Horus and Harry Potter, A Comparative Essay by Payton McHugh

While reading the story of Horus I saw some similarities between that story and the story of Harry Potter.  They were both coming of age tales with heroes who overcame unusual and difficult circumstances to do great things.  Although one of these stories took place in ancient Egypt, and the other in modern day England, the characters of Horus and Harry share similar childhood experiences, they were both called to quests and they shared similar fates.

Horus’ parents, Osiris and Isis, were king and queen of Egypt.  Osiris’ brother, Set, was jealous of his brother’s power.  Then, one day, in a desperate attempt to seize the throne, he lured Osiris into a coffin, nailed it shut and threw it into the Nile.  Soon after, Horus was born.  When Set found out, he was furious.  He knew of the prophecy; it stated that Horus would defeat him, and was afraid that Horus would take his throne.  He set out to find and kill Horus.  However, even after he turned into a scorpion and stung Horus, he could not kill him.  Not only had he failed to kill him, he transformed him into a god-like being.  After this, Horus was sent to live with his uncle.  There he would be protected.  As he grew up he learned his parents were gods.  Harry Potter had a very similar childhood experience to Horus.  When Harry was a baby, his parents were killed.  At the time, they had been in hiding from the evil dark wizard Voldemort.  Voldemort was trying to kill Harry because there was a prophecy stating that Harry would grow up to destroy him.   After killing Lily and James Potter, Lord Voldemort tried to kill Harry.  However, he failed just as Set had failed to kill infant Horus.  Also like Horus, when Voldemort failed to kill infant Harry he inadvertently made him more powerful.  Like Horus was sent to live with his uncle for protection, Harry was sent to live with his Aunt and Uncle where he would be protected as well.  Then, when Harry reached the age of eleven, he found out that he and his parents were wizards. The idea of an infant being able to be undefeated by a powerful adult is a sign that the child is strong and special in some way. Both Horus and Harry’s parents were killed and Horus and Harry wanted to avenge their parents. Since Horus and Harry were both so furious and because Horus and Harry wanted revenge, their actions could, possibly, result in their deaths. This is a fatal flaw.

Horus was called on a quest.  When Horus learned his parents were gods, he also learned their story.  He learned the prophecy about himself and set out on a quest to fulfill it.  He asked his father, now the god of the afterlife, to help him train.  The prophecy stated that Horus would kill Set and avenge his parents.  Every day to prepare for the trials he would come up against, Osiris came from the underworld to train Horus.  Horus faced many trials.  First, he battled against Set’s army and when the chance came he almost killed Set. But before he could strike, Set’s soul went into a black snake and slithered away. He also perservered through other challenges, such as when Set took the form of a wild boar and tried to blind Horus.  Harry went through a very similar quest. After finding out his parents story he also learned that he was destined to defeat Voldemort.  Professor Dumbledore, and other Hogwarts teachers, helped to prepare Harry for the challenges ahead.  Harry faced many battles during his quest.  During all these battles, he is trying to prevent Voldemort from rising to power.  Such battles include when Voldemort tried to steal the Sorceror’s Stone or when he tried to open The Chamber of Secrets.  In the story of Horus, Set transforms into a snake, Voldemort is closely linked with snakes.  He can speak Parseltongue (snake language), when he comes back from the dead he resembles a snake and he uses his pet snake Nagini for protection.

In the end, Horus overcame.  Another battle began with Set, the red hippopotamus, charging his troops.  However, when alll hope seemed lost, Horus shot a harpoon through Set’s mouth, slaying him for good.  Everyone celebrated and Horus lived on in peoples hearts forever.  Harry’s fate was very similar.  In the end, like Horus, he overcame.  The final battle with Voldemort was a close call but the prophecy was fulfilled. Voldemort was destroyed by a death curse and Harry became a hero. Even nineteen years later people remembered the boy who killed the Dark Lord.

In conclusion, I feel that these two stories have a lot in common.  I also feel that these two stories prove that it is human nature to write about perseverance and happy endings.  I think this is because it encourages people to never give up and never stop trying.  I also think that heroic stories attract a reader’s attention because they are realistic in a way that we can picture ourselves being like the hero.

5 thoughts on “Horus and Harry Potter, A Comparative Essay by Payton McHugh

  1. Awesome job on the essay Payton! You really captured the similarities and laid them out clearly for the reader. I hope you are feeling a sense of accomplishment because you showed great perseverance in your work on this project. The happy ending is that it’s over and you may move on to your next challenge. Bravo!

  2. Good job. You hit on am important theme, one that you will continue to come across in literature. The Quest. One of the most famous id the Grail Quest which is linked to all the legends about King Arthur. Keep thinking.

  3. Wow you’re really really good !!
    I hope I’m able to read and write like that when I’m older! Keep the good work up, bye, from Chria X

    1. Hi Chria this is Payton on my mom’s computer! Thanks, I recommend the Harry Potter series. You should definitely read them sometime. By the way, don’t worry, I have a feeling you’ll write better than me someday!! Love you! XOXO -Payton

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