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Old June 15th, 2011, 8:32 pm
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arithmancer  Undisclosed.gif arithmancer is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
Join Date: 31st July 2005
Location: The Hogwarts Boathouse
Posts: 7,938
Re: Severus Snape & The Green Man Motif

Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
1st, I'm having trouble linking the themes of rebirth and resurrection with the poisonous serpent, the skull, and the Death Eaters.
Death and decay is a part of the natural cycle of rebirth. Skulls fit in with that, anyway. If the symbolism is intended and applies to Snape, it could be argued this negative portrayal in the chronological middle of his life, is him going through a cycle of corruption and (figurative) "death" before his rebirth. Where I feel the lack is in later plant imagery around post-DE Snape, perhaps.

2nd, I think the memory from the windswept hill, when Snape begs Dumbledore to protect Lily, is mostly lacking in plant imagery.
In particular, while there is little plant depiction in the scene showing Snape's absolute nadir (the scene on the hill), the plant description that is there is evovative of death and decay (leafless trees).

Snape had naught to do with any of these things, and given his conversation with Dumbledore as to why the boy must die, he didn't even seem to know about them, at least not about the first and last ones.
He did not know about any of them, but he set them all up through his actions and choices. He heard the partial Prophecy, he told Voldemort, and he begged for Lily's life, so that Voldemort gave her a real chance to stand aside, thus making her self-sacrifice effective. He also enabled Harry's sacrifice, as Harry would most likely have fought, had the truth not been communicated to him. This aspect of Snape's character in the series is not a discussion of his psychology, ethics, choices, etc., as I see it. It is about his role as a cog in the story.

But I don't think it's ironclad, and I certainly cannot see Severus Snape as any sort of minor nature deity. A great wizard he was, and a hero of the Voldy Wars. But not a nature god.
I agree. If this is intended, it is intended on a symbolic level, not as a literal truth about Snape's character. While the Potterverse does contain mythological creatures (e. g. werewolves, we meet two of them in the series), the Green Man is not one of them.

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“Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.”-D. H. Lawrence

All was well.

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