Remus Lupin and community: the werewolf tradition in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

Ward, Renee (2006) Remus Lupin and community: the werewolf tradition in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. In: The year's work in medievalism, 2004. The Year's Work in Medievalism, 19 . Wipf and Stock, pp. 26-40. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

Through its focus on shape-shifting, this paper emphasizes the connection between medieval romance and the Harry Potter series. While all the novels of the series thus far include shape-shifting in some manner, The Prisoner of Azkaban centralizes the motif through its Animagi characters, Sirius Black, James Potter, and Peter Pettigrew, and its werewolf figure, Remus Lupin. The following discussion of Rowling’s rewriting of the traditional archetypes of the werewolf and the black dog (or the Grim) focuses primarily on the werewolf because of its position, both in literature and history, as a figure repeatedly ostracized by human communities, and unravels how Rowling undermines the outsider status of the werewolf. Rowling’s rewriting of the werewolf archetype blurs the boundaries between the werewolf and the black dog, and simultaneously challenges their literary and folkloric antecedents through an associated construction of interlaced communities. These communities not only provide a space within which the werewolf figure occupies an insider status, but they are also inextricably linked to Harry’s insider-outsider status, his understanding of hierarchical divisions based on difference, and his developing sense of identity.

Keywords:J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter, Werewolves, Medievalism, Bisclavret, Lycaon, Medieval Romance
Subjects:Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q323 English Literature by topic
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q200 Comparative Literary studies
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q322 English Literature by author
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q321 English Literature by period
Divisions:College of Arts > School of English & Journalism > School of English & Journalism (English)
ID Code:25245
Deposited On:26 Dec 2016 20:33

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