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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3



 
 
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  #81  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:30 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Ah, the anti-hero quote. That doesn't mean villian (which would be the opposite of hero, I suppose). What exactly would that be?
A hero who doesn't have the qualities typically associated with heroes. A hero who is not likable, not always fair, doesn't always have pure intentions, sometimes morally ambiguous, perhaps not even considered heroic. I always think of anti-hero as the opposite of a gryffindor (since gryffs usually have typical hero traits). I think it fits Snape since he has almost none of the appearance of a hero.


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  #82  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:33 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Ah, the anti-hero quote. That doesn't mean villian (which would be the opposite of hero, I suppose). What exactly would that be?
Actually, I think she's confused about the "anti-hero" label. An anti-hero is typically a protagonist who lacks all heroic qualities - someone like Holden Caulfield. Snape is an important secondary character (not the protagonist) who, at the very least, is a war hero possessing tremendous courage. Courage is not a word one would typically use to describe an anti-hero.


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  #83  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Ah, the anti-hero quote. That doesn't mean villian (which would be the opposite of hero, I suppose). What exactly would that be?
An anti-hero (I think) is a character that is somewhat contradictory to the aspects that a typical "hero" type character is considered to have.

So, if we take Snape into this, he is often petty, vindictive and cruel to other people (in my opinion) and these are not qualities that a hero is expected to have- making him an anti-hero.

I think his whole redemptive arc, ability to love deeply, his courage and (by at least DH) his desire to do what his right show that he is a hero- but his other aspects of his personality make him an anti-hero.

Just my opinion.


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  #84  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Great opinions, thanks everyone. I think I understand it. Snape isn't the protagonist, but he is sort of a hero in that he is a double spy to help the good side even if he isn't all for what the good side is for.


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  #85  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Wiki definition of "anti-hero":

Quote:
In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis. Some consider the word's meaning to be sufficiently broad as to additionally encompass the antagonist, who (in contrast to the archetypal villain), elicits considerable sympathy or admiration.


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  #86  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Let me add that my understanding of the term is informed by the rash of characters termed "anti-heroes" in the literature and cinema of the late-60s and early-70s. Snape is nothing at all like those characters.

The problem with the term is that there does not seem to be a universal consensus on what it actually means.


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  #87  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:49 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by giftedkid527 View Post
The good deeds count, but why do the bad ones disappear?
When has anyone said that his bad deeds should not be taken into account and simply disappear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow
I think Snape explicitely endangered the Order by giving Voldemort the exact time and date of their operation. Thus, he willingly helped plan the mission to attempt Harry's capture and assassination, and I do see him as culpable in Moody's murder, and the attempted murders of other Order members.
One might just as well say that Snape explicitly endangered the Death Eaters (and himself) since he knew that the Order would undoubtedly put up quite a fight and that some of Voldemort's cronies were likely to die or get seriously injured.

At the end of the day, though, the only one to be held responsible for Moody's death is the Death Eater who actually took his life, imo.


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Old December 3rd, 2010, 8:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
You missed this quote from July 30th 2007:

Lechicaneuronline: Do you think snape is a hero

J.K. Rowling: Yes, I do; though a very flawed hero. An anti-hero, perhaps. He is not a particularly likeable man in many ways. He remains rather cruel, a bully, riddled with bitterness and insecurity - and yet he loved, and showed loyalty to that love.

J.K. Rowling: and, ultimately, laid down his life because of it. That's pretty heroic!


http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/...bury-chat.html
I couldn't get that page up when I tried. Did you get it up today/tonight? I still think that she was spot on.


  #89  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 9:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrysalis View Post
It also seemed that JKR's reaction changed over time. Because while at first she would dissuade people from liking Snape too much, and she said he was a 'deeply horrible person', in the end she claimed that he was a good man inside anyway.
I have always attributed this to her desire not to spoil her big surprise. If she had said she liked him, in the interim between HBP and DH, it would have sounded rather strange to readers who believed him to have betrayed Dumbledore's trust and murdered him.


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  #90  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 9:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I have always attributed this to her desire not to spoil her big surprise. If she had said she liked him, in the interim between HBP and DH, it would have sounded rather strange to readers who believed him to have betrayed Dumbledore's trust and murdered him.
Maybe, I can't say that she actually says she likes him afterward.


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  #91  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 9:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
apply it to Severus
Yay, a game!

Snape is.... *checks questions one by one*

"Just an unjust glittering florist Black who causes kinky halluciantions while he collects frog brains and crocodile hearts for enemies, moderately historically associated with Spice Girls and therefore we should slap him silly?"

I think there might be something wrong with that checklist of yours, Kitty...


