“Like an Old Tale”
DOI link for “Like an Old Tale”
“Like an Old Tale” book
Though some critics have dismissed the Harry Potter novels as derivative, others have found value in Rowling’s creative incorporation of various sources. This chapter posits Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale as one such source for the Harry Potter series, and shows how recognizing the connections between the play and the novels contributes to a deeper understanding of Rowling’s work. Allusions to The Winter’s Tale amplify the novels’ themes of blood and breeding, power and truth, and the efficacy of art, and they also highlight the critique of the wizarding world that emerges gradually in the series. In Shakespeare’s play and in Rowling’s novels, the transformative power of an art produced from the margins of society challenges tyranny and ultimately triumphs.