Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


J. K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Themes

Themes and Colors
Justice Theme Icon
Storytelling and Perspective Theme Icon
Teaching Theme Icon
Responsibility, Morality, and Time Theme Icon
Friendship and Growing Up Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.


For Harry and his friends' third year at Hogwarts, their challenge shifts from fighting incarnations of the dark lord Voldemort to instead taking on Sirius Black, a man who's believed by the entire wizarding world to have been Voldemort's right-hand man. After spending twelve years in the wizard prison Azkaban, where he was serving a life sentence for brutally murdering twelve innocent muggles and his best friend, Peter Pettigrew, Black escapes in the…

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Storytelling and Perspective

Because Harry is still a child during his third year at Hogwarts, many of the adults around him do their best to mediate the information that he receives about the escaped criminal Sirius Black. Some adults, like Mrs. Weasley, don't want Harry to know at all that Black is supposedly after him; most others settle for telling Harry that Black is after him, but leave out other crucial elements of the story to…

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Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, is the first Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry's experience to demonstrate knowledge and mastery of the subject, as well as the first to take on the role of mentor for any of his students. While his predecessors were either ineffective frauds or seemed terrified of the subject, Lupin presents his students with lessons that follow a logical progression through age-appropriate material…

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Responsibility, Morality, and Time

Simply by introducing the element of time travel, Prisoner of Azkaban naturally raises questions about time travel that many stories do--namely, what the rules of time travel are and when or if "changing time" is ever appropriate. By comparing the novel's two uses of time travel, the first being Hermione's using it to take a double course load and the second being Hermione and Harry's trip back in time to save Sirius and Buckbeak

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Friendship and Growing Up

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban introduces the reader to two generations of friendships: those between Harry and his friends in the present day, and those between Harry's father, James, and James's crew while they were students at Hogwarts. By exploring the contours of the different friendship generations and how the friendships evolve over time, the book positions how a person treats their friends as an indicator of maturity and selflessness—or as an…

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