Harpies are mythical monsters in Greek mythology, which have the shape of birds, and female human faces. They are known as Zeus dogs, and Zeus sends them out to snatch people and things from the earth. They are also known to be punishment agents who abduct and torture people on their way to the dominions of Hades. They carried the evildoers to Erinyes, the capital of the gods, where they were tortured and killed to steal food from the victims. Gods used harpies as a means of punishing the guilty, like Erynnyes.
The name means “snatcher” and is therefore very appropriate for the act they are doing, and it means snatcher in both Greek and English.
They are often described as a combination of both, cruel and disgusting, and a terrible monster with a hunger for food and blood.
Originally, the harpy seem to have been a mythical creature with the same shape and appearance as the human face, but in a different form.
Homeric poems, harpies are nothing but the personified stormwind, but in the Odyssey they are considered storm winds and as the goddess Athena in vengeful form.
Harpies, however, have already been described by Aeschylus and Eumenides as ugly creatures without wings. Later writers wore this trait to portray them as disgusting, cruel, and fearsome monsters who always fell for hunger.