N/Y Mythos Hellenic Lager Beer Greek Cool Beer Ale Lover Worn Look T Shirt Black

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N/Y Mythos Hellenic Lager Beer Greek Cool Beer Ale Lover Worn Look T Shirt Black

N/Y Mythos Hellenic Lager Beer Greek Cool Beer Ale Lover Worn Look T Shirt Black

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Cerberus is a discerning dog, and it takes the lyre-playing of no less a musician than Orpheus to paralyse him (as Virgil tells us in The Georgics), holding his three mouths agape. Fluffy is an easier audience, and can be lulled to sleep by a mere enchanted harp. In a nod to the Cerberus myth, Rowling employs Fluffy as a guard-dog, lying atop the trapdoor which leads Harry, Ron and Hermione on their search for the philosopher’s stone. Are we meant to wonder if the children are entering the gates of hell? Certainly they undergo trials which wouldn’t be out of place in the underworld of Greek myth: the torturous puzzles, the physical peril, the emotional trauma.

One interesting point is to consider the monsters and beasts which Rowling has not used, most notably the satyrs and nymphs which populate so much Greek myth. (The French witch Fleur mentions that wood nymphs are used as Christmas decorations at the Beauxbatons school, but they seem to have no other role). It’s this as much as anything that makes us think about the symbolic purpose of the mythic creatures in Harry Potter. Harry’s world – perhaps surprisingly for one filled with teenagers – is largely devoid of sex: there is some kissing, but the predation which satyrs represent is absent. Even the girl who shares a name with the passive Greek nymphs, Nymphadora Tonks, shares little else with them, besides an ability to change appearance (and usually when this happens to a nymph, it is because she is trying to avoid a lusty satyr, rather than battle evil). But the vast majority of Rowling’s best-loved monsters have winged their way from the Ancient World to her modern, magical one. Fawkes the Phoenix is not only a fantastic beast, capable of auto-regeneration, he’s also a historical one. His colouring – red and gold – is the same as that of the phoenixes mentioned by Herodotus in his Histories from the Fifth Century BCE. Herodotus is known as the ‘father of history’ and, by his critics, as the ‘father of lies’. He reports what he is told by people he meets on his travels, often without the presentation of further evidence. In this instance, he’s told that phoenixes live in Egypt, so he relays this information to his readers. He does add that he hasn’t seen the creature himself, only pictures of one. Other creatures serve allegorical purposes too: elves have been much grander elsewhere than in Rowling’s work (think of the superiority and otherness of the elves in Tolkien’s work, for example). Rowling’s house-elves are a clear reminder of slavery and servitude. Similarly, centaurs and giants suffer under Umbridge’s domination of Hogwarts, since they are regarded as less than human. Species-ism stands in for racism very easily.

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