J.K. Rowling uses references to mythological characters throughout the Harry Potter series. For example, the character Minerva McGonagall is named after the Roman goddess Minerva. Minerva is the goddess of wisdom and war; the Greeks called her Athena. Minerva (or Athena) is usually depicted holding the Aegis, her shield which bears the head of the terrible Medusa.
Minerva McGonagall is the wise and powerful Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As an expert in the difficult art of Transfiguration, Professor McGonagall can easily turn a table into a hog and a rat into a goblet. She can even transfigure herself into an orange tabby cat.
If I were fighting in a battle, I would want Minerva McGonagall on my side. In the Deathly Hallows, Minerva McGonagall fights bravely against Voldemort’s Death Eaters, never backing down. My favorite part is when Professor McGonagall wisely calls forth the statues and suits of armor to help defend Hogwarts. She shouts, “Hogwarts is threatened!” “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school.”(pg. 602). Hundreds of statues, many brandishing swords and weapons, come alive and obey her.
Minerva McGonagall is both wise and fierce in battle, just like the Roman goddess.