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Vlad the Impaler

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Submitted By clidy23
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A man that had a lot of power, was brilliant, was the prince of a country at one time, and a mastermind of torture. All of these words are describing Vlad Dracula, otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler. [The middle ages have produced numerous legends and heroes that remain very much a part of our contemporary culture; one need only to refer to the Tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table or of the outlaw Robin Hood,…Amidst the struggle to halt the Ottoman onslaught in Southeastern Europe the historical figure of Vlad Dracula arose to become a legend in his own time] (Treptow, 2000, p.7).
Vlad the Impaler or Dracula was a very smart man in a sick way. He once tried to use a “technique…[not used]…to impale the anus but rather some other part of the body, normally the back or the chest, the ribs being counted on to sustain the victim’s weight. [Vlad] seems to have abandoned them later in favor of inflicting a slower and more agonizing death” (Myles, 1988, p.103) Once he stuck with the way of impaling by going through the anus, he had a way “to prevent immediate and massive hemorrhaging he ordered that the stakes be rounded at the ends and greased, thus ensuring a gradual rupturing of the viscera over a much longer period”(p.103). “Day after day Vlad the third was more sinister or evil, he even “mutilated [his victims] in every conceivable manner: blinded, maimed, disemboweled, skinned alive, boiled in oil, burned, hanged, garroted, and roasted over slow fires. Occasionally he crucified them. Occasionally, too,…he even exposed helpless captives to the attacks of half-starved wild animals, particularly the Carpathian wolf”(p.104). When Nicolas Modrussa talked to Pope Pious II “he spoke of Dracula’s genocide, an estimated 40,000 dead.”(p.104). He went on to say [He killed some of them by breaking them under the wheels of carts; other stripped of their clothes, were skinned alive up to their entrails, others placed on stakes, or roasted over red hot coals placed under them; others punctured with stakes piercing their head, their navel, breast, and what is even unworthy of relating, their buttocks and the middle of their entrails, and emerging from their mouths; in order that no form of cruelty be missing, he stuck stakes in both breasts of mothers and thrust their babies onto them; he killed others in ferocious ways, torturing them with varied instruments such as the atrocious cruelties of the most frightful tyrants can devise] (p.105). Then Douglas Myles tells the reader that he has a couple lines from “Kbyber” by Charles Miller and it includes methods Vlad used for torture saying that, [Amir included a chapter entitled “Tortures and Methods of Execution,” whose subtitles read: “Hanging by hair and skinning alive…Beating to death with sticks…Cutting men into pieces…Throwing down mountain-side…Starving to death in cages…Boiling woman to soup and man drinking it before execution…Punishment by exposure and starvation…Burying alive…Throwing into soap boilers…Cutting off hands…Blinding…Trying to bent trees and disrupting…Blowing from guns…Hanging, etc.] Martin also noted that “there are other forms of torture…but these cannot be described,”(105). In “Romanian the name dracul means ‘devil; in the fifteenth century it also had the meaning of ‘dragon.’ Dracula meant ‘son of dragon,’ referring to [Vlad’s] father Vlad II Dracul, while the etymological evolution of the word and the legend has transformed it to mean ‘son of the devil’ or a name that has been synonymous with vampire in Western culture” (Treptow 2000, p.10). This explains why Vlad is called Vlad Dracula instead of Vlad Tepes. When Vlad was twelve years old he had experienced something that would sculpted his life completely, and made him become this evil mastermind with no feelings of remorse. When an officer [approached the bed and made a gesture to the guards. Instantly strong hands put Radu [Vlad’s brother] on his belly, pulling upward to raise his hips as one man applied oil of attar to the anus that had previously been enlarged by the insertion of ivory pegs. The boys eyes were glistening with tears now as his buttocks were opened to allow his ravisher full access to him. Murad stripped. When he mounted Radu and penetrated him, the boy screamed, though more from fright than pain…. Prince Vlad ignored this outrageous sodomizing of his brother. Even when the sultan had finished and he himself was taken by all three officers in turn, he did the utmost not to let them see his anguish, not to cry out or release tears which shame and humiliation brought welling into his eyes. But there was no dignity left him now that it had happened, no maintaining his princely demeanor, no saving of his honor. There was only the acute sense of fullness to bursting, of being used unmercifully, of degradation and submission and defeat. It seemed to go on and on eternally, until sobs were wrung from him and childish curses flung at the damascened wall. And while they did this to him, commenting obscenely on his surrender and his helplessness, angry because they couldn’t break his spirit, something changed in the boy, a subtle, nearly undetectable metamorphosis now, but destined one day to become a tempest] (Myles 1988, p. 2-3). Tempest is a very good way to put it when it comes to Vlad Dracula. A very life changing moment happened to him then and if it wasn’t for these guards/officers, Prince Vlad III may have never done the sinister things he has done and may never had the nickname Vlad the Impaler. Vlad the third, [who at three different times, (1448, 1456-1462, and 1472) occupied the throne of the small Romanian principality of Wallachia to the north of the Danube, opposed Turkish efforts to dominate his land, launching an offensive against the Ottoman strongholds along the Danube during the winter of 1461-1462 and trying to stand up to the massive invasion of Wallachia led by Mehmed the Conqueror in the following summer. Despite this, many sources portray Vlad as a man of demonic cruelty, the embodiment of all that is evil. For example the German stories tell how he invented frightening, terrible, unheard of tortures. He ordered that women be impaled together with their suckling babies on the same stake. The babies fought for their lives until the finally died. Then he had the women’s breasts cut off and put the babies inside head first; thus he had them impaled together] (Treptow 2000, p.39) Instead of a hero who defended Christendom against the Turkish onslaught, these stories speak of a man who, on St. Bartholomew’s day, “ordered that two churches be burned down and plundered of their riches and holy vessels” (Treptow 2000, p.7). Likewise, the Slavic stories about Dracula speak of “a devil, so evil, as was his name so was his life” (p.8). What many don’t know is that Dracula image “has been that of a bloody tyrant, later transformed into a bloodthirsty vampire, he has always been a highly controversial figure. Side by side with the image of the cruel tyrant described in the fifteenth century German stories are tales of a strong and just leader who, … bravely opposed Turkish domination of his country” (Treptow 2000, p.16). The King of Hungary “described Dracula as being a man of unheard of cruelty and justice” (p.16). Vlad was both a “heroic and tragic figure. A man who tried to shape history, but also one who was shaped by it. Although he ultimately failed in his aims, Vlad’s greatness lies in the fact that he sought to rise above the limits placed upon him by time and place. This, above all, is why he carved out a place for himself in the history of Europe during the Middle Ages”(Treptow 2000, p.11). In the end, Vlad was a man that was tortured in a cruel sinister way as a kid and sought revenge on that fact. But he has been remembered because of the ways of torture he used because of that punishment he suffered. Vlad was a man of brilliance but used it in a very horrible way. If the guards would never touched him would we even know who he was?

Myles, D. (1988). Prince Dracula ; Son of the Devil. McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Treptow, K. W. (2000). Vlad III Dracula ; The Life and Times of the Historical Dracula. Portland: The Center for Romanian Studies.…...

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