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 thread  Author  Topic: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*  (Read 2134 times)
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xx The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Thread started on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 07:16am »

So, I'm currently re-reading DH, and I took another look at the epigraph, the two little quotations that JKR included at the beginning of the book before the story actually begins.

The first time reading through the book, I was curious as to why JKR included an epigraph, when she never has before. Why now, do you think? Her choice of quotations are also interesting, one about children, and one about friends and death. Of all the quotations that she could've picked to put into an epigraph, why those two? I'm really curious about what you guys think.
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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #1 on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 08:37am »

hahahha, i didnt even notice those, thats how anxious i was to jump into the book.....

can someone please post the quotes? i dont have my book here......
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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #2 on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 09:22am »

I liked how they were in the shapes of lightning bolts. Nice touch.
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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #3 on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 1:56pm »

as soon as i read the one about death i knew there was gonna be a lot of death in the book. i think they were included to perhaps ease the pain of some of the younger readers when certain characters died. or perhaps to re-itterate the significance of the deathly hallows or why harry had to die to defeat voldy. i think it was mainly to help relieve the pain of the younger readers about how death is about moving on and not ending
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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #4 on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 2:10pm »

Death has always been THE major plot point of the books, which explains the one about death, obviously. I cannot possibly claim to have understood them both properly, but I have two possible explanations for the first one:

1) the fact that it implies that some force should give young people "triumph" in the face of death reminds me of the fact that one of JK's main messages is that there are worse things than death and that people should not be afraid of it, which is the solution Aeschylus is talking about - the solution to death is not to be afraid of it.

2) Or, triumph over death could literally mean what Voldemort did with his Horcruxes and what Dumbledore wanted but didn't take with his Hallows, and the solution to death is to avoid it.

I don't really know which one to pick. It could mean neither, it's just what I understood... It could be either of them because the first one is the message of the whole series and the second one is the main plot of the book itself. The fact that these forces are "dark gods" points more to my second explanation, though.

The second quote, to me, points towards the fact that Harry's friends are the most important people to him in DH. More than once does he say how much he needs them and how much they need him, he always thinks about them when he encountered Dementors, he was devastated when his best friend in the world deserted him. Sirius and Dumbledore, his main mentors and companions had died, so technically he would have been on his own - except that his friends decided to stick by him, as friends should. Harry would always consider Ron and Hermione to be his best friends in the world, even if one of them or both had died.
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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26th, 2007, 6:55pm »

Here's the Aeschylus quote:

Oh, the torment bred in the race,
the grinding scream of death
and the stroke that hits the vein,
the hemorrhage none can staunch, the grief,
the curse no man can bear.

But there is a cure in the house,
and not outside it, no,
not from others but from them,
their bloody strife. We sing to you,
dark gods beneath the earth.

Now hear, you blissful powers underground --
answer the call, send help.
Bless the children, give them triumph now.


In the play, Orestes and Electra plot and kill their mother to avenge her murder of their father, as commanded by the god Apollo. Afterwards, Orestes goes mad, and the chorus despairs that the violence will continue.

Aeschylus is the "father of Greek Tradgedy". Jackie Kennedy read Aeschylus to find solace after the death of JFK. She shared the Aeschylus with Bobby Kennedy, who quoted Aeschylus in his eulogy to Martin Luther King. So JKR is in good company quoting Aeschylus (but then, we knew that!).
« Last Edit: Jul 26th, 2007, 6:56pm by rollerskater61 » User IP Logged

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xx Re: The Epigraph? *SPOILERS*
« Reply #6 on: May 20th, 2014, 03:07am »

I think that this information is the best.
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