Magicians & Wizards

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A magician and a wizard: on the surface the two may seem as though they are cut from the same magical cloth, after all there are many similarities between the two. Both magicians and wizards practice magic with the aid of ‘magical' tools, both dress in a similar fashion, and both have famous representatives. However, upon closer analysis one will notice that these apparent likenesses, shared by wizards and magicians, are actually quite different from one another in method, nature, and/or purpose.

A wizard is one who practices magic or sorcery using supernatural powers; he's a grand, heroic figure that saves humankind from fire breathing dragons with the use of magical staves, crystals, and incantations that focus his uncanny metaphysical powers. A magician, however, is one who performs seemingly magical feats to amuse an audience using illusion and trickery; he's a quick, cunning entertainer that amuses humankind with floppy eared rabbits, using smoke and mirrors to mask the deceptive methods of his so-called magic.

The common clothing worn by a wizard would have been a cloak and hat. The reason a wizard would have donned this garb is simply that it was the typical dress of the medieval period. On the other hand, a magician wears a cloak and a hat to assume the guise of the more authentic wizard; he wears them as merely a costume for his performance.

When we hear the word "wizard" or "magician", there are usually some names that immediately come to mind. When we hear "wizard" the names that pop up are most likely Merlin and Gandalf. When we hear "magician" the names we think of are likely to be Harry Houdini and David Copperfield. Although the names of these wizards and magicians are both highly distinguished, they are so for different reasons. Merlin and Gandalf are legendary because of their roles in story books, movies, and fairytales; they are known to us only in a mythical context. On the other end of the magical-all-stars-spectrum we have Harry...
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