Wyrd Sisters is the 6th book in the Discworld series. It is the second outing for some of Pratchett’s most popular characters – the witches, and it focuses partly on theatre and in particular the work of Shakespeare with references to many plays including Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet, but there are other allusions – Waiting for Godot, Laurel and Hardy ….
One of the underlying themes of the book is the power of words – to manipulate opinion and change perceptions of events – both current and historic. This produced a surprisingly deep and serious discussion given the lightness of the book. Although Pratchett is echoing the way the Tudors used Shakespeare to alter perceptions of the way in which their dynasty was viewed it seemed very apt to current times. We talked about the way views are created and enforced by the bubbles we inhabit – with friends or social media, and wondered whether discussion and airing of different viewpoints takes place in families the way some remembered from their own childhoods.
I will finish with a quote from the book:
“Words were indeed insubstantial. They were as soft as water, but they were also as powerful as water and now they were rushing over the audience, eroding the levees of veracity, and carrying away the past.”