Doppelganger, a German word for "look alike" or "Doppelganger", originally referred to as the ghost or shadow of a person; but in this day and age it simply refers to a person who resembles another person.
Types of Doppelganger
In literature, a doppelganger is usually shaped as a twin, shadow, or mirror image of a protagonist. It refers to a character who is physically similar to the protagonist and possibly also has the same name. Several types of doppelgangers can be recognized in world literature. It can be an Evil Gemini, unknown to the actual person, confusing people related to that original person.
It can also be represented as a person who exists in two different places at the same time. Sometimes a doppelganger is a person's past or future self. In some cases it can simply be a person's appearance.
Doppelganger in Folklore
In traditional folklore, Doppelganger is a vicious and evil character who has no shadow or reflection. He disturbs and harms his counterpart by putting bad thoughts and ideas in his head. In some cultures it is bad luck to see one's doppelganger and is often a sign of serious illness or imminent death.
Examples of doppelgangers in literature
Let us see some examples of doppelgangers and their role in literature:
Example 1: Hamlet (Von William Shakespeare)
The The Ghost of Hamlet's Father in Shakespeare's Hamlet is an example of doppelgangers. The idea of revenge is brought to Hamlet's mind by the appearance of his father, who tells him that he was murdered. The use of a doppelganger helps Shakespeare prepare the plot for his revenge-themed play.
Example 2: William Wilson (by Edgar Allan Poe)
William Wilson, a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, follows the theme of the doppelganger. William, the protagonist, meets another boy at school who had the same name and surprisingly looked like him. He dressed like him and even walked like him. The only difference between them was that Williams doppelganger could only speak in a whisper per.
The doppelganger haunted William all his life. Exhausted from the interference of his doppelganger in his affairs, William stabs him only to discover - to look in the mirror - that he has stabbed himself. Hear the voice of his rival as if it were his own:
"In me you existed, and in my death, through this image, which is yours, you have seen how completely you have killed yourself."
Example # 3: The Secret Sharer (By Joseph Conrad)
Joseph Conrad uses a theme of the pair in his story The Secret Sharer. In the story, Laggatt, the former captain of a ship, acts as a doppelganger for the Captain. The Captain discovers Laggatt swimming in it. The naked sea helps him get on board and gives him his clothes to put on.
Men have similarities and dissimilarities. Laggatt, who is full of calm and self-confidence, helps the Captain to shake off uncertainty and undue apprehensions from him. In fact, Laggatt is another Captain self, whom he has not been able to discover until then.
Example # 4: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (by Robert Louis Stevenson)
Robert Louis Stevenson explores the theme of the doppelganger in his novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Hyde is an evil double of the honorable Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll creates Hyde through scientific experiments, to prove his claim:
"... man is not truly one, but truly two."
he It means that the human soul is a mixture of evil and good, and Hyde is the manifestation of the evil that existed in Dr. Jekyll. As a respectable Victorian gentleman, Jekyll can never fulfill the ill wishes that exist in him. Thus, he separates the "evil self from him," giving it a separate identity.
Function of Doppelganger
A study of examples of doppelganger leads one to conclude that this literary device serves a variety of purposes in literature. It can be used to show the "other me" of a character, which he or she has not yet discovered. This "other me" could be the darker side of the character she worries about, or the brighter side that she motivates. Using the doppelganger helps writers portray complex characters.
Additionally, the doppelganger leads to conflict in a story. The doppelganger acts in a way that promises dire consequences for the main character, who struggles to undo the actions of her doppelganger. , the conflict is internal, where a character tries to understand himself by understanding her doppelganger.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw