The Magic Mirror - List of Magical Mirrors
Since the dawn of modern humanity, mirrors and mirror-like surfaces managed
to infuse deeply into our religions, myths, and written texts, art
installations, plays and videos of all kinds from small homemade
productions to high budget Hollywood films. This deep fascination with the
mirrors came not only because of its practical uses and its presence in
every home but also because of the deeply ingrained belief that reflection
in mirrors can show us much - either something real or something “more”.
Mirrors appeared in an incredible amount of fiction, ranging from the most
ancient texts of humankind to the modern literary hits. Here are some of
the most notable examples of mirrors appearing in written and film fiction:
Greek myths tell the tale of Narcissus, a beautiful
man who wasted away after spending too much time looking at his
reflection in the water. Narcissus became the origin of the modern term
“narcissism” (fixation with oneself and one's physical appearance).
One of the most famous magical mirrors is off course mirror from the
European fairy tale of Snow White. In it, the evil
which uses a mirror to converse with a magical being that speaks only
truth. The famous passage "
Mirror, mirror, on the wall... who's the fairest of them all?
" was immortalized in many adaptations of this fairy tale, especially
those made by Disney.
Lewis Carroll's 1871 book “Through the Looking-Glass”
has one of the most beloved magical mirrors in modern literature.
Novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray“ by Oscar Wild revolves around
the magical mirror that has the form of a picture that reflects
only the true aged visage of the forever young protagonist.
The series of Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling features several
magical mirror devices.
Numerous tabletop RPG games have rulesets that enable mirrors to be
used for magical effects (such as reflection of spells, conversing with
spirits or magical beings and teleportation).
J.R.R. Tolkien's 1954 epic fantasy novel “The Lord of the Rings: The
Fellowship of the Ring” features magical mirror in the form of the
small pool of water located in the Elven forest of Lothlórien.
William Shakespeare's 1595 stage play Richard II popularized the myth
that breaking a mirror can bring misfortune.
Ever since 1897 novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, the modern fiction has
adopted the myth that mirrors do not cast the reflection of vampires.
One of the most famous poems about mirrors “The Lady of Shalott” came
from the pen of Lord Tennyson in 1883.
Other famous poems about mirrors are "I Look into My Glass" by Thomas
Hardy, "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath and "The Mirror" by Paul Muldoon.
Examples of magical mirrors in the film can be found in Snow White and
the Seven Dwarves (1937), The Matrix (1999), Shrek franchise, Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Black Swan (2010), The
Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) and Oculus (2013).
Ordinary (non-magical) mirrors have played an important part in many
films. Some of the most notable examples of strong and well-remembered
scenes involving mirrors can be found in films such as Dead of Night
(1945), The Lady from Shanhai (1947), Butterfield 8 (1960), Enter the
Dragon (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), The Shining
(1980), All of Me (1984) Big Business (1988), Candyman (1992), Jurassic
Park (1993) and L.A. Confidential (1997).