Eisenheim constructs a “long con” to bring about what Sophie asked him to do when they were both children – “make us disappear.” He goes away to learn all the tricks of various magicians in the far east, then returns and becomes successful enough to enter her level of society. When he finds out she is engaged to an abusive man, Eisenheim asks her to trust him, and manipulates circumstances to frame her fiancé for her murder, allowing them both to escape. But that isn’t enough for Eisenheim—he goes on to manipulate public opinion against the prince by pretending to call up Sophie’s spirit from beyond the grave, spending months to generate public outcry and then vanishes the night Uhl comes to arrest him. It’s all been an intricately laid plot from the beginning, and he follows it without question, until it eventually allows him to seek out the woman he loves and live with her in a remote mountain range. His emotional manipulation of the public, and the fact that he lingers so long to turn their opinions against the prince, shows that he takes his ethics rather seriously—but also that he knows the value of how to use people to get what he wants. He shows kindnesses elsewhere, amusing and giving coins to beggar children, and showing Uhl a few of his tricks (including sending him the plans for the orange tree as a final sign of gratitude). Eisenheim takes pleasure in pushing back at the crown prince in public, and is rather reckless in how he does so—as Sophie reminds him, it’s foolish to make an enemy of Lepopold. But Eisenheim wants to be noticed, seen, and have his feelings vindicated; he shows them off, manipulates people into thinking he has lost the woman he loves, and brings back “visions” from beyond (when threatened with being arrested, he tells the crowd he did not intend to mislead them, and “it’s all just an illusion”). His intensive understanding of illusions and his meticulous books full of notes on his inventions show a strong use of Ti—he comprehends how things work and can improvise and create or invent new ways of astounding people. But his motivations are all emotional—driven from his love of Sophie and his desire to live with her separate. He makes sure to make up with everyone he has hurt along the way, including giving all of his money and his theater to his former business manager as an apology for having fired him (he did not want him culpable in what he planned to do). He shows little sensing awareness, other than him sleeping with Sophie immediately, being generally reckless with his personal safety and well-being (he gets arrested several times, and doesn’t seem aware that the prince could have him killed), and having traveled the world in search of adventure.

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Eisenheim is an extremely private man, who doesn’t like people poking around his workshop; the first time Inspector Uhl attempts to pry into his innovations, Eisenheim barks at him to get away from his things (but then softens and shows him a magic trick). He’s quite introverted, withdrawn, and confident of his own thinking; he has a vast imagination and a rich inner world that lends itself to his mastery of illusions, which he has studied and worked on for years, with a singular interest, until he has become an expert. No one knows any of his secrets, including the men who work with him on the medium show (which ensures that the inspector cannot get anything out of them, when he arrests them all). Eisenheim also shows a somewhat detached nature when framing the Crown Prince for murder—he never tries to justify it and seems unconcerned when it leads to the man’s suicide, because it achieved his objective—to get Sophie free of him. Wing-wise, he is rather reactive on occasion, jealous and vindictive when dealing with the Crown Prince—he humiliates him in public, after Leopold tries to figure out his illusions in front of him and calls them “so obvious” (this insults him and makes him tease the Prince, by not allowing him immediately to lift his sword off the floor).

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