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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 2nd, 2010, 9:56 am
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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Welcome to the third version of the reboot thread!


For those who need a reminder or those who are new to CoS and Legilimency Studies: Snape is a very controversial character and a lot of fans have very passionate opinions about him, which they are ready to defend at all costs. Unfortunately, this made the discussion less than amiable and we had to close the last Snape threads and turn Legilimency Studies into a HOT ZONE. So fair warning, if you mess around, you won't stay around.

There is no doubt Snape is a very complex character. He's an awful figure to many, a cruel and vindictive individual without a shred of decency or humanity. To others he's a tragic hero, complicated by a love he couldn't openly express and mourning the loss of his opportunities.

I'm allowing this debate to go ahead because it's not fair to deny newer members the chance to discuss this character. So the focus is going to be on making sure this thread can stay open, as we deal with individuals in the way our new Hot Zone policy dictates & outlined below.

A few study questions to get this thread started:

Questions
  1. Do you believe that Snape's soul was still intact after he had killed Dumbledore?
  2. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
  3. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
  4. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
  5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
  6. Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
  7. If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?



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  #2  
Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:42 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgoth
There is no doubt Snape is a very complex character. He's an awful figure to many, a cruel and vindictive individual without a shred of decency or humanity. To others he's a tragic hero, complicated by a love he couldn't openly express and mourning the loss of his opportunities.
IMO, Snape is something in between, . I don't think his sacrifices could be overlooked if we're to judge his character. Because he realised his mistakes (albeit very late) and sought to repair the damage he made. He risked his own life to protect other(s), and he died trying to accomplish the mission assigned to him.

However, (to me) Snape sometimes comes across as a generally unfair person. For instance, he was quite unfair to some of his students, and because he had the power of position, he didn't mind throwing hurtful comments at them and mocking them. Snape knew the pain and bitterness of a sad lonely childhood, yet for some reason, he never seemed to care about the feelings of other children with childhoods similar to his own..

I know JKR has mentioned in one of her interviews that through Snape, Dumbledore wanted children to get a glimpe of what life is like (something like that anyways ). At any rate, I personally never understood that opinion/arguement, I mean because life is not always so wonderful, does this mean we should introduce children to its horrors in that way? Through strictness maybe, but unfairness?

It could be argued that teaching was not Snape's suitable or original 'job', (which I agree with ), but I think he was also unfair with his only friend, Lily. I never understood that, how come Snape insults Lily when she is standing up to him? Also, how come does he claim to love her, then treat her child in a way, I think, no mother would accept? Not to mention that he is partly responsible for her death?

I think all these flaws make Snape believable as a character, but not completely understandable as a person. I do like Snape as a character, as he is very complex and interesting, but as a person, I think he had many flaws which he could've corrected without much effort, if he ever regarded them as flaws.


3. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

Made it much worse than it was, . As I said above, Snape having had a sad childhood himself, should've felt for children of similar childhoods. The only possible reason for the treatment Harry recieved on Snape's hands feels very Heathcliff-like, to me, .

4. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?

A substitute father figure, imo, Snape must've needed some directing at some point of his life or another. Though I'm sure Snape never admitted that to himself, since he is a very independent person.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 3:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post

As I said above, Snape having had a sad childhood himself, should've felt for children of similar childhoods.
When you've never received any love in your life it's hard to feel love or compassion for others. It's much easier to gloat and bully.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 3:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by lemon_drop View Post
When you've never received any love in your life it's hard to feel love or compassion for others. It's much easier to gloat and bully.
It's easier for some (Snape), harder for others. Like everything else in life, different people handle what happens in life in different ways. Snape IMO, simply handled his mistakes badly. We can't really say thatSnape did not experience love, Lily loved him as a friend till he destroyed that love and I simply cannot believe that his mother did not love him. She may not have been the greatest mother in practical matters but that does not mean she did not love her son. I don't understand why it is assumed that it is easy to be a bully. I don't find it easy to be hurtful deliberately.



Last edited by eliza101; December 2nd, 2010 at 4:07 pm.
  #5  
Old December 2nd, 2010, 4:43 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101
I don't understand why it is assumed that it is easy to be a bully. I don't find it easy to be hurtful deliberately.
All of that depends on the person, I'm afraid. Unresolved childhood issues impact everybody in different ways, and some people lash out in their anger and sorrow.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 4:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by This thread's tags
snape ate my hamster, version gazillion


Quote:
4. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
This is a neat question. I think Snape and Dumbledore had a similar relationship to the one Dumbledore had with Harry (a few quotes in TPT suggest to me that both Snape and Harry are in a similar position re: Dumbledore), with Dumbledore withholding from them information they did not need and placing them in what he considered perilous but necessary situations, despite genuinely caring about them.

