Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University

History of the Double/ Doppelganger

The biggest portrayal of the “double” in film/cinema would have to be with the idea of the doppelganger. The German word meaning: “a ghostly counterpart of a living person” (Websters Dictionary), is the iconic way in which the “double” is portrayed in film/cinema. I always wondered why in so many films or tv shows that contained a doppelganger, why they were portrayed as being evil or out to get the “real” character/person, and the German mythological tale explains why these doppelgangers may be portrayed in such a way. The doppelganger was generally referred to by Germans as bad omens or signs of death. Some say that the doppelganger was an attempt of the spirit to provide advice to the person they shadowed, while others say that they tried planting evil thoughts in their double’s mind in hopes of confusing them. (Ancient Origins) When looking at how film/cinema portrays these doppelgangers or doubles I would say that writers use more of the myth about how the spirit tries planting evil thoughts into the person’s mind.


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