In recent years, shapeshifting characters in literature, film and television have been on the rise. This has followed the increased use of such characters as metaphors, with novelists and critics identifying specific meanings and topics behind them. This book aims to unravel the shapeshifting trope. Rather than pursue a case-based study, the works are grouped around specific themes--adolescence, gender, sexuality, race, disability, addiction, and spirituality--that are explored through the metaphor of shapeshifting. Because of its transformative possibilities and its flexibility, the shapeshifter has the potential to change how we see our world. With coverage of iconic fantasy texts and a focus on current works, this work engages with the shapeshifting figure in popular culture from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.