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Nosferatu (1922)

In Nosferatu, the vampire was called Count Orlock, and a frightening creature he was.
Orlock was played by an actor with a most appropriate name: Max Schreck, which
means fright in German. In fact, the name was so appropriate that it may have been
made up to add on extra terror. The make-up man gave Count Orlock staring eyes,
clawlike hands and long, pointed teeth that were enough to frighten anyone.
In the film, a young German businessman visits Orocks creepy castle in the
Carpathian Mountains and nearly falls victim of the vampire count. With a bit of terror
over, Count Orlock packs up his coffins and sets sail to the city of Hamburg. (In the
novel, the vampires destination is London). It is a ghastly ocean voyage on a mysterious
ship full of scampering rats, creaking masts, and any other horror you can imagine.
When Orlock reaches Hamburg, a plague
breaks out, as a mysterious force brings out an
army of rats. But the young man who visited
Orlocks castle has escaped back to Hamburg, and
he and his young sweetheart realize that the
plague was caused by the vampire. At the climax
of the movie, the young woman sacrifices herself
to kill the vampire, saving the man she loves and
the city as well. Her method is simple*
*(To know how she vanquished the vampire watch the end of the film).

I. Answer the following questions:


1. What is the true name of the vampire in the film?
2. What is the true name of the vampire (actor) in real life?

3. What means schreck in German?


4. How the vampire looks like?
5. The castle was very: ___________ (adjective).
6. Who visited this creature of the night in the Carpathian Mountains?
7. Where is the vampires destination in the novel?
8. What kind of plague breaks out in Hamburg?
9. What did the woman do at the end of the film? Why?
10. Finally, what happened with the castle in the Carpathians?
II. The next two paragraphs belong to an essay, The silent threat: a (re)viewing of
the 'sexual other' in The Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu, by Andrew P.
Williams. Read it and then answer the next questions.
[] Both Murnau's vampire Orlock (for legal reasons names were changed), and
Julian's Phantom (Erick) are sexual variations of the "other" which John Stevenson aptly
calls "a convenient metaphor to describe the undeniable tendency to separate `us' from
`them'" (140). Their physical characteristics are grotesque and their sexual interests
voyeuristic and perverse, yet according to Stevenson, the greatest threat these two
represent to male sexuality is the fact that the Phantom, like Orlock, is a "man who will
take other men's women away and make them his own" (144). David Hogan points out
that the idea of these "others" having sexual "designs on a lady is doubly repellent,
sexually and culturally" to the invariably Anglo heroes who regard women as "the
rightful property of worthy men," namely themselves. Hogan concludes that the
sexuality of these "others" "is not primarily feared because of the damage it may do to
the hapless woman involved, but because it is an affront to male sexuality" (93). This
affront to male sexuality is in reality an attack on the patriarchal sexual codes which
reinforce male sexual authority and can only be resolved by the violent removal of the
offending "other" and a return to the status quo.
[]In the final scene, Ellen successfully keeps Orlock by her side until dawn when
he disintegrates with the first rays of light. Though the original script called for Orlock
to start to move away from Ellen only to have her wrap her arms around the vampire
and pull him back to her, the final film version shows Ellen lying passively on the bed
as Orlock bends over her body. Orlock's death signals the end of the threat, but because
Murnau chose not to include Ellen's forcible delaying of Orlock's departure, her sexual
power is greatly compromised. Orlock appears to die because he stayed too long at the
feast, rather than because he could not tear himself away from Ellen's seductive grasp.
Ellen's death at the end of Nosferatu marks a return to the sexual status quo. Even
though she has been instrumental in destroying the vampire, the pure Ellen has been
tainted by his unwholesome touch and must die. The extent of her courage and
commitment are irrelevant; her contact with the "sexual other" has made her a sexual
outcast, one who can never again be the object of desire for male eyes. As a pure wife
Ellen is a sought after commodity; as a seductress, she is expendable.

1. Segn John Stevenson, qu significan los personajes de Orlock y Erick desde


una perspectiva metafrica?

2. Para David Hogan, qu amenaza representan estos seres repugnantes para los
hroes anglosajones? Cul es la nica solucin posible ante esta amenaza?
3. Qu diferencia existe entre el guin original y la versin final de la cinta?
4. Por qu al final de la cinta Ellen debe morir?
5. Se te hizo interesante ver el significado que yace detrs de la figura del
vampiro?
6. Si quieres conocer al verdadero conde transilvano pide al profesor/a el siguiente
video.