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Old December 3rd, 2010, 3:32 pm
giftedkid527  Male.gif giftedkid527 is offline
Second Year
Join Date: 19th November 2010
Location: Southern US
Posts: 185
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I absolutely LOVE this character. Severus is Jo's magnum opus. It's not hard to create a character that's loved, such as Harry or Dumbledore, any book series does it. It's just as easy to create a character that's universally hated, like Voldemort and Lucius. The truly hard part is creating a character that is equal parts loved and hated.

He armed Voldemort with the information used to kill Harry's parents, abused Harry and his friends emotionally, and was a truly hateable character in all available senses of the word.

On the other hand, he was a seriously complicated figure, one whose heart was torn apart when Lily died at his word, who still harbored an unrequited obsession. He couldn't ever get over the fact that his Lily had fallen into the hands of James, his enemy. It's an interesting form of vengeance that Jo exacts on Severus, in that the only reminder he can find of Lily is encased in James' exterior.

I'm not sure what it says about me, but I find that while I read the books from Harry's point of view, and see the scenes in my head from his eyes, it is he who was hated by Harry to whom I most relate.

See, as humans, we are not perfect. We are not good, and also not bad. We are good at times, and bad at times, and oftentimes must be satisfied with walking the middle road, as life is so complicated that we never really can figure out which is right or wrong. Each decision, for the most part, includes a little of each, because in this mixed up crazy world, there aren't any pure decisions to be made.

For example:

Snape's decision: Whether to join the death eaters or not.

At the age of eleven, or so, Severus got to Hogwarts with his lone friend, and was sorted into a house that was generally held in contempt by the other students. To make matters worse, his only friend was sorted into the practical opposite house, the natural, bitter rivals of his house. Additionally, she was sorted into the house of his biggest enemies, and became friends with them. As an 11 yr old, what is he supposed to do? Ignore the advances of his death-eater prefect Malfoy, who was well on his way to converting the other males in his year? We know that Avery, Mulciber and Dolohov, from Severus' year, were death eaters. The decision came down to acceptance, which is really all that matters to a young child, or ignorance, backlash, and the feeling of knowing you did the right thing. In severus' mind, he probably wasn't planning on joining Voldemort after school at that point, he was just looking for friends. A kid that age can't possibly be held responsible for his mistake, and yet... It was a mistake. Led to the deaths of Lily, James, and most certainly several others, including his own. A bad thing, but can you really blame him?

My thesis is that he was neither solely good, nor solely bad, but both at the same time, and also neither. It's a convoluted situation.

Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
Yes, that was my point. He never meant to call Lily a Mudblood. He did not say,
'I would never call anybody a Mudblood. I was very upset.'

That was where he messed up IMO. Also when Snape says his famous
'Always' accompanied with his Patronus, I think it is made very clear that his only motive for his actions was his feelings for Lily. For some this is an entirely worthwhile motive, but I feel differently. For me it is a selfish motive that serves his feelings alone. I know I'm being tough on him but I think he's just not a nice man. He was brave but so was Macbeth.
Are his motives relevant? Are anyone's motives pure at any time?

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