Symbolism In Harry Potter

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1. Introduction In this thesis, I argue that many of the creatures described in some medieval bestiaries play a very important role in the creation of the imaginary and symbolic world of Harry Potter written by the author J. K. Rowling. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the similarities and differences between the medieval beasts and the creatures in Rowling’s Harry Potter book series. I also explain how the author plays with symbolism and uses her novels to highlight how medieval and modern ideas take part of the relationship between humans and animals, using symbolic animals to expose the real nature of the characters, their personalities. To go into detail about this theory, I have worked with the seven books of the Harry Potter…show more content…
Students from this House tend to hate muggle-born, born from non-magical people like Harry’s mother and Harry’s best friend Hermione. The snake’s attributes mentioned before match with the students’ characteristics from Slytherin, who are identified by their craftiness, ingenuity, and ambition, as the Sorting Hat declares in the Philosopher’s Stone “Or perhaps in Slytherin, you’ll make your real friends, those cunning folk use any means, to achieve their ends” (88). In the story of creation, the snake persuaded Adam and Eve to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, and not the tree of evil, so we can also relate ambition and wisdom to snakes, which will lead us to two of the other attributes of Slytherin’s students. It is not accident that the author chose to have most of Harry Potter’s enemies from this House: Severus Snape (though we realize at the end that he is not his enemy, on the contrary, he has always tried to protect Harry because of his love for Harry’ mother, which shows how powerful love is), Malfoy’s family and friends, the Death Eaters, and his nemesis Tom Riddle, known as Lord Voldemort. It is also important to keep in mind that not all people from Slytherin are evil, although Rowling has contributed to their bad…show more content…
It is said that the owl “is a dirty, slothful bird that pollutes its own nest with its dung”. It is also said that owls cry out when someone is about to die. Bestiaries usually give negative interpretations to owls, however the Aberdeen Bestiary provides a positive one for the night-owl also called “noctua”: it says that this animal represents Christ, and it flies in the darkness of the night because Christ wants sinners, who are representative of the darkness, to be converted. Owls represent many superstitions across the
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