Dracula

Renfield Character Analysis

An insane man kept in Seward's institution, Renfield has a desire to gain the "life-force" of flies, spiders, birds, and cats, and later has a desire for blood—he promises to be Dracula's student, and is eventually killed by Dracula, once Renfield invites the Count into the asylum. The Count goes on to attack Mina there.

Renfield Quotes in Dracula

The Dracula quotes below are all either spoken by Renfield or refer to Renfield. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Dracula published in 2000.
Chapter 18 Quotes

You will, I trust, Dr. Seward, do me the justice to bear in mind, later on , that I did what I could to convince you [to free me] tonight.

Related Characters: Renfield (speaker), Dr. Seward
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Chapter 20 Quotes

The attendant came bursting into my room and told me that Renfield had somehow met with some accident. He had heard him yell; and when he went to him found him lying on his face on the floor, all covered with blood.

Related Characters: Dr. Seward (speaker), Renfield
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Renfield Character Timeline in Dracula

The timeline below shows where the character Renfield appears in Dracula. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Writing, Journaling, and Messaging Theme Icon
Illness, Madness, and Confinement Theme Icon
Christianity, Science, and the Occult Theme Icon
Romantic Love, Seduction, and Sexual Purity Theme Icon
...of his offer of marriage, looks to his patients. He interviews one, a man named Renfield, who experiences "periods of gloom" and morbid fascinations, of a kind Seward cannot entirely make... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Dr. Seward's Diary. June 5. Seward reports in his diary of his interactions with Renfield. Here, Seward notes that Renfield appears to have a great love of animals, including flies,... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. June 18. Seward reports that Renfield has acquired spiders, which he feeds the flies he has previously been given (presumably by... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 1. Seward reports that Renfield's spiders and flies are becoming a nuisance. Seward observes Renfield catching and eating a fly,... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 8. Seward notices that Renfield has begun keeping a pet sparrow, and that the number of spiders in Renfield's room... (full context)
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Dr. Seward's Diary. July 19. On Seward's next visit, he sees that Renfield now has a large number of sparrows, and relatively few flies and spiders. Renfield begs... (full context)
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The same day, at 10 p.m., Seward finds Renfield once again begging for a cat, and brooding in the corner. Seward again refuses. (full context)
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...Seward walks in to find only masses of feathers and a speck of blood on Renfield's pillow—the birds are gone. An orderly tells him, later that morning, that Renfield has simply... (full context)
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Later that night, at 11 p.m., Seward realizes exactly what Renfield desires. Seward decides to refer to the patient as a zoophagus, or life-eater—Seward believes that... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Seward's Diary. August 19. Early on the 19th, Seward is called by orderlies to see Renfield, who appears to be in a kind of mania. Renfield has given up on his... (full context)
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Later that night, Seward is woken up by guards to hear that Renfield has escaped from the asylum. Renfield runs into the neighboring estate at Carfax, which Seward... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Seward's Diary. August 20. Seward notes that Renfield has assumed a pattern to his strange behavior—during the day he has paroxysms of rage... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. August 23. This night, Seward writes, Renfield escapes again to the nearby house, Carfax, and travels all the way to the "old... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. September 4. Seward reports that, once again, Renfield becomes unhinged around noon, during the day, and subsides in his anguish at night. Seward... (full context)
Chapter 11
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Seward's Diary. September 17. Seward reports, briefly, that Renfield burst into his office earlier that night with a dinner-knife, in an attempt to stab... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...20. An employee of the asylum, Hennessey reports to Seward in a brief letter than Renfield, taking air outside the asylum, recently saw men bringing large wooden boxes, filled with earth,... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...write again, though he believed his diary was finished following Lucy's death. Seward says that Renfield appears to be somewhat "sane"; Seward is puzzled by this, but does not know the... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...September 30. Seward meets Harker and immediately finds him "uncommonly clever." Later, Seward visits with Renfield, whom he finds to be incredibly "sane"-seeming—this, too, puzzles Seward, who expected Renfield to rave... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Seward's Diary. September 30. Seward reports that Mina asks to meet with Renfield at the insane asylum, since Mina, too, believes there to be a link between Renfield... (full context)
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Mina finds Renfield somewhat rational, but Seward believes that Renfield is only hiding his madness—or only appearing to... (full context)
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...Diary. October 1. 4 a.m. Early that next morning, however Seward is called to see Renfield by one of the asylum's orderlies—Renfield has asked to speak with Seward, Van Helsing, and... (full context)
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The group, after this speech of Renfield's, believes that he is sane, and is poised to accede to his request—that Renfield be... (full context)
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But Seward ultimately decides to keep Renfield in the asylum. Renfield appears to understand Seward's hesitation, but he asks ominously, to close... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...Journal. October 1. 5 a.m. The group discusses whether Seward was right not to release Renfield—and Van Helsing reassures Seward that he is doing his best, and that it is still... (full context)
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...a brief conversation, in which Van Helsing shares the details of his latest meeting with Renfield, who appears sullen and withdrawn, unwilling to talk to the Professor, whom he had praised... (full context)
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...Mina writes about the previous night's sleep, in which she heard dogs barking loudly, and Renfield shrieking in the room beneath her. Mina is worried that the men of the group... (full context)
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Mina's Journal. October 2. Mina meets with Renfield during the day—he appears quiet and withdrawn, again, though neither "mad" nor "rational"—only depressed. Mina... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Seward's Diary. October 1. Seward has another meeting with Renfield, who appears again to lust after "life" and "power"—his madness has returned. But this time,... (full context)
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...again, that day, in the evening, Seward and Van Helsing go in to speak with Renfield and find him singing—he does not acknowledge their presence, and Van Helsing, like Seward, believes... (full context)
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Seward's Diary. October 2. Seward dispatches an orderly to stand outside Renfield's room, to look after him, as he and Van Helsing sense that Dracula might visit... (full context)
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Seward reports, in a quick entry, that later that evening Renfield is found in his room, his face smashed, lying face-down in a pool of his... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Seward's Diary. October 3. Van Helsing and Seward rush in to find Renfield on the verge of death, his back broken and face smashed in. Renfield, between gasps,... (full context)
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Before dying, Renfield also tells the two that he fears Dracula wants to harm Mina, as Renfield believed... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...Dracula. He notes, also, that Seward and Van Helsing have told a "white lie" about Renfield's death, calling it an accident from falling out of bed, in order to avoid police... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...October 3. In Seward's office, Van Helsing explains to Seward and Harker that Dracula used Renfield, whom he considered a weak and "mad" mind, to enter Seward's home, which is also... (full context)