A Devil Sick of Sin: Images of Death and Disease in Murnau's Nosferatu

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GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 36 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Heidelberg (Anglistisches Seminar), course: Cinema and Society, Kino und Gesellschaft, 7 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu," the first vampire flick ever, is not simply an adaptation of Stoker's "Dracula." Taking into consideration aspects of narratology and cinematography, this paper investigates the images of disease, paralysis, and death in "Nosferatu" and shows how they reflect the experience of the war and the Spanish Flu epidemic. This paper contains images from the film and has been proofread., abstract: 1Introduction In adapting Stoker's Dracula, Murnau has made quite a few changes to the original plot. Some of them were made due to economic and practical reasons, such as moving the setting and locations to Germany, some of them in order to avoid charges of copyright infringement, such as changing the characters' names, as Murnau was not authorised to make an adaptation. However, Murnau doesn't simply copy Dracula. Stoker's novel about the intrusion of an alien evil into English society is transformed into a story mirroring the fears that prevailed in Germany in the late 1910's. Screenwriter Henrik Galeen and di-rector Murnau were obviously influenced by the impressions that both World War I and the influenza pandemic had left. The war had left large areas in Central Europe in ruins and had triggered many political changes. Often, the new-founded Weimar Republic was seen as weak and incapable of acting. Moreover, the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918 proved no less devastating, ranking "with the plague of Justinian and the Black Death as one of the three most destructive human epidemics."(1) Assisted by large troop movements and disastrous hygienic con-ditions after the armistice, the disease spread across the globe within less than three months. Physicians and scientist"

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