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Witches Abroad Character Analysis

Good Essays
In Discworld, a world saturated and glued together with magic (Wyrd Sisters 10), shapeshifting is a common practice amongst magic practitioners. The witches in Witches Abroad, unlike the shapeshifting Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites, shapeshift anyone but themselves for various reasons. Some shapeshift others for the sake of stories. Lilith Weatherwax, who rules Genua with the power of stories, changes the shape of the minds of animals such as wolves, pigs, and bears into human minds to make them the characters of children’s fairy tales. Some shapeshift others out of necessity. The three good witches—Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick—shapeshift Greebo the cat completely—both its mind and its body—into human to rescue…show more content…
Granny Weatherwax, the leader of the good witches, once shapeshifts the mind of Mr. Wilkin into the mind of a frog because he calls her a “domineering old busybody” (Witches Abroad 199). Considering that Granny Weatherwax is the leading good witch who thinks herself capable of accepting criticism (199), making a person think that he is a frog simply because he calls her name seems like a petty move from an otherwise sagacious mind. Likewise, Lilith Weatherwax, the ‘bad witch’ in this story, shapeshift the wolf’s mind partly into human—she makes it “think” that it is human—to make it the character of fairy tales and thus feeds her with power from the stories (163-4). The wolf is “stuck between species” in its mind and thus remains bodily a wolf (164). As a result, it starves because it can act neither a wolf nor a human (164). Starving animals to death just to gain power is a cruel and selfish act. Both the good witch Granny Weatherwax and the bad witch Lilith shapeshift living objects for such petty and selfish reasons, making motives seem hardly the determinant of the ethic of
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