“Dracula” is a book written by Bram Stoker that was inspired by Vlad Tepes, which causes some confusion about where fact ends and fiction begins. The two undoubtedly share some similarities. For example, they are both in positions of nobility. Before becoming a vampire Dracula was a prince and Vlad was a voivode. They are both also from Transylvania, although “Dracula” does not take place entirely in Transylvania. Although there are elements of Tepes in the character of Dracula, a great deal of it was embellished for dramatic effect. Dracula and Vlad may have had a few similarities, but they are also very different.
In Stoker’s novel Dracula is depicted as blood thirsty. Although Vlad was also blood thirsty, he and Dracula had very different ways of satisfying their thirst. Vlad was just a monarch with a very sadistic streak. He used this power to kill people who had personally offended him. Vlad killed in many ways but his favorite way to kill his victims was to impale them on a wooden stake, which is a very slow and agonizing way to die. Victims sometimes endured this for hours or days. Throughout his reign, Vlad systematically eradicated the old boyar class of Wallachia. Dracula killed and then fed on the blood of his victims.
Vlad and Dracula’s motives for killing so many were different. After the death of his wife, Dracula sold his soul to the devil. This transaction turn Dracula into a vampire that survives by sucking the blood from his victims and transforming them into vampires. Vlad’s motivation in killing so many was to exact revenge for the death of his father and brother. Perhaps this difference causes the vastly lights that they are seen in. Dracula is a villian, but many Romanians view Vlad as a hero. His reputation in his native country is one of a man who stood up to both foreign and domestic enemies. In Romania he is considered one of their greatest leaders.
Dracula had a bevy of superpowers to aid him in his dastardly deeds. Dracula had the power to shape shift. In the novel he shifts into things such as a bat and a wolf. He also possesses superhuman powers like being able to crawl on vertical surfaces and manipulating the weather. The most important characteristic of Dracula is that he is undead. The only way to kill Dracula is to decapitate him and impale him with a wooden stake through the heart. Vlad on the other hand, had no superpowers and was for the most part a normal person.
Vlad and Dracula are both remembered for the same reason: their atrocious murders. They were both prolific killers. Despite their many differences, they will probably always be associated.