Mirror Symbolism in Movies (Don’t Look at Medusa)

Mirror Symbols in Movies

In Greek Mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a calm pool of water.

In another Greek myth, Perseus heroically cut off Medusa’s head. Medusa, the monster with snakes growing out of her head, had the power to turn anyone who looked at her eyes into stone. Athena offered Perseus advice on how to defeat her. By only looking at the monster through the reflection on his shield as a makeshift mirror, he could safely approach the Gorgon. The rest is history.

Centuries later, films have made use of mirrors in other imaginative ways, often to transmit deeper truths to the audience.

Film itself is like a magical mirror. We’re glued to a screen reflecting images and sound to inflame our emotions like love, hate, hope and fear. Interestingly, when we look at our own reflection in the mirror, it often has the same effect.

The 22 very interesting movies shown here offer you a glimpse into the power of the mirror. After pondering over these movies, your perception of mirrors will probably change forever.

2. The Man from La Mancha (1972)

Mirror symbolism in movies

3. The Hustler (1961)

4. Sliver (1993)

5. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

6. The Shining (1980)

7. 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)

8.The Lost Boys (1987)

9. Constantine (2005)

10. The Lady from Shanghai (1947) – “Hall of Mirrors” climax


12. Enter the Dragon (1973)

13. Clash of the Titans (1981)

14. Orpheus (1950)

15. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

16. Black Swan (2010)

17. Inception (2010)

18. Divergent (2014)

19. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

20. Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

21. Labyrinth (1986)

22. Circle of Iron (1978)


Now try and answer this question.

Does a mirror show you truth or lies?


A mirror can’t show you the truth all of the time, since an image shown in a mirror is an inverted reflection. The image reflected in a mirror when you’re standing in front of it, is definitely not you. If the image were truly you, then you’d have to be a lie. If you insist that it is, then are you a lie? What about a convex mirror, does that reveal the truth about the way you look?

A mirror can’t be showing you lies all of the time either, since that would mean you love lies. Why would you want to start your day with a lie?

One thing is for certain, sometimes you can trust and other times you cannot trust a mirror.

The magical mirror of television will show you so many lies that you’d have to wonder whether the Greek Gods and Goddesses love liars.

There lies the paradox.