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Free «Art of Magic» Essay Sample

Magic is the stated art of influencing features of reality by either mystical means or using awareness of occult principles that are unknown in science (Hendrix 19). Magic is in essence an art of trickery. The line that separates a con artist from a magician is very thin. A magician employs the art to amuse while a con artist employs the art to swindle people in order to gain profit immorally. Contrary to science, which does not agree to anything that is not subject to direct or indirect study, or that is not subject to rational examination magic asserts itself to be a strange force that cannot be explained using logic. Magic has been carried out in a majority of cultures throughout time. It exploits methods of perceiving, experiencing, as well as manipulating reality to some extent similar to those utilized by religion; however, magic is more centered on attaining outcomes than religious uses (Feltham 26). Magic is regularly looked at with distrust by the general society, and is usually carried out in seclusion and secrecy. Contemporary Western magicians commonly assert that the chief purpose of magic is to aid development in individual spiritual (Ruickbie 4). Contemporary viewpoints on the theory of magic generally fall into two views that also match up closely to antique viewpoints. The first views magic as an outcome of a collective understanding in the cosmos, where if an action is executed in one place, the outcome occurs in another place. The second outlook views magic as a “partnership” with spirits, which results into the effect. This essay will look at four principles used by magicians to do their tricks as well as how to do “The Coin through the Table” trick.



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Once in their lives most people have wondered how magic tricks operate. In general, magicians devise and execute their magic tricks through working in line with four principles. These principles are the principle of force, the principle of misdirection and the principle of verbal manipulation. In addition, the magicians use up a huge amount of time working to perfect a trick that is called the sleight of hands. Sleight of hands is a number of clever hand motions calculated to hide, mislead, and confuse the actual things that the hands are doing. Even though some sleights of hands call for the hand motions to be fast, the majority of sleights do not necessarily require fast hand motions. Sleights executed expertly can be completed before one’s own eyes and they will not see what has just happened.

The principle of force, as the expression suggests, compels the spectators to “choose” or “select” something that the magician has already determined for them. This is possible in a number of ways. For instance, in cases where calculation and mathematics is concerned, the magician can use an arithmetical formula that works out to a single answer. If not, the trick can be done using a gimmick like a trick deck. In the majority of cases in which playing cards are drawn in, it is just sleight of hands that is employed. The principle of force is employed mainly in magic tricks in which the magician tells someone to select a particular card or a word from a particular page of a book.

The principle of misdirection is aimed at deflecting the viewer’s awareness away from the real actions of the magician. Plainly put, the magician misleads the audience to look away in a different direction from where he or she is doing the tricks. A major way in which misdirection works is whereby the magician uses big hand motions and gazing at the motions of the hand keenly. This body language will obviously direct the spectators to stare in the same place or side the magician is staring. At this instant, the magician is then able to do what he or she wants to do swiftly with the remaining hand, which the viewers are not looking at. Lastly, magicians employ spoken manipulation to lead the audience into doing what they want it to do along with convincing the audience of what the magician purports to have done and forecast. It is almost akin to saying nothing and nonetheless appear to have said all at once. The exploit of vocal manipulation can also be seen as an additional method of operating the principle of force. Diverse magic tricks have diverse impacts on the spectators. Therefore, it is vital for the magician to have in mind what he or she is intending to accomplish with their magic tricks.

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“The Coin through the Table” magic trick that uses seven coins ends with the magician putting his right hand that is supposedly holding four coins underneath the table whilst he put his left hand purportedly with the other three coins on the upper side of the table. The magician slams the left hand on top of the table and the three coins appear to penetrate the table and drop into his right hand, which is underneath the table. When the magician opens his left hand, no coin is in that hand or on the table since the three coins have purportedly gone through the table. When the magician brings forth the right hand from underneath the table, there are seven coins in that hand.

It is possible to execute the “Coin through the Table” magic trick using any number of coins instead of seven that is being used here, for instance six coins. However, holding four coins in a single hand and three coins in the other hand produces a stronger deception that no coin have been moved from the right hand to the left and vice versa whilst the magician shows the three coins in the left hand for the first time and four coins in the right one the second time. Now here is how the magic trick works. Initially, the magician reveals his left hand entirely opened and with the three coins still in that hand; this is genuine. This is calculated to influence the spectators to ensure that they drop down the guard.

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When the magician “shows” (actually drops on the table) the second set of coins in his right hand, a sleight of hands is employed. The magician does not show his right hand facing up in the same way he did beforehand with the first hand. Three coins at this point are clipped using the thumb on his right hand whilst the one and only distinctive coin (the English penny in the midst of the seven coins) is let to drop onto the table from the magician’s right hand. The additional three coins that can now be seen on the table are actually dropped (more accurately slid) through the base, this is done using the magician’s left hand. The lone, coin dropped from the right hand, together with the three coins, slide by the left hand, adds up to four coins now on the table. On seeing the four coins now on the table, the audience minds will be deceived to think that each one of the four coins came from the right hand. Note that from the start of this magic trick the magician must emphasize the audience to look out for the English penny (to hoodwink them). This is important in order to set up a mind trap for the audience. Therefore, as the magician picks up the four coins on the table using his right hand (with the palm facing downwards to hide the other three coins clipped with the right hand thumb), he then will have the seven coins in the right hand.

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In conclusion, the main concept in successful magic is misdirection. What the eyes will see and the ears perceive, the brain will accept as true. The magician must control what the audience sees and what they hear without appearing to cover up anything.


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