Mythes et Héros / Myths and Heroes : Harry Potter - Anglais - Terminale STMG

Mythes et Héros / Myths and Heroes : Harry Potter - Anglais - Terminale STMG

Voici un tout nouveau cours d'Anglais qui pourra vous servir pour votre épreuve orale.

Ce document porte sur la notion "Mythes et Héros" (Myths and Heroes), et plus particulièrement sur Harry Potter, célèbre sorcier tout droit sorti de l'esprit de J.K. Rowling.

Téléchargez gratuitement ci-dessous ce dossier d'anglais sur Harry Potter, lié à la notion Mythes et Héros.

Mythes et Héros / Myths and Heroes : Harry Potter - Anglais - Terminale STMG

Le contenu du document



Qui n’a jamais entendu parler du célèbre Harry Potter ? Le jour de ses onze ans, un jeune sorcier reçoit une lettre d’une mystérieuse école de magie : Poudlard.

Le mythe d’Harry Potter a marqué toute une génération de jeunes lecteurs souhaitant secrètement faire partie d’un monde fantastique aux créatures fabuleuses.

L’auteure britannique J.K. Rowling a réussi à obtenir une notoriété sans précédent grâce à son habile écriture redonnant vie à des centaines d’anciens mythes. De la magie noire, des sorciers, des dragons et tant d’autres créatures mythologiques renaissent avec une touche indiscutable de modernité.

Si vous avez déjà lu les livres et que vous souhaitez vous en servir lors de votre oral d’anglais, soyez attentifs à cette leçon.

Enjoy your reading.

*Be careful this lesson may contains spoilers about the books’ plot.

I. The Story

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by the British author Joanne Rowling well-known under the name of J.K Rowling. This saga spans seven volumes.

These novels chronicle (= relate) life of Harry Potter and his friends; Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley who are studying at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The main story concerns Harry’s struggle against the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, who intends to become immortal, overthrow the world order and enslave the entire human race.

1. Important notions in the books

a. Magic

Magic is a prominent element in the tale. As in fantasy novels, the characters evolve in a completely different world. At Hogwarts (= Poudlard), all students learn how to use and improve their ability to perform magic. This is their normality.

Based on our similar school model, students have to take and pass exams throughout their entire schooling (= scolarité).

However, as in normal life, individuals have free will:

  • They can either choose to use magic for the greater good
  • They choose to use magic for their own purpose as dark as it can get.

Nevertheless, the Ministry of Magic (as our current justice), is meant to regulate the injustice, apply laws and punish criminals (Azkaban is the prison for criminals).

b. No equality

In a world where magic is the most essential thing to improve, all humans are not touched by its grace.

  • Muggle (= moldu) = a muggle is a person without magical powers. Thus, he is a perfect target to the dark wizards. With no ability to perform any kind of magic, he cannot defend himself.
  • Squib (= cracmol) = a squib, also known as a wizard-born, is a non-magical person who is born to at least one magical parent. For some dark wizards, they are the shame in the history of wizardry.

In this world, magic defines who you are and where you come from.

c. Love

Love is also a prominent element in the books. What is a myth without love? What is the message given to the readers? Love can accomplish miracles even in a world of magic.

It is the ultimate comparison between Harry and Lord Voldemort; one of them is filled with love, he thus chooses to overcome evil with good while the other one is only filled with darkness, greed for power (= soif de pouvoir) and solitude.

At the beginning of the first book (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), the reader finds out that Harry has already survived to the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort when he was only 15 months (a scar remains on his forehead). His mother sacrificed her life to save him; his mother’s love becomes the symbol of Harry’s survival.

During his time in Hogwarts, Harry is surrounded by the love of his cluster whether close or distant.

