Ellen and Greta on the Deathbed: Representations of Death and Agency in F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) and E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Irene Peinhopf

Abstract


This paper discusses the difference in agency between Ellen Hutter in F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) and Greta Schroeder in E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (2000).  Its primary focus is on the direction of the gaze and how, for both women, the gaze is the source of transgression.  Ellen Hutter dares to look, while Greta Schroeder dares to be looked at and these two transgressions require atonement through death.  The manner of their deaths is analyzed as the moment when both women lose all agency and are reduced to objects.

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University of Victoria