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Old December 3rd, 2010, 9:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I think Snape explicitely endangered the Order by giving Voldemort the exact time and date of their operation. Thus, he willingly helped plan the mission to attempt Harry's capture and assassination, and I do see him as culpable in Moody's murder, and the attempted murders of other Order members.
Well - Snape was following Dumbledore's (in the form of his portrait) orders/suggestions regarding revealing the date/time. Do you see Dumbledore as culpable as well? These types of decisions, unfortunately, are made in real life. Fortunately for most of us, not only do we not have to carry them out, we aren't even aware of them.

Snape did what he had to do. If that makes him "bad," so be it. I just don't believe that a person has to be perfect to be good. Snape wasn't perfect. None of the characters in HP are, that's one reason the series is so compelling.


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  #93  
Old December 4th, 2010, 12:40 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
Yay, a game!

Snape is.... *checks questions one by one*

"Just an unjust glittering florist Black who causes kinky halluciantions while he collects frog brains and crocodile hearts for enemies, moderately historically associated with Spice Girls and therefore we should slap him silly?"

I think there might be something wrong with that checklist of yours, Kitty...
I don't know Dags.

When I use the checklist I just come up with a bittersweet story about a poor boy who made some really stupid decisions, one of which led, in part, to the death of his best friend.

After that, he turned his life around and spent the rest of it trying to make up for the wrongs he had done.

While he presented a cold, aloof, nasty nature to the outside world, inside he held a deep and lasting love for someone he knew he could never have.

He risked his own life, and, eventually died, trying to help bring about the downfall of evil and save the Wizarding World.

He was great in some ways, and terrible in others; a grown man who was a highly accomplished wizard, but who could not let go of the baggage from his childhood.

But, he was brave and loyal and, without him, the hero of the series would have been dead half way through the first book.


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  #94  
Old December 4th, 2010, 12:40 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by giftedkid527 View Post
I'm not saying someone can't change. I'm just saying that when we are looking at Snape, the person, we are looking at the body of work for judgement, not just the last 10 years of his life. The good deeds count, but why do the bad ones disappear? If you were having a draft for "guys you'd've wanted to meet when they turned 10, and whom you'd've wanted to be best-friends with for the remainder of their lives", I think Snape would come in wayyyy far down, because of the time from age 11 to age 22.

"Brainwashed" into thinking muggleborns weren't as good? Would you, then, agree that Voldemort was likewise "brainwashed", and is thus not a bad guy after all?

I just don't see how you can put someone with all that blood on their hands in the good category.
I don't think anyone says the bad things that snape has done in his life are gone simply because he ultimately chose the good. to say that would rob the character of snape of the depth he has. he is good precisely because of the bad he did. I don't think snape would be the man he was when he died if not for the mistakes he had made regarding the potters and joining the death eaters to begin with. he is saved by an intense sense of love for lily, and allows that to dictate most of what he does from then on (yes he gets on harry, but that is from an old grudge and has more to do with harry looking like james than for what harry does in the series). that says a lot about his character. snape is the antithesis of voldemort. snape made some wrong decisions in his life, but was ultimately brought back to the good that life offers by a love, and intense love, for lily. voldemort loves no one. love conquers all is the main theme of the harry potter series, and both snape and voldemort serve to illustrate both sides of this coin.

snape may have done wrong, but is that not the way of life? the way we learn? the way we come to value certain goodness over evil or bad? nothing like a mistake to right a wrong way of thought. nothing like hitting rock bottom to change your life around. had snape not made the mistakes he made, and not learned something vitally important from them, he would never have changed in my opinion the only thing that saves him, the only thing that allows him to grow as is properly befitting for humans to do is the intense love he had for another human being. and this one simple thing redeems a man who's life is thus far pock marked with bad decisions. snape is good ultimately because of the mistakes he made. to take those away would be to make snape two dimensional, and that would be an ultimate travesty.


  #95  
Old December 4th, 2010, 12:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Wiki definition of "anti-hero":

wikiQuote
In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of the archetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis. Some consider the word's meaning to be sufficiently broad as to additionally encompass the antagonist, who (in contrast to the archetypal villain), elicits considerable sympathy or admiration.

By this definition I find it hard to peg Severus on the anti-hero board. If Harry is the main protagonist of the story (and I really don't see how you can argue that he isn't) then Severus is an antagonist. I say this not because I think that everything Severus does is anti-Harry; obviously and demonstrably, it is not. But the story is written primarily from Harry's point of view and Harry definitely sees Severus as being in opposition and antagonistic toward him a great proportion of the time.

I'm not saying that it's wrong for anyone to say Severus is a hero or an anti-hero, or even a protagonistic character. Just that for me it makes more sense given what we have in the books to view him as an antagonist because he often seems to be opposing Harry.


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  #96  
Old December 4th, 2010, 12:57 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

@ exl2398: Well said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
By this definition I find it hard to peg Severus on the anti-hero board. If Harry is the main protagonist of the story (and I really don't see how you can argue that he isn't) then Severus is an antagonist. I say this not because I think that everything Severus does is anti-Harry; obviously and demonstrably, it is not. But the story is written primarily from Harry's point of view and Harry definitely sees Severus as being in opposition and antagonistic toward him a great proportion of the time.

