History is sometimes told through stories and this is a fact but sometimes, these stories are not a hundred percent loyal to what really happened in history. This relationship between “history” and “story” is going to be the base for this work because I have decided to do my essay about one of the topics given which are: “From history to story: Vlad the Impaler vs. Count Dracula”.
I chose this topic because I love history and I am very curious about historical characters such as Prince Vlad Tepes, which some critics consider it is one of the inspirations to the Dracula’s author, Bram Stoker. It is not sure if he really based his character on Vlad Tepes but I think that there are some quotes on his book that can make someone think that the character of Dracula can be similar to Prince Vlad.
Vlad III Dracula the Prince of Wallachia, also known as Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, was born in Transylvania (Romania). He was one of the sons of the nobleman Vlad II Dracul, the ruler of the Wallachian region and member of the Order of the Dragon. That is why Vlad the Impaler is called Dracula: because it means the son of Dracul. +These arete first similarities I have found between the historical character and the fictional one. In the book, it is said that Jonathan Harker is traveling to Transylvania to meet Count Dracula, the lord of this land.
“… made a search among the books and maps of the library regarding Transylvania; it had struck me that some foreknowledge of the country could hardly fail to have some importance in dealing with a noble of that country”.
This is not a clear reference to Vlad Tepes but I think that it is not a coincidence that both, Dracula and Vlad, are from the same country and region. However, there is still that percentage that maybe Bram Stoker wanted to base his novel in a country far away from Ireland.
However, the main reason why I think the author based his book’s character (or at least took some inspiration to create it) is the name of the novel itself and the character’s name: Dracula.
Why did Stoker want to name one of the principal characters as “Dracula”? As I said before, Vlad the Impaler’s father was known as “Vlad Dracul” which is translated into English as “Vlad the dragon”. The Romanian word “draw” means “dragon” and sometimes it also means “the devil” or “Satan” and “ul” is the article. What’s more, the suffix “ulema” (the Romanian name of Vlad Tepes is Vlad III Dracula) means “the son of”. It is important to say that the reason why Vlad Tepes’ father was known as Vlad Dracul is that he was a member of the Order of the Dragon, an organization created by the Emperor of the Holy Roman Germanic Empire, whose main purpose was to defend the empire against the Ottoman Turkish and defeat them.