in this respect, and this is emphasized when she finds that she can overcome Dracula’s evil if she distracts him at dawn. Despite the fact that it will cost Lucy her own life, she does so anyway.
In doing this, she is both powerful and powerless. Powerless because she subjects herself to Dracula drinking her blood, defenseless against him no matter what. Powerful because she sacrifices herself for the benefit of others to end Dracula’s homicidal tendencies and save their lives before they are taken.
This film is a remake of 1922’s Nosferatu, and in that film, Ellen, the wife of Thomas Hutter, also sacrifices herself to the vampire, and thus also exemplifies power and powerlessness in that respect. In which case, both films, which we learned about in class, relate to the theme of power and powerlessness in women, which we covered in class just recently. On another note, we can appreciate the self-sacrificial nature of both Ellen and Lucy, because in their selfless acts, they saved others, and thus prevented Dracula from killing any future potential victims.