Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make. In Dracula, when this was mentioned by Dracula himself, he was referring to the howling of the wolves and screeching of the bats.
As per an online Oxford dictionary, the archaic definition of Lycanthropy is stated as follows:
"a form of madness involving the delusion of being an animal, usually a wolf, with correspondingly altered behaviour.
In this brief article, we shall explore the symbolism of Lycanthropy in Dracula. In the BBC drama titled 'Dracula', wolves were always portrayed as beings of bid and call under the Lord of Vampires himself. At the gates of a nunnery, the Vampire emerged covered with blood from a wolf. This is very much akin to the concept of a wolf giving birth to its offspring.
Covered in blood and utterly naked as a babe, the Vampire did not seem to be the Lord of Vampires. He looked defenseless, powerless, and even vulnerable. With nothing but his nails and fangs, he had carried no arms.
Yes, Dracula is a madman, leaving a trail of destruction as he has always done. Why wolves, you may ask. In the mind of Bram Stoker, the castle of Wallachia was situated in the mountains, and wolves were in the wild, predominantly, amongst other wild creatures. Dracula retreats in the day and emerges at night. Thus, the only animals that are considered nocturnal could have been the wolves, howling away at the moonlight, for their pack.
Metamorphosis is the symbolism we shall read into now. Dracula, when emerging from the wolf, was very much different to shape-shifting. He did not shapeshift, but was born from a wolf, at the gates of the nunnery. The wolf. A wild creature of the night, giving rise to the Lord of Vampires. Well, at least, he remained covered in blood and dark hair!
The wolf transforming into a humanoid. I would not say a human, as Dracula is anything but human. He is driven by his basic instinct of survival. He is a feral child.
Metamorphosis is a concept of transformation. When bats and wolves became the altered ego of the Vampire, he BECAME such wild creatures. This is where Lycanthrope differs from a Werewolf. Not just in form, or behaviour; but, the animal itself. The shedding of the skin of the serpent also comes to mind - transformation. New life, without losing its predatory will and instinct. Like how a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, the Lord of Vampires emerged from the wolf. The wolf is a vessel of sorts, travelling through unchartered territory.
Also, the theme of Life and Death comes into play. Life and Death. Life from Death. Creation from Destruction. Just as how the Demeter sank into the depths of the ocean, in the BBC drama, preserving the Undead, the Lord of Vampires was resurrected, when he put himself through the alchemical process of Lycanthropy.
This is magnificent indeed. Everyday, we put on various masks to get by each day, in our Dayside, only to reveal our true selves in our Nightside. The primal urge to survive is what Dracula, in his Lycanthrope form, represents, and for this acknowledgement of my own primal instinct, I bow to the Lord of Vampires.
Listen to the children of the night, the darkness, the unknown. What music they make...