Although by now you will have noticed that Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula a very different characters, we would like to point out the following elements which may or may not have influenced Bram Stoker in the creation of his fearsome character. Dracula's cape may have been based on the red and black cape worn by members of the Order of the Dragon. Killing a vampire by driving a stake through his heart is reminiscent of Impalements. Vlad the Impaler was Transylvanian, as is Stoker's character. Vlad the Impaler lived in a castle, which is also known as castle Dracula, and currently a tourists attraction (although the real castle Dracula lies buried beneath is structure) While imprisoned, Vlad the Impaler tortured and impaled rodents and insects. Count Dracula's lackey, Renfield, devours insects in his cell while imprisoned in an insane asylum. 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. While Vlad the Impaler may not have been one of the living dead, it is believed his allergy to blood caused him to have very pale and swollen face. Although most movie versions of the Dracula character were without facial hair, Stoker's character was a tall man with aquiline features, sporting a long white mustache, an elderly version of what the real Dracula would have looked like. Harker recalls a conversation with Count Dracula: "In his speaking of things and people, and especially of battles, he spoke as if he had been present at them all." In that same exchange, Dracula explains the origins of his race: "What devil or what witch was ever so great as Attila, whose blood is in these veins?" He held up his arms. " Is it a wonder that we were a conquering race, that we were proud, that when the Magyar, the Lombard, the Avar, the Bulgar, or the Turk poured his thousands on our frontiers, we drove them back?" Count Dracula alsop ststes that: " Who was it but one of my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk on his own ground?" 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. Van Helsing also theorizes that: "He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk." In Francis Ford Coppola's feature film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" , actor Gary Oldman is shown wearing an armor sporting the "Order of the Dragon" insignia, and a fair amount of background is given on the Character which was not in the book but is based on the historical Vlad Dracula. Again, In Coppola's adaptation, Prince Vlad Dracula's wife Elisabeta is shown committing suicide to avoid capture in exactly the same manner as Vlad the Impaler's wife during the capture of his castle by the Turks.
Vlad the Impaler vs. Dracula
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