Let’s see some of them, the famous ones…

  • Hagrid = with his tremendous size, the giant Hagrid is one of the most loving characters toward Harry. When the latter was a newly-orphaned baby boy, Hagrid brought him to his foster family (the Dursleys) for him to live among muggles protected from his terrible fate.
    Ten years later, Hagrid is also the one in charge of bringing Harry to Hogwarts, revealing to him his past and an important fact: Harry is a wizard.
  • Albus Dumbledore = as the headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore maintains a particular relationship with Harry. This distant character is one of the closest partners of Harry throughout his struggle against Lord Voldemort. He is the key to Harry’s success.
    Deeply attached to the young wizard, both are destined to sustain (= entretenir) a trustful and loyal relation.
  • Minerva McGonagall = she is one of the teachers at Hogwarts and the referent teacher in Gryffindor, one of the four houses in the school (Slytherin = Serpentard, Hufflepuff = Poufsouffle, Ravenclaw = Serdaigle).
    When the dark times come, she will provide a valuable help in fighting against evil.
    Knowing him since he is a child, she is also deeply attached to Harry.
  • Ron and Hermione = they are Harry’s best friends. Inseparable from beginning to end, they are the closest people to Harry. Confidents, partners as they were brother and sister, they remain the loyal friends helping Harry to overcome the darkness.
  • Weasley family = they are Ron’s family but they quickly become “Harry’s chosen family”. Placed in a foster family who hate him, Harry turns to the Weasleys who will support and love him as one of their own. It represents the loving family Harry never had a chance to have.
  • Sirius = he is Harry’s godfather (= parrain). They are bonded by a deep affection as Harry grows and becomes able to make his own crucial decisions. As a fighter against the darkness, Sirius is a model for Harry, an example to follow. It marks a break between innocence of youth and awareness of emerging adulthood when having a Manichean vision is not conceivable anymore.

d. Death

Within a myth you find different elements that cannot be removed. Death is one of the most important components of it all. This notion is omnipresent throughout the books.

At the beginning of the story, the reader finds out that Harry’s parents are dead and that terrible things that can never be forgotten have happened.

The myth of Harry Potter begins with death.

As time goes by, Harry becomes stronger and stronger due to constant death around him. He will lose some people he truly loved. However, as a hero of a timeless myth, he has to evolve in this world to achieve his destiny.

  • Lord Voldemort = he is the dark wizard intending to overthrow the world order. The important thing to know about this character is that he is not really dead and not really alive. Ruling on people as a tyrant, he is the one representing death in the tale. He provokes it and feeds from it.
  • The death eaters (= Mangemorts) = they are Lord Voldemort’s servants. Either worshipping him or fearing him, they devoted their life to evil.
  • Dementors (= détraqueurs) = they are the keepers of Azkaban (the prison for criminals). Dressed with rags and a hood that covers their face, they are feeding from all the happiest moments within a human body. Hence, criminals serve a sentence alone feeling empty. They are related to death by their annihilation of hope and happiness.
  • Ghosts = at Hogwarts, students live among ghosts. They are dead but their spectrums still remain within the school. You can talk to them but no harm shall be done because their body is made out of air.

Remember Love and Death as main themes of myths.

2. The books

a. The Philosopher’s stone – L’école des sorciers (1997)

On his eleventh birthday, Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy. Hagrid, a giant, tells Harry that he is a wizard and has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

b. The Chamber of Secrets – La chambre des secrets (1998)

Harry ignores warnings not to return to Hogwarts, only to find the school plagued (= tourmentée) by a series of mysterious attacks and a strange voice haunting him.

c. The Prisoner of Azkaban – Le prisonnier d’Azkaban (1999)

It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; he has a new “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher and the convicted (= condamné) murderer Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban and is coming after Harry.

d. The Goblet of Fire – La coupe de feu (2000)

Harry finds himself competing in a hazardous (= dangerous) tournament between rival schools of magic, but he is distracted by recurring nightmares.

e. The Order of Phoenix – L’ordre du phénix (2003)

With their warning about Lord Voldemort's return scoffed at (= to scoff at something = se moquer de), Harry and Dumbledore are targeted by an authoritarian witch slowly seizes power at Hogwarts.

f. The Half-Blood Prince – Le prince de sang mêlé (2005)

As Harry begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.

g. The Deathly Hallows – Les reliques de la mort (2007)

As Harry races against time to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers (= discover) the existence of the three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

II. Cultural Impact

1. Movies

Il existe huit adaptations des romans en films conservant cependant les mêmes titres. Les rôles principaux sont tenus respectivement par Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) et Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).

