Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12866
The Harry Potter Septology: A Heroic Epic in the Mythological Sense
Within the confines of this essay the Harry Potter novels are to be explored and analyzed in accordance with the categories of Campbell’s formula of the mythological hero: The Departure, Initiation and Return. These three categories each have a few subcategories which explain the details of the journey of the hero. Departure describes the separation of the hero from normality, Initiation entails the occurrences during the hero’s journey and Return discusses the various manners of the return of the hero. On the journey with the hero are various figures who serve their role as protectors, mentors, ogre aspects and mother goddesses. Examples of mythological tales that fall into the same categories of the formula show that the categorization and formula logic is in accordance with other myths and legends; Herakles’ twelve labors are compared and contrasted with Harry’s tasks in the novels. Harry’s transformation from boy to hero is shown in literary critic Northrop Frye’s five narrative stages. Harry as the hero is portrayed as a force of good while his enemy Voldemort is the epitome of evil. A light is shed on these aspects of Harry and Voldemort, and how that relates to other myths. The idea of myth will also be stretched beyond the walls of the formula as Frazer’s work will be portrayed, describing aspects of the soul, death and resurrection. Voldemort’s and Harry’s opposite views on death are mirrored in the Deathly Hallows and the Horcruxes. Harry’s last task in HPDH also holds significance as it demonstrates self sacrifice, a noble act of a true hero, resurrection and the gift of love.