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The Mythical Creatures In A New Age English Literature Essay

Apart from the mythic creatures and magical objects that have been woven and reworked in the varied strands of the Harry Potter series, the principal characters too have their shares of mythical ancestry and influence. According to Mary Pharr,

In this respect, Harry is the culmination of both a child’s wishful dream and an adult’s secret desire for someone to come along and be able to do something to save the world and its residents from imminent peril. For the sake of his readers’ emotional and psychological well-being, Harry must continue being a hero—but that heroism also has to have had a beginning.

For a hero, that beginning usually lies within one’s heritage as heroes are more traditionally the deus ex machina of the universe, the intervention of the past into the present in order to preserve the future. Mythologically, he is the scion of earlier heroes whose qualities are enhanced by newer challenges and prospects.

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So, Harry Potter, though only a boy-wizard , and famous as ‘The Boy Who Lived’, and ‘The Chosen One’ walks in a line that extends for thousands of years and through numerous narrative structures, a line including figures as seemingly disparate as Shri Krishna (the son of Vasudeva, and an avatar of Vishnu), Gilgamesh (the son of Uruk’s King Lugalbanda), Arthur (the son of Britain’s King Uther Pendragon), Kal-El (the son of Krypton’s great scientist Jor-El), and Luke Skywalker (the son of Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker). Among these eminent predecessors, however Shri Krishna and King Arthur stand out because of their extremely striking resemblances to Harry, both in person and events described in the series.

According to the Bhāgavata Purāṇa (3072 BCE), also known as Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, or Bhāgavata, Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva in the jail cell of the tyrant Kansa, his maternal uncle. As the earth had become overrun by militaristic activities of demons in the guise of kings, the Devas including the Earth goddess earnestly sought Lord Vishnu’s protection. Seeing the deteriorating social and political conditions, Vishnu responded by taking birth on earth in the avatar of Shri Krishna to deliver mankind from danger. Before the birth of Lord Krishna, there was a prophecy in which, Kansa heard that Lord Krishna will be the one to slay him and he immediately imprisoned his sister and brother-in-law, planning to kill Lord Krishna as soon as he was born. Curiously in the Harry Potter series too, there was a prophecy made by Sybill Trelawney to Dumbledore:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...

Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh

month dies...and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but

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he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...and either must die

at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...."

Severus Snape, who was eavesdropping, heard only part of the prophecy and promptly conveyed it to his master Voldemort, who, in due time, proceeded to kill Harry and his parents, James and Lily Potter. Again, though Kansa kept Krishna’s parents in captivity and killed every other child of Devaki, he was not able to kill Krishna due to divine intervention. Similarly, Lily had sacrificed her life in order to protect her infant son and this placed Harry under magical protection, so that when Voldemort cast ‘Aveda Kedavra’or the Killing Curse at Harry in turn, the spell backfired, leaving Harry unharmed, only with a scar on his forehead and Voldemort reduced to a shapeless, bodiless creature. However, foreseeing Voldemort's inevitable return, Albus Dumbledore furthered Harry's protection by leaving him in the care of his only living relative, Petunia Dursley, Lily's older sister.

But with divine help, Lord Krishna was placed in the care of Yashoda and Nandalal of Vrindavan.[4] Krishna’s father Vasudeva took Lord Krishna in a basket and delivered him to his foster parents

During this childhood time, he grew up as the son of his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda in the midst of the idyllic beauty of Gokula.

, Vrindavan, and Nandagram.[5] Not only did he destroy numerous demons, but also performed his famous rasa dance.

When Krishna and Balarama were older, they were invited to Mathura, where Kamsa, their demonic uncle, was planning their death in a wrestling match against two large and powerful wrestlers. When Kamsa saw his wrestlers defeated, he ordered his friends to drive the brothers out of Mathura, plunder the riches of their cowherd friends, and kill their fathers, Nanda and Vasudeva. However, Krishna immediately killed Kamsa and Balarama killed his eight brothers.[6] Lord Krishna then established the pious King Ugrasena as the emperor of several kingdoms.

There are many similarities between the stories of Harry and Krishna:

4. Harry was saved by the love of his parents. Krishna was also saved by the help of his father Vasudeva.

5. Harry was taken to his relatives by Hagrid, wrapped in a bundle of clothes, during the night. Krishna was also carried to Vrindavan, wrapped in a basket, by his father Vasudeva, also during night.

6. Harry had to live with his uncles and aunt and not his real parents, because they were killed by Lord Voldemort. Krishna had to live apart from his parents because Kamsa was keeping them in prison.

7. Most importantly, Harry has a blood connection with Voldemort, due to which they both have many similar qualities. They both speak Parseltongue, both can read each other’s mind. Krishna also had blood relation with Kamsa. Kamsa was his real uncle.

8. Harry killed Voldemort, when he reached teenage, as prophesied. He did this with the help of his friends. Krishna also killed Kamsa in his teenage, with the help of his brother and friends.

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