Harry Potter Characters – Argus Filch


Let’s look at another example of how J.K. Rowling incorporates references to Greek mythology in the Harry Potter series.

Argus Filch is the despised caretaker of Hogwarts.  He is named after the Greek mythological character Argus Panoptes, the obedient watchman of Hera. Panoptes comes from the Greek roots pan- meaning all and -opt meaning eye or vision. Argus (the mythological character) had 100 eyes all over his body that enabled him to see everything around him at all times while Argus Filch seems to see everything that is out of place at Hogwarts at all times.  “Filch knew the secret passageways of the school better than anyone … and could pop up…suddenly” just in time to catch students breaking rules (Page 133). The students disliked him very much; Harry stated that something “even worse than Peeves, if that was possible, was the caretaker, Argus Filch” (Page 132).

Filch’s loyal companion was a cat named Mrs. Norris, who acted as another pair of eyes for him.  The students absolutely detested her because if they broke “a rule in front of her, put just one toe out of line, … she’d whisk off for Filch”(Page 132) and “…it was the dearest ambition of many to give Mrs. Norris a good kick” (Page 133) for she was so annoying.

Quotes cited from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

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