Dracula: The truth behind it
Are you being impaled? (Explicit content included)
Being impaled could occur in many different ways according to Vlad. He also tended to torture people in other ways. People had been decapitated, had been skinned alive, dismembered, eviscerated, had their eyes gouged out, or sometimes he would just disfigure them for fun.
He would impale someone either through their anus, or [in a woman's case] their vagina. They would be impaled from the bottom up, which would allow their weight to drag them down, with hours passing before death took place. If you impaled someone through the mouth, Vlad complained that death would come too quickly.
No one could be spared from Vlad's anger, and tyranny. Even his own mistress was disemboweled for lying about being pregnant. It was rumored that he enjoyed torturing and murdering woman and forcing them to do unspeakable things (which I won't go over here, if you really want to know...look it up!)
Dracula versus Vlad
Written in 1897 by Irish author, Bram Stoker, this gothic horror novel sparked generations of terror with this immortal character. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire character, he did create the vampire in its modern form, and truly immortalized its form, inspiring many more characters and interpretations. Many believe that Dracula is based on Vlad the Impaler, but knowing the truth about both might change your mind slightly.
If you've never read Dracula, pick it up and read it now. Vampires are not beings that sparkle in the sunlight, or walk around all day and fall in love with little girls (sorry Twilight fans, but it's a joke), but instead they're seductive, dangerous characters, who hunt their people to feed and maintain immortality. However, Stoker's Dracula is quite the seductive character. He is not nearly as sadistic as Vlad the Impaler. He is a character who stalks and seduces his victims to have a somewhat sexual encounter with them in order to feed and kill them. But he is portrayed as a person of interest, a person of fantasy, and an irresistible man to the women he stalks. Vlad the Impaler was a person who killed just to see his own power in front of him and to see the suffering of those who he kills.
Vlad the Impaler had impaled 30,000 merchants for disobeying the laws, and left their bodies outside as a monument, and a reminder, of what would happen if someone disobeyed him. It was also rumored that he had eaten the flesh, and drank the blood, of the enemies he had destroyed while hosting dinner parties next to the freshly impaled bodies. Vlad had arranged his stakes in certain ways, and used different lengths of stakes to show the victims rank, whether wealthy or poor, to show he did not discriminate against anyone.
Vlad the Impaler
Similarities between Dracula and Vlad
- Killing a vampire by driving a stake through his heart is a solid reminder of the impalements that Vlad performed
- Vlad, and Dracula, were both Transylvanian
- Vlad the Impaler lived in a castle, known as Castle Dracula
- Vlad the Impaler is said to have consumed human flesh, and to have drunk human blood. Some also speculate that he suffered from a rare allergy that made him lose control when exposed to blood, as well as crave it
- Van Helsing explains that another way to insure a vampire will not return is to cut off its head. Vlad the Impaler was rumored to have been decapitated.
- Dracula was inspired by the Dracul Family. According to historical sources, the descendants of Vlad II, Duke of Wallachia, adopted the name "Dracul" after joining the chivalric Order of the Dragon in 1431. In Romanian, "dracul" means "the dragon" or "the devil."
Some Facts about Bram Stoker and Dracula
- He wrote more than just Dracula...including The Jewel of Seven Stars (1903) and the Lair of the White Worm (1911) [both of which are interesting]
- A key inspiration for Dracula was always said to have been Vlad the Impaler, the 15th-century Transylvanian-born prince also known as Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia. However, historian Fiona Fitzsimons says: “Stoker did not use overtly Irish references in Dracula, but his main theme is taken from Irish history – the history, we now learn, of his own family – recast in the writer’s imagination. Manus the Magnificent (Manus O’Donnell,who once ruled much of Ireland) was Stoker’s direct ancestor and was an influence on the book."
- Because Stoker was a sickly child, during his early years while he was bed-ridden, his mother would tell him stories and legends from Sligo that included tales and accounts of death and disease
- There is still some controversy about what killed Bram Stoker. One of the possibilities was the sexually transmitted disease syphilis
- Stoker admired, and eventually became friends with, Walt Whitman
- Stoker was not entirely known as a novelist
- Dracula was once titled The Un-Dead
- Dracula was NOT the first vampire novel
Sheridan Le Fanu wrote “Carmilla,” about a lesbian vampire who stalks lonely young women, in 1871. “Varney the Vampire” by James Malcolm Rymer, an 1845-47 gothic horror series, also preceded “Dracula.” (In fact, “Dracula” was probably inspired by “Carmilla” and “Varney the Vampire.”)
Do you believe Dracula was based on Vlad?
Dracula was a very sensual character, as stated before, and really takes a sort of sexual undertone. He constantly spends his time stalking Mina Harker, after taking one of her best friends as his own personal slave. The sexual tension between Dracula and his conquests is fantastic as Stoker writes on and on. Vlad the Impaler was all about asserting his power and dominance, and he was brutal and terrorizing, and had no sense of appreciation of anything. Dracula fought to drink blood as a way to survive his immortality, Vlad drank the blood in order to prove to his enemies that he was strong and seriously in charge. Dracula viewed his victims, and interacted with his victims, in an intimate, personal kind of interaction.
I think Dracula is a much softer (despite the fact that he kills) character than the true life supposed inspiration in Vlad the Impaler. I think Dracula has a type of heart and soul involved in his work and life, whereas Vlad had nothing but a cold and empty chamber. Do I think Dracula was inspired by Vlad the Impaler? In a way, yes, but Stoker gave Dracula and true life of his own that made him the immortal character he really is.