Dracula: a name that inspires thoughts of intrigue, fear, romance and in some a life style that is all its own. Yet one thing that is not always known is that there is a true story hidden behind the legend of Dracula. More than one actually, one in which a man is a demon who executes a hundred thousand men, impaling them, and dinning on their blood. Then there is the story of a patriot who cares for his people and is only doing what he must to protect them from the invading armies. The latter of which is less known, yet in the most famous book about Dracula, Bram Stoker brings forth many of the true facts about Vlad Țepeș also known as Vlad the Impaler. The tricky thing comes when we look at why Bram Stoker chose what he did for the book, and later what Coppola chose to leave out or modify from the novel when he directed the movie adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 1992. Stoker wrote his based more on a German view of Vlad while Coppola modified his based on a more educated modern understanding of the times in which Vlad Țepeș lived, one of which Vlad was seen as a hero to the people of Hungary not initially the savage he is made out to be in many of the earlier studies.
The pseudo myth/fact of Dracula is a topics that has two sides, one which says Dracula is based on and evil man named Vlad the Impaler and one that says it is an unjustified comparison to a man who justly ruled, as Beresford author of From Demons to Dracula (a comprehensive account of vampires through history) gives us a view of the honorable leader by writing, “Romanian peoples honestly believe Dracula to have been a fair and just, if strict, ruler. Other versions of the stories adopt and entirely different perspective” (Beresford 85). The idea that a country that has been largely unaffected by popular culture during the times that Stokers novel had its largest impact show us that there is an alternate view that the ones the Germans and others have presented as fact in regards to Vlad Țepeș.
As we continue to discuss the remarkable similarities of a vampire and Vlad there is one myth that comes to the forefront and that is one of Vlad drinking the blood of his victims at his dinner table, Beresford elaborates on the where this belief came from and what the true translation is “it is alleged, in Michael Beheim’s fifteenth-century poem ‘A bloodthirsty tyrant named Dracula from Wallachia’…Beheim described Dracula as dipping his bread in the blood of his victims, which technically makes him a living vampire”(Beresford 91). While this at face value is clear cut, the problem is that later historians from independent sources retranslated the original text and according to Beresford this is what the came up with,
It was his pleasure and gave him courage
To see human blood flow
[And] it was his custom to wash his hands in it,
As it [or he] was brought to the dinner table (Miller qtd. in Beresford 93).
Miller allows us to see a translation that is from an unbiased time that...