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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

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Old February 5th, 2011, 11:36 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I tend to read his choice to give Harry the crucial memory about the last Horcrux as a choice for the "greater good," as it both destroys the only living part of Lily left in the world (excepting Tuney, who rejects Lily completely) and negates all the hard work Snape did keeping Harry alive. It's not a decision he really gains much personal benefit from, IMHO.

I would have to agree with CC that revenge against Voldemort never really appears as a motive for Snape. We see the man reacting to the news of Lily's death with tears, not rage, and it is with the promise of a new purpose in life that Snape is dissuaded from wishing he were dead...and how much vengeance can a dead man mete out? I tend to see him spying out of a respect for Lily, for her sacrifice, and (ultimately) what she lived and died for.

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Old February 5th, 2011, 2:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

Originally Posted by Krums_Girl View Post
But... Snape was a Slytherin...

Isn't selfishness kind of a Slytherin trait?
Not according to the descriptions of Dumbledore and the Sorting Hat; neither mention this as a Slytherin trait. If I have missed an instance in which this did happen, I hope someone can point it out for us! I would also argue that we have seen selfless actions from other Slytherins, most notably Regulus Black, but also SLughorn and Draco. So I would not agree it necessarily follows that adult