I think that when DD revealed that Harry was to die, Snape began to experience the same sort of disillusionment Harry did throughout all of DH, and that ultimately giving Harry the memory and the choice to die was the culmination of this struggle, just as Harry's later trust in DD and Al's first name was the resolution of Harry's struggle.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 5:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by Chrysalis View Post
All of that depends on the person, I'm afraid. Unresolved childhood issues impact everybody in different ways, and some people lash out in their anger and sorrow.
Excellent point, Chrysalis. Individuals even raised in the same household and treated the same frequently grow up to be totally different from each other. One might be kind and generous, the other nasty and stingy. There are so many things that feed into the "making" of an individual: homelife, friends, real or percieved slights, teasing and bullying, social and/or financial status...I could go on and on.

Severus is the product of, for all appearances, a dysfunctional homelife and a childhood lacking affection and attention. IMO, when Lily befriended him, she became an exception to everything else in his life. She was kind and caring, when he (IMO) saw most of the world he lived in as cold and harsh. She was a magical person, but, had no knowledge of the Wizarding World because she was Muggle-born. She was unlike anyone he'd ever known, according to what we see. I think Petunia was more what Severus was used to.

So, again MHO, Lily was elevated to a place where she was pretty near perfect in Severus' eyes. I think this is where we start to get into the "chivalrous love" that CC often refers to. I don't think Severus ever felt that his and Lily's relationship would go any further than friendship because I don't think he felt himself good enough to even ask her to be more than that. I don't think he thought anyone else (least of all, James) was worthy of her, either.

As to his striking out at Lily during SWM, I've often wondered if, when Tobias was on a rant, Severus' mother might have protected him and Tobias used that to taunt him -- having a woman protect him. If so, when James made the statement that it was a good thing Evans was there to save him, it could have echoed back to his father's taunting, and that's what caused him to say something terrible to her. (This does not excuse or condone the use of the term "Mudblood." It is only offered as a possibility for why Severus reacted so harshly during SWM.)

I've also wondered if he saw her almost smile during the time he was hanging upside down. Although the text seems to imply that his robes were covering his head, we don't know exactly where Lily was or whether he could see her from where he was suspended. If he could, and did see that, I would imagine he would have been deeply hurt. For his best friend to be amused at the things being done to him would have been a hard thing to take.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 6:12 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
As to his striking out at Lily during SWM, I've often wondered if, when Tobias was on a rant, Severus' mother might have protected him and Tobias used that to taunt him -- having a woman protect him. If so, when James made the statement that it was a good thing Evans was there to save him, it could have echoed back to his father's taunting, and that's what caused him to say something terrible to her. (This does not excuse or condone the use of the term "Mudblood." It is only offered as a possibility for why Severus reacted so harshly during SWM.)
That's a really good idea. It could also explain why Snape's outburst at Harry in HBP was so ferocious, too: "DON'T CALL ME COWARD!" In my opinion, one of Snape's biggest flaws is to confuse/jumble two people together in his mind, one of the obvious examples being mistaking Harry for James. The coward incident and SWM could both be cases when Snape has had a severe flashback to his childhood, and for a moment, forgot where he was and thought his father was standin before him once more.

Just my opinion.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 6:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I think that from a very early age, Snape felt it necessary to take care of himself, to the point where it became almost a point of pride. I see SWM that way: he is being rescued by someone else, during a terribly humiliating experience, when he feels a strong personal obligation to get out of the situation himself.

However powerless he feels at the wands of James and Sirius, I believe that feeling is amplified by the appearance of Lily. IMO, having the power to control his own destiny by changing the outside world is a huge part of 15/16 yo Severus, having grown up in some degree of poverty and chaos. Being able to know when and where the next crisis will come from and being able to stop it through whatever means is likely to have been something often in the back of his mind, manifesting itself in how he feels about magic (another means of manipulating the outside world) and his choice to join the DEs (who promise their followers power). It's only later that he changes this desire into one for self-control.


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Last edited by ignisia; December 2nd, 2010 at 6:34 pm.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 6:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by bellatrix93 View Post

I know JKR has mentioned in one of her interviews that through Snape, Dumbledore wanted children to get a glimpe of what life is like (something like that anyways ). At any rate, I personally never understood that opinion/arguement, I mean because life is not always so wonderful, does this mean we should introduce children to its horrors in that way? Through strictness maybe, but unfairness?

