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The Besieged EgoDoppelgangers and Split Identity Onscreen$
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Caroline Ruddell

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748692026

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692026.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Besieged Ego

Caroline Ruddell

Edinburgh University Press

The introduction outlines how split identity frequents the silver screen continually across a range of genres and introduces the multifaceted ways the double or fragmented identity function onscreen. Doubles provide narrative cause and effect, character motivation and above all, spectacle. What is often so effective about films and TV examples that feature that doppelganger is that an unconscious subjective split nature erupts from the unknown into the ‘real’ and knowable. This provides an extremely spectacular way of providing drama and tension in order to attract an audience, but it also taps into contemporary concerns that surround identity, and this also helps to explain the popularity of onscreen examples that feature doubling and why they might engage audience interest.

Keywords:   doppelganger, genre, spectacle, mirrors, enigma

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