Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fluffy, The Three-Headed Dog

After reading parts of Aeneid, I couldn't help but recognize similar uses of mythological allusions in more recent novels, such as the Harry Potter series. It contains many different characteristics of mythology, such as centaurs, dragons, griffins, basilisks, phoenixes, and many more. Perhaps the most obvious is Hagrid's "pet," Fluffy. Basically the 20th century version of Cerberus, Fluffy embodies every aspect of the original Cerberus. Both are three-headed dogs, that much is obvious. They are the guardians of some "gate" (whether that be the gate to the Underworld, or the trapdoor leading to the Sorcerers Stone). In both stories they are, of course, "defeated" (lulled to sleep) through music - Fluffy through the enchanted harp, and Cerberus through Orpheus's lyre.


Megan Hoolahan said...

Just for fun, everyone should check this out. ^^^ I lol-ed^^

I immediately thought of the same thing too, Miranda! I decided to start reading Harry Potter a little bit later than the rest of the bandwagon. I'm actually only on the 5th book right now. In ways, Harry is like Aeneas. I haven't gotten to the 7th book yet, but from watching the movie (I might be wrong) I'm pretty sure Harry gets a glimpse at death and sees Dumbledore and his parents; similarly, Aeneas goes into the underworld and meets a few dead people. Harry and Aeneas both fight off multiple creatures and enemies(like Miranda pointed out, some of the creatures in Aeneas also appear in Harry Potter). Basically, Harry can be considered a modern day example of an epic hero.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

MEGAN. Harry is just like Aeneas and Dumbledore is just like Venus or one of the other gods who have to work to keep Harry on course to fulfill his prophecy. And Voldemort is just like Jupiter who work to get get Harry/Aeneas off track.

Harry's dad also appears to him in the form of a stag to save him from the dementors (even though it actually turns out to be Harry himself). JUST like when Venus appears to Aeneas as a huntress.

Harry is definitely a modern example of an epic hero.