.
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.

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Originally Posted by Chrysalis View Post
All of that depends on the person, I'm afraid. Unresolved childhood issues impact everybody in different ways, and some people lash out in their anger and sorrow.
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.


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Last edited by sekhmetlion; December 2nd, 2010 at 6:42 pm.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 7:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

In the same vein I think a Head of House like Snape would be good for some students, and not for others. I imagine at least he managed to instill a sense of discipline in some of the kids through his exacting standards. It didn't work with Harry, however, his personality was totally unsuited for that kind of 'method' and it only made him more rebellious.


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Old December 2nd, 2010, 8:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
I simply cannot believe that his mother did not love him.
I'm sure she loved him and would never intentionally do him any harm (I doubt that any parent would), but I don't think that Snape ever felt any of that love. I don't think that his mom or his dad for that matter, ever took the time to express their feelings properly (or at all).

Quote:
I don't understand why it is assumed that it is easy to be a bully. I don't find it easy to be hurtful deliberately.
It's a lot easier to bring someone to tears than to make them smile, imho.

I believe that Snape was a bully, because it was the easiest way for him to deal with his sense of personal inferiority (which can be traced all the way back to his crappy childhood, imo). All his life he had striven for power and dominance and he decided to get there by abusing his position and authority in Hogwarts (and as a Death Eater before that).



Last edited by lemon_drop; December 2nd, 2010 at 8:14 pm.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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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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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:17 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

1.)Do you believe that Snape's soul was still intact after he had killed Dumbledore?

Yeah, I do. I'm of the opinion that the soul only splits if the murder was for vengence, or personal gain. Snape didn't have any bad feelings towards Dumbledore (or at least not enough to murder him) and there was nothing that he could gain by killing him. Since they had it all planned out beforehand, I think Snape's soul remained intact.

2.)Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?

No, and no. Lily was the first person to show Snape other than contempt or disgust- it's not easy to let go of somebody like that. And the only reason that Snape turned to Dumbledore was because his beloved Lily's life was in jeopardy. Until that point, he had no qualms with the Dark Lord.

3.)How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

I used to hate Snape; now he just disgusts me. The idea of an evil character-however flat he was before DH- is easy to wrap my head around, "Snape is bad." "Why?" "That's just the way he is." But now... knowing how he grew up and knowing how he felt... he just disgusts me. That's my own personal opinion. If he really loved Lily, then how could he betray her like he did? Not even about the whole selling-her-to-Voldemort-thing. It started with calling her a Mudblood. I even think this has more impact because in Snape's memory, little Snape and Lily are talking and Lily asks if her being Muggle-born will make a difference to other people. Snape says no, but then to turn around and call her a Mudblood- that just makes me very angry with him.

4.)What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?

Neither, I think; I think Snape viewed Dumbledore with contempt because Dumbledore was making him throw his life away for some kid he didn't even like, and Dumbledore viewed Snape with perhaps a mixture of pity and disgust, for the reasons I stated in earlier questions.


5.)Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?

No; in my opinion, Snape is no "tragic hero." He was a snarky character who loved a dead married woman who went around to treat her son like dirt. (I know I'm going to get destroyed by Snape-lovers, but that's just my opinion.)

6.)Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?

Him acting horribly to almost everybody vs. what he did for the Order.

Quote:
eliza101:

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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Last edited by Krums_Girl; December 3rd, 2010 at 12:23 am.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:28 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Charm and attractiveness is part of the characteristics of the Byronic hero.
Not always but it does make up the general trope of Byronic Hero. Exile is another attribute. I guess Snape doesnt fit the bill due to technicality but the rest of him and his story is pretty Byronic in a lot of ways. Deeply flawed, not a nice guy, heroic actions beneath it all, morally grey, etc.


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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I think he fits the Byronic Hero role very well. He's arrogant, cynical, has a dark history, considered morally bankrupt by many, a loner, loves someone he can never be with, etc. While he may not have been considered very attractive, does any character ever perfectly fit its label? No.


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Old December 3rd, 2010, 12:39 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Also, if one stops to think about it, its possible that if Severus didnt choose the path he chose, he could have had a chance with Lily. I think the biggest factor in her choosing James was because Severus went in the morally grey direction. Lily seemed to be the type to choose someone based more on their personalities, or decisions, not looks. We see this because she ended up with James, a guy she wasnt interested in at all until he wised up as a person. Perhaps if Severus chose the "wising up" path, things would have turned out differently.


