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Old December 2nd, 2010, 10:57 pm
eliza101  Female.gif eliza101 is offline
Join Date: 28th July 2007
Location: Bag End
Posts: 1,605
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
Wow! I didn't know this, but it makes a lot of sense to me. It is not about being unfair (I don't think Dumbledore is too fond of unfaireness, but I don't blelieve he know to what extent is Snape unfair either). However it is about having a "hard" teacher that lets students know that life is not a path of roses, because I think Dumbledore understands that is better to let a kid have some hard moments (not traumatic, of course) during his childhood, that allowing him to grow too overprotected, and when he/she finds out how life is really, they won't know how to handle it.
So personally I agree with this point, both from JKR and Dumbledore.

I agree too, two people in the same situation might deal with it in very different ways, and for all we know, Snape's greatest failure, is not the fact that he was born in a terrible situation, (Harry also had terrible family life in his early years) but the fact that he doesn't know how to deal with it, and instead of letting it pass, forgeting, or forgiving (pretty much like Remus, who had terrible situation for all his life) he brooded over it, finding guilty people for it, and trying to get revenge, when the offence is long ago gone. He seems to fall for this nearly all his life, and only at the end he seems to start to live in the present and not in the past. It is, IMO, a Byronic hero trait.
I myself find it very difficult to cast Snape in the role of a Byronic hero. For one thing Snape is neither charming or attractive to women and before I am jumped on, Snape is not Alan Rickman either. Alan Rickman is both charming and attractive and he is not Snape. Charm and attractiveness is part of the characteristics of the Byronic hero. Yellow teeth, greasy stringy hair and bad manners are not. I also find it hard to blame Snape's childhood for his bad traits. At what point does an adult become responsible for his own actions? Just how long can Tobias Snape be blamed for his son's shortcomings? If Tobias is to be blame for Snape being a bully, do we blame Tobias' antecedents for Tobias' shortcomings? Do we go back to the dawn of history to find out why Snape behaved as he did? At some point blame has to be assigned to the person who is doing the bullying and in this case it is Snape. He is a grown man in a position of power over the children in his care and he is abusing it on may occasions. Snape is a grown man who has a choice about how he behaves. I imagine it would be difficult to stop a behavioural pattern that made him fell better, though why he would feel better about hurting children is beyond me. But it could be done. Snape didn't have to fawn over Harry, he could have just treated all the children in his classes the same.

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