Summary Of Magic For Daily Use And Profit By Birgit Wiedl

1349 Words6 Pages
Muggles and wizards alike have been living in harmony for as long as time dictates. Their interconnected relationship has continued to flourish over the years, allowing scholars to analyze the application of medieval magic to modern day literature. In her essay, Magic for Daily Use and Profit, writer Birgit Wiedl compares and contrasts the Muggle and wizarding worlds, drawing her own conclusions regarding their relationship. The purpose of this piece is to allow readers of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to further understand the extent to which the author has exercised medieval ideologies and magical practices to craft her novels. Albeit Wiedl’s critique does bring up some interesting and relevant ideas, the means by which she attempts…show more content…
In the section pertaining to the use of cauldrons, Weidl makes reference to Hans Baldung Grien’s Witches Sabbath (1510), which “shows witches concocting their potions in a cauldron, although this is mostly connected with the (visual) key element of drawings of early modern witchcraft: the witches’ ability to fly through the air.” (Magic for Daily Use and Profit 14). This choice proved to be disgruntling, as Weidl neglected the opportunity to further expand upon the use of both broomsticks and cauldrons in the wizarding world, their great diversity contrasting the singular Muggle uses. Even more upsettingly, the author spent a great deal of the text focusing on magical ingredients like bezoars and mandrakes, but hardly connected them to their use by wizards. During a second-year herbology lesson, Hermione Granger earns 10 points for Gryffindor when she answers, “[The] Mandrake, or Mandragora, is a powerful restorative… used to return people who’ve been transfigured or cursed to their original state” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 102). By using this direct quote, Weidl would have been able to perfectly exemplify the wizarding world’s interpretation of the madrake, as it was pertinent in this novel during the petrifying of students and animals that took place surrounding the opening of the Chamber of Secrets. (CS 152, 196, 219, 277) Similarly, during a sixth year potions class, much about the bezoar, “A stone taken from the stomach of a goat, which will protect from most poisons” (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 446), is revealed. Firstly, “a bezoar down their throat(s)” (HBP 446) is the go to solution described by the Half-Blood Prince, whereas Professor Slughorn states, “that they would do the trick… although as they don’t work on everything, and are pretty rare, it’s still worth knowing how

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