A Doppelgänger is the German word to define the ghostly double or evil look-alike of a living person. The word comes from doppel, which means "double" and gänger: "walking." Its oldest form, coined by the novelist Jean Paul in 1796, is Doppeltgänger, 'the one who walks by the side'. The term is used to designate any double of a person, usually in reference to the' evil twin 'or the phenomenon of bilocation. Doppelgängers appear in various literary works of science fiction and fantasy literature, in which they are a type of shape-shifter that mimics a particular person or species.


Doppelgängers do not have a specific shape but their demonic nature allows them to take any shape but mainly in people.

In mythology and folklore

In Norse and Germanic legends, seeing one's own Doppelgänger is an omen of death. A Doppelgänger seen by friends or relatives of a person can sometimes bring bad luck, be a bad omen, or an indication of illness or disease. imminent health. As the Swedish playwright Strindberg wrote: "He who sees his double is going to die." Mario Praz connects other popular figures in folklore with the figure of the double, such as the werewolf or the beautiful girl who hides inside a snake or demon (lamia). Claude Lecouteux explores these and other connections (fairies, witches, men wolf) in his book on the figure of the double in the Middle Ages.


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