Jonathan Harker- Jonathan Harker is a young and upcoming solicitor who starts the story off with a series of diary entries recording his travels. He journeys from England to Transylvania to conduct real estate business for Count Dracula, a nobleman of that country who wishes to buy property in London (an estate in Exeter known as Carfax). Harker unknowingly helps Dracula step into the role of an Englishman and gather intelligence on his "prey" through a series of late nights talks. Harker is a prisoner in the Castle. The doors are all sealed, and Harker is forced to write letters for Dracula to post, effectively preventing Harker from communicating to the outside world. Harker eventually escapes Dracula's castle and reappears in a convent in Buda-Pest, where he suffers from "brain fever.” During his stay at the convent, he is completely incapacitated. His rants and raves about his experiences in Castle Dracula are mistaken as delusions and are recorded in a diary, which is sealed and given to his fiancé, Mina. When Mina learns that he is in Buda-Pest, she rushes there to meet him. Harker is nursed back to health by the nuns and Mina, and then marries Mina before returning to England. His first narratives from the castle reveal Dracula's true identity as a vampire, along with all of his capabilities and powers. Harker's occupation as a solicitor comes into play later when he and his peers need to find the 21 missing coffins Dracula used to sleep in that were missing from the chapel at Carfax. Harker's investigation leads to the discovery and subsequent destruction of all but one of Dracula's resting places in London and Piccadilly. On a journey that takes Harker and many other character across rivers and foreign lands, they are able to defeat the cunning vampire. The culmination of the novel is when Dracula is staked to death by Harker in Transylvania.
Mina Murray Harker- The fiancé and eventual wife of Jonathan Harker, Mina Harker serves as a link between Jonathan and the rest of the characters after he returns to London through her friendship with Lucy Westenra. Mina types up the various journal entries and letters to help create a profile of Dracula. The compiled information helps defeat Dracula by the end of the novel. Victorian commitment to monogamy is embodied through Mina's dedication to Jonathan. Not only does she want to build a life with him, but she even goes so far as to study shorthand and typing in his absence to help benefit him in his career when he returns. Unlike other females in the novel, Mina is a very complex character. She portrays intelligence and depth. She is a crucial character, and her emotions and contributions are featured prominently throughout the novel. Mina not only provides Van Helsing with Harker's Journal, giving him invaluable information with which to formulate their counter attack on Dracula, but also serves an active role in tracking Dracula when he flees England. Dracula feeds on Mina and forces her to feed from his chest in front of Mina's unconscious husband. This unique attack, in which both Mina and Dracula have fed from each other, creates a strange connection between Mina and Dracula that is absolutely crucial in the story. After being hypnotized by Van Helsing, she is able to distinguish “sea noises”l, which eventually permits Van Helsing and Mina to deduce that Dracula has left England. Mina's strange new power is utilized several times to help track Dracula, though Van Helsing and Mina also presume this connection to be the reason Dracula was able to detect and foil their ambush in Piccadilly before Dracula flees for Transylvania. This power eventually fails Mina when they get closer to Transylvania.
Count Dracula- The antagonist of the novel, Count Dracula is a vampire residing in Transylvania who comes to London in order to feed upon the dense population. He is described as having an aquiline nose, sharp teeth, and cold and pale skin. His aim is to try and turn as many Londoner's as possible into vampires like himself. He is introduced through Harker's first narratives as one of his clients. From the very beginning of the story, Dracula is plotting and calculating a careful plan of attack in England. Dracula invites Harker into his castle, and their late night discussions reveal that Dracula is studying English culture. He has a library full of books pertaining to English law and culture, and even wants to learn the appropriate dialect and pronunciation of words. Dracula is portrayed as a very mysterious character. He has odd sleeping patterns, he never eats with Harker, and he has no servants even though he is of noble birth and is very wealthy. He gives a surprisingly complete, seemingly first-person account of the history of his Carpathian Mountain area. Harker becomes suspicious of his host when he begins to see strange happenings, coupled with his host's odd eating and sleeping patterns. His fears that something is wrong are confirmed when he realizes he is locked in Castle Dracula, and witnesses the Count scaling the castle wall dressed in Harker's clothing.
Dracula's attacks are highly sexualized and help the novel showcase the danger of sexuality and promiscuity in society. The novel is also filled with homoerotic scenes, and insinuations as to Dracula's sexuality in relation to both Harker and the Crew of Light. He executes a series of attacks in London but must flee back to his castle when his coffins are purified, but not before he is able to infect and eventually kill Lucy, as well as infect Mina.
As a vampire, Dracula possess several powers that make him a dangerous adversary. He has super-human strength, the ability to appear as a mist, the power to transform into and possess animals, and even the ability to control weather patterns. His powers have limits, however. Dracula's powers are all rendered obsolete in the day time. In addition to these nocturnal limitations, Dracula must sleep on his own land's soil, is repelled by holy items like crucifixes, communion wafers, and holy water, and cannot enter a household uninvited. These limitations are crucial in the defeat of the vampire and his aversion to religious icons bring to light a main theme of the novel: the triumph of good over.
