Portraying Voldemort As A Deity Theology Of Harry Potter Research Paper

1522 words - 7 pages

The Dark and Divine
In the Anatomy of the Sacred by James C. Livingston, Livingston states that sacred power is the ultimate object of religion, and can be present in nature in any object, person or spiritual being when it is approached in awe, fear or joy or perceived as the source of purity or danger[footnoteRef:1]. A person withholding this sacred power would be religiously seen as a deity or divine being. Throughout the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling establishes Voldemort as a sort of deity. This is shown through the Death Eaters treatment of Voldemort as a divine figure, by kissing his robes, and begging for mercy for the sins of faithlessness and apostasy[footnoteRef:2]. Rowling constructs Voldemort’s character as not only accepting the role of deity from his followers, but also encouraging it through his possession of godlike powers, his sense of immortality, and his system of rewards and punishments for the compliance or lack thereof for his cause.[footnoteRef:3] [1: Livingston, James C. Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion. New Jersey: Pearson, 2008. Pg. 154] [2: Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2000. Pgs. 647-48] [3: Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2000. Pgs. 648-50]
While growing up, Riddle would often torment the other boys at the orphanage by controlling their minds and force them into doing terrible things, or by controlling animals to torment them. Upon meeting Riddle, Dumbledore was alarmed by the unusually high control Riddle had over his abilities, and upon his arrival at Hogwarts, Riddle continued his mind control on both his classmates and animals.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic, 2005.]
While at Hogwarts, Riddle taught himself every spell and secret known to wizards, and his ability to learn and execute magic was almost unparalleled. Riddle achieved top marks in every class he took at Hogwarts, and was the most intelligent student to ever attend, with the only possible exception being Albus Dumbledore.[footnoteRef:5] His vast knowledge of the wizarding world led him to have unimaginable powers, that could be viewed as being God-like upon his transformation into the role of Lord Voldemort. [5: Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York: Scholastic, 1998.]
Unlike many wizards and witches, Voldemort was proficient in highly skilled magic including the art of Legilimency which gave him the ability to be a walking lie detector. Voldemort was not only able to see into his victim's mind, but he could also tell if they were lying to him. This was one of the many reasons Voldemort was so feared, because he knew what you were going to say before you did.[footnoteRef:6] Voldemort also had the ability to fly completely without the support of a flying charm. This shows that Voldemort was significantly more powerful than other wizards, and he used it...

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