Dracula and the idea of vampirism in general have been interpreted in many ways by many people. The exchange of bodily fluids tends to be associated with a sexual theme. Throughout the play, the act of the bite of the vampire is also very sensual and erotic. Lucy and Mina discuss their sexual feelings about men in one of the beginning scenes of the play, further assenting to the idea that the book, and therefore the play, has a lot of sexual energy. The staking through the heart in order to kill a vampire also points to something commonly associated with sex, and that is love. People generally relate love to the heart, and in order to fully kill a vampire you must stake it through its heart. Lastly, the use of garlic can bear a meaning to sexuality as well. Garlic contains an ingredient, allicin that produces blood flow to the sexual organs in both men and women. However, this is contradictory to the idea that vampirism is purely sexual because garlic would enhance sexuality, yet it inhibits vampires. Vampires and their portrayal in the media are historically associated with sexuality.
I thoroughly enjoyed the play, as well as the many varieties of the movies I have seen. I may be bias due to my love for horror movies. The play was most true to the novel and not to any of Hollywood's attempts to recreate what Bram Stoker brilliantly made all those years ago. Dracula was not the first book about vampires, but it was the modernization of the vampire as according to Stoker. This story led to the continuing innovation of vampires throughout the years, leading to the most recent of vampire movies. However, this is where many vampire legends began: the garlic, the stake, the decapitation, the crucifix, the coffin (Which in Stoker's version is simply the box of Transylvanian dirt in which Dracula must rest), etc. Many of these aspects have been manipulated throughout the years. All of the current vampires, and arguably werewolves, in pop culture can and should be credited to Bram Stoker for his original account of Count Dracula.