Van Helsing- The Dutch professor Abraham Van Helsing is the protagonist of the story. While Dracula represents evil incarnate, Van Helsing is the embodiment of everything good. This religiously guided doctor is brought into the novel by Dr. John Seward to treat Lucy, Dracula's first victim. He successfully diagnoses and begins to cure her problems until her shocking, yet necessary death by the Crew of Light. His intelligence and faith are the key to defeating Dracula, and he leads the attack upon Dracula with his folk knowledge on how to destroy vampires. Van Helsing's use of traditional folklore in diagnosing and combating Dracula acts as a critique upon the modernization of society. While Seward was unable to diagnose and treat Lucy with his modern education and methods, Van Helsing was successful in treating her until Mrs. Westenra removes the garlic from Lucy's room. Van Helsing is an example of what the Victorian man should be. He has a modern education as a doctor and lawyer and benefits from advanced technology, but he still respects tradition and approaches situations with an open mind.
Lucy Westenra- Lucy Westenra is a beautiful young women and an intimate friend of Mina. She is the first of Dracula's victims in England and is treated by Dr. Seward and eventually Van Helsing. Seward, Morris, and Holmwood are all brought into the story through their love for Lucy, and they each vow to avenge her against the Count. Lucy is eventually transformed into a vampire and preys upon children until Van Helsing and her suitors put her to rest. The only way to release Lucy's soul is to drive a stake through her heart, and cut off her head. Lucy highlights the danger and corruptive influence of sexuality in women with her promiscuity, which manifests itself as attacks upon children when she’s a vampire. Lucy is a very sexualized character in the novel: she is highly desired by the opposite sex, halfheartedly wishes she could marry all three men or as many as she wishes, and is even replenished and rejuvenated by her three suitors' blood transfusions (a highly sexual metaphor). By juxtaposing Lucy with the chaste and highly dedicated Mina, it's easy to see why Lucy was turned into a vampire and Mina was not -- promiscuity was often attributed in the Victorian era to a lack of self control or restraint.
John Seward- One of Lucy's unsuccessful suitors, John Seward is a doctor who studied under Van Helsing and operates a mental institution next door to Carfax, one of Dracula's eventual homes. He narrates a majority of the novel through his diary entries into a phonograph machine, and his narratives introduce us to one of his patients, R.M. Renfield. Renfield's interviews with Dr. Seward as well as with Van Helsing and Mina give the reader a chilling look into his psychosis. He strangely mirrors a vampire himself with his penchant for swallowing flies and small animals in order to absorb their power and energy. Several times he mentions that the "blood is the life", again mirroring Dracula's blood-thirst. Seward's love of Lucy motivates him throughout the novel, first to cure her and later to avenge her. His link with Van Helsing brings the Crew of Light leader into the novel when he seeks advice from him about treating Lucy. Seward initially does not believe Van Helsing's theory, as it is not in line with what science and reason dictate is possible. Seward struggles to treat her with every modern treatment he has access to, but to no avail. In the end, it is old world traditions that are the only means of releasing Lucy from her vampirism. Seward represents the modern society and its lack of respect for traditional wisdom. Tellingly, Seward is only successful in the pursuit of his goals when he is aided by Van Helsing and this traditional wisdom.
Arthur Holmwood- Arthur Holmwood, known later in the novel as Lord Godalming once his father passes away, is the successful suitor of Lucy. He is the first to give her a blood transfusion, and is forced to kill her when she is a discovered to be a vampire. Arthur's execution of Lucy is a scene very much in line with her sexuality: her body convulses and writhes when he stabs her with the stake, like she is in the midst of a sexual experience. Instead of consummating their marriage, Arthur is forced to kill the creature his fiancé has become. Stoker portrays Lucy's death as a release. She is finally morally purified and can rest in peace
Quincy Morris- Another unsuccessful suitor of Lucy's, Quincy Morris is a slang-speaking American from Texas. A real cowboy, he is characterized as an unsophisticated and boyish character within the novel, which is in sharp contrast to the other characters.Throughout the text, Quincy is present to aid in any way he can. He provides blood for some of Lucy's transfusions, is present at the discovery of Lucy as a vampire and her killing in the graveyard, and plays a major role in the end of the novel. Quincy was instrumental in fighting the gypsies near Castle Dracula, and pays the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the novel. Quincy's sacrifice not only helps to save Mina, but all of England, as the infection of all of London and then Britain was Dracula's total objective. At the end of the book, the reader learns that the Harker's named their son Quincy Harker, after Morris. This is yet another instance where the importance of tradition and respect for the past help to defeat Dracula in an era where science and rational thought dominated.
R.M. Renfield- R.M. Renfield is a mentally ill patient of Dr. Seward. Through interviews with Seward, Stoker provides get an eerie look into psychosis and its total control over Renfield’s mind. Renfield's compulsions to eat live animals and bugs mirrors Dracula and casts Renfield as an evil figure in the novel. At one point, Dracula tricks him into becoming his aid, and uses him to help attack mina. Renfield escapes multiple times from Seward's asylum, and is found at Carfax (one of Dracula's English estate) yelling for his master. Throughout the novel, the intensity of Renfield's compulsions ebb and flow with his proximity of Dracula. Because of this, Renfield can be used to tell whether Dracula is close or far away. Renfield asks permission from Dr. Seward to be released from from the asylum, but is refused. When Renfield learns that Dracula is attacking Mina, Renfield physically confronts Dracula and is brutally beaten. Before he dies, Renfield confesses to meeting and interacting with Dracula several times, but insists that he didn't know Dracula was hurting Mina.