Potion

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This article is about the drink. For the programming language, see Potion (programming language). For the song by Ludacris, see The Potion. For the album by Gerard Starkie, see Potions (album). For the Pokémon item, see Potion (Pokémon).
"The Love Potion" by Evelyn De Morgan.

A potion (from Latin potio "drink", in turn derived from Greek poton "that which one drinks") is a consumable magical medicine drug or poison.

In mythology and literature, a potion is usually made by a magician, dragon, fairy or witch and has magical properties. It is used for various motives including the healing, bewitching or poisoning of people. For example, love potions for those who wish to fall in love (or become deeply infatuated) with another (the love potion figures tragically into most versions of the tale of Tristan and Iseult, including Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde); sleeping potions to cause long-term or eternal sleep (in folklore, this can range from the normal REM sleep to a death-like coma); and elixirs heal/cure any wound/malady (as in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Goscinny and Uderzo's character Asterix the Gaul gained superhuman strength from a magic potion brewed by the druid Getafix.

Creation of potions of different kinds was a common practice of alchemy, and was commonly associated with witchcraft, as in The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

During the 19th Century, it was common in certain countries to see wandering charlatans offering curative potions. These were eventually dismissed as quackery.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham to Richard Wagner's Siegfried: While Siegfried reforges the sword Nothung, Mime prepares a sleeping potion to use on him.

In modern fantasy, potions are often portrayed as spells in liquid form, capable of causing a variety of effects, including healing, amnesia, infatuation, transformation, invisibility, and invulnerability.[1] Potions have also gained popularity as a standard item in role-playing video games, usually as a healing item. The availability of healing potions in the popular Final Fantasy series of games eventually resulted in the release of an actual beverage named "Potion" in Japan by Square Enix, the games' creators.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John Grant and John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, "Potions", p 779 ISBN 0-312-19869-8

External links[edit]