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Old December 3rd, 2010, 1:03 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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eliza101:

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.
I, for one, was a fan of Professor Severus Snape long before Alan Rickman (who is both very charming and very attractive) played him on screen. I don't tend to mix the Book Snape and Movie Snape up. Book Snape was not attractive or likeable. He was bitter, nasty, aloof, and, to a point, could seem cruel and unfeeling.

But, the reason that I really love the character is his complexity. He's so "not-what-he-seems," and so different (as we see in his saving Harry's life in SS/PS) than Harry perceives him. He has so much emotion simmering under that cold exterior -- which we see on few occasions, but, when we do, it's usually cap lock time. He has a dark past, but is deeply trusted by the most powerful wizard of the day, Albus Dumbledore. He appears to be a loner, but, we learn that he had a special friendship, once. He is so many things rolled up in a snarky package. That is why I like him. Not because he is Alan Rickman in a wig, but, because he is a wonderful puzzle of a character.

I don't think analysis of a character is geared to "assigning blame," but, rather to trying to understand what possibly makes a character act the way he or she does. I think it's been made very clear that Severus Snape was responsible for his own actions. What we are trying to discern my analyzing his character are possible reasons for those actions, not excuses for them.

It's a lot of fun to dig into a character and try to find out what makes them tick. It's interesting to speculate on what might have happened in their past to make them the way they are, especially when there are so few clues, as in Severus' case.

I agree with MistressofRaven:

Quote:
I think he fits the Byronic Hero role very well. He's arrogant, cynical, has a dark history, considered morally bankrupt by many, a loner, loves someone he can never be with, etc. While he may not have been considered very attractive, does any character ever perfectly fit its label? No
.

I think she's right. Also, wouldn't it be a bit boring if all of the "Byronic Heroes" fit the label exactly? I, for one, would get tired of them pretty quickly. So, why not throw in some not-so-good looks and a snarky temperament to keep things intersting. And, like him or not, I think most readers would admit that Severus is one of the most interesting characters in the entire series.


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  #19  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 1:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
Also, if one stops to think about it, its possible that if Severus didnt choose the path he chose, he could have had a chance with Lily. I think the biggest factor in her choosing James was because Severus went in the morally grey direction. Lily seemed to be the type to choose someone based more on their personalities, or decisions, not looks. We see this because she ended up with James, a guy she wasnt interested in at all until he wised up as a person. Perhaps if Severus chose the "wising up" path, things would have turned out differently.
Totally agree, plus JKR herself said that Lily could have felt romantic love for Snape if he hadn't joined the DE.

I know Snape is not described as "attractive to women" but appart of this fact he matches nearly all the Byronic hero characteristics.

Also, his father is not to be blamed for Snape's behaviour, neither his childhood, but it also happens that some people know how to leave their childhood and their disgraces behind, and Severus doesn't belong to that group. He, instead, belongs to the group that builds his whole life about past disgraces, and broods about them.

As a teacher, I don't mean that his method made kids follow the rules (well, it worked with some but not with others) although in general I think he contributed more to the order than to the chaos, pretty similar to McGonagal. What I mean, is that his rude maners help to advise kids, that not everyone is going to be always nice and totally fair to them. This is a hard lesson that kids also need to learn, I believe that is what Dumbledore intended Snape to teach.
And of course a strong hand would be what Slytherin needs (can you imagine Trelawney, for example, as chief of Slytherin house?).


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  #20  
Old December 3rd, 2010, 1:12 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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As a teacher, I don't mean that his method made kids follow the rules (well, it worked with some but not with others) although in general I think he contributed more to the order than to the chaos, pretty similar to McGonagal. What I mean, is that his rude maners help to advise kids, that not everyone is going to be always nice and totally fair to them. This is a hard lesson that kids also need to learn, I believe that is what Dumbledore intended Snape to teach.
And of course a strong hand would be what Slytherin needs (can you imagine Trelawney, for example, as chief of Slytherin house?).
Agreed. We see a line (i think it may have been in HBP) that reads something like "Snape had a way of silencing a classroom simply by presence." or some such. Meaning he could enter a room and his very presence conveys order. He does not want slacking off or any other shenanigans happening when hes there. He also doesnt allow many people to speak out of turn. While he is very lenient with the Slytherins due to personal bias, they arent at all disrespectful to him. They are polite to him and some even look up to him.


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