I'm not saying that it's wrong for anyone to say Severus is a hero or an anti-hero, or even a protagonistic character. Just that for me it makes more sense given what we have in the books to view him as an antagonist because he often seems to be opposing Harry.
But, Severus also was not the villain. Voldemort was. Since Severus plays such a hugely important part all through the series (even though we aren't aware of it until DH), and, since he is pretty much the opposite of many things that are usually part of being a hero (i.e., good looking, nice, likeable), IMO he does fit the anti-hero description. He was snarky, cold, and aloof, but, he was also brave, loyal, and able to love very deeply.


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  #97  
Old December 4th, 2010, 1:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
@ exl2398: Well said!



But, Severus also was not the villain. Voldemort was. Since Severus plays such a hugely important part all through the series (even though we aren't aware of it until DH), and, since he is pretty much the opposite of many things that are usually part of being a hero (i.e., good looking, nice, likeable), IMO he does fit the anti-hero description. He was snarky, cold, and aloof, but, he was also brave, loyal, and able to love very deeply.
this is what makes me love snape so. he is a great example of the battle we all come to wage over what is right and wrong.


  #98  
Old December 4th, 2010, 1:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I think Lyra brings up an important point. I'd say that while Severus does herioc actions and can be considered a hero, he isn't the hero, making his classification a bit difficult. As the definition posted suggests, an anti-hero is often a protagonist. If one considers that part of the definition crucial, then Snape is not it, as he isn't the one central character. If not, though, he can probably fit the title.

I think the antagonist label is a little problematic, though, because (as has been pointed out) he isn't truly attempting to stop the hero, he only appears to be from the PoV of Harry. Personally, I'd say that Harry's incomplete knowledge of Snape and his belief that Snape is a bad guy doesn't exactly determine Snape's role in the overall story because Harry (until the end) lacks all the information needed to make a judgement.

There is also the role of the antagonist: they exist to oppose the hero in their endeavors. Snape's a bit difficult to pin down, IMO, because he is supportive in one goal of Harry's life (destroying Voldemort/winning the war) and antagonistic in Harry's social life. I don't know nearly enough to make a judgement as to what title he fits exactly, but I think there are many other terms out there that may apply to him, or he may perhaps not be so easy to fit into any category perfectly.


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Last edited by ignisia; December 4th, 2010 at 1:37 am.
  #99  
Old December 4th, 2010, 1:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
JKR: Yeh. He's spiteful. He's a bully. All these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book. But, was he brave? Yes, immensely.
I'm still confused about the context of that statement. I've been asking for some canon to prove her statement for the past three years because I can't think of any way that Snape was a bully "at the end of this book" meaning Deathly Hallows. How was Snape a bully in DH?

At the end of the book all I see is the "bravest man" quote and before the "understands love while Voldemort doesn't" and before that "the abandoned boy of Hogwarts" and before that "Anything, Always" and "Look at Me."

So JKR is entitled to her own perception of the finished book, but I can't see what she is talking about. I still find it rather bizarre that JKR didn't seem prepared for the Snape/Hero question in that first interview and that she had to keep explaining it for the whole time she was on tour in the U.S. and Canada. Clearly millions of people had a different opinion than the author, which often happens. That's why I hate reading author interviews.

ETA: My theory is that the "anti-spoiler" frame of mind has become second nature to JKR so she wants to leave him ambiguous for any future reader out there (I think there's another quote somewhere from her to that effect.) But if we don't find him ambiguous after reading all the books several times, that's our perogative - just as with any other character in any other book.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; December 4th, 2010 at 1:37 am.
  #100  
Old December 4th, 2010, 2:35 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Iggy,

I have to agree with you, now that I think it over, that Severus is not an "anti-hero." The way his character is written, because he spends so much time that we don't know about, until much later, hovering in the background, it's hard to pin down just what he is. He is one of the "heroes" of the book, but, you're right. He's not the hero.

He's like a chameleon, changing into whatever he has to be at a certain time in the story, but, never showing his true self until TPT. JKR did a good job of disguising him and, even though many of us thought he was a good guy, there were times when she could have written him either way.

I don't think we can put a label on his character. Maybe it will creat a whole new category of characters just called a "Snape." -- a character who is never what he seems to be.

SIP, I'm with you when it comes to interviews with JKR. I think there are so many that were done at times when she was trying to keep the upcoming books, especially DH, a secret that it became difficult for her not to be misleading in some of her statements. Has she said much about Severus' character since everthing came out or is she still holding back until the last film is released?


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Last edited by MinervasCat; December 4th, 2010 at 2:37 am.
 
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