Le septième tome a été adapté en deux films ; Les Reliques de la Mort partie 1 et 2.

Les réalisateurs variant en fonction des films, nous retrouvons :

Chris Colombus (1,2), Alfonso Cuarón (3), Mike Newell (4) et David Yates (5,6,7,8).

2. Theatre

Harry Potter et l’enfant maudit (considérée comme la suite de la saga) est une pièce de théâtre écrite par JackThorne, mise en scène par John Tiffany avec la collaboration de J.K Rowling. Elle est jouée pour la première fois en 2016 à Londres.

3. Web

Pottermore est un site web de J.K. Rowling (2012) où elle y ajoute un contenu inédit et donne un aperçu alternatif à sa saga. C’est l’une des rares sources officielles où les fans sont en mesure d’obtenir de réelles informations sur le monde légendaire d’Harry Potter.

4. Audio Books

Les six tomes sont accessibles en livres audio grâce aux narrateurs Bernard Giraudeau et Dominique Collignon-Maurin (en français). Pour la version anglaise, les livres sont narrés par Stephen Fry, un humoriste britannique.

5. Music

En 2009, StarKids Production produit une parodie de la légende en l’intitulant A Very Potter Musical.

Au début des années 2000 se crée un genre musical s’appelant « Wizard rock » (Rock sorcier).

  • Harry and the Potters (groupe fondateur du wizard rock en 2002)
  • Draco and the Malfoys (groupe formé en 2005 parodiant Harry and the Potters)
  • The Parselmouths (formé en 2004)
  • The Whomping Willows (formé en 2005) à Le Saule Cogneur
  • The Remus Lupins (formé en 2005)

6. Games

De nombreux jeux de société font leur apparition suite aux adaptations cinématographiques :

  • Board game (Monopoly, Cluedo, Trivial pursuit, Labyrinth, Goose Game = jeu de l’oie)
  • Card game (Uno etc.)
  • Scrabble
  • Chess game
  • Lego

7. Video games

  • Electronic Arts adapte tous les volets de la série sur moult plateformes (PC, Game Boy Color, Advance, Playstation,Playstation 2, X Box, Game Cube, Wii).
  • Electronic Arts développe en 2003 Harry Potter : Coupe du monde de Quidditch.

8. Theme Parks

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter est le nom des zones thématiques liées à l’univers du mythe situé dans plusieurs parcs Universal.

  • Le premier parc à thème ouvre en 2010 à Universal’s Islands of Adventure en Floride.
  • Un autre s’ouvre au Japon en 2014.
  • En 2016, un nouveau parc s’ouvre en Californie à Hollywood.

9. King’s Cross

Dans la célèbre gare londonienne, une pancarte indiquant la fameuse voie 9 ¾ a été ajoutée ainsi qu’un chariot encastré dans un mur.

10. Expression Derived from Harry Potter’s World

Le terme « moldu » = muggle est entré dans le dictionnaire d’Oxford English Dictionnary.

Il existe bien évidemment des millions de produits dérivés s’inspirant directement du mythe.

III. Vocabulary

Schooling = education = Scolarité

Scholarship = une bourse d’étude

Tremendous = énorme

Throughout = durant

Thus = donc, ainsi, par conséquent

Greed = avidité, cupidité (greed for power = soif de pouvoir)

Manichean vision = une vision manichéenne

Orphan = orphelin

A warning = un avertissement

Struggle (against) = une lutte

Nightmare = un cauchemar

Rags = haillons

To worship = vénérer, un culte

To feed = nourrir, se nourrir

To devote = se dévouer, se consacrer

To overcome evil with good = surmonter, vaincre le mal par le bien

To overthrow = renverser (un gouvernement), prendre le contrôle

Wizard = un sorcier

Wizardry = magie, sorcellerie

Board game = jeu de plateau

Fin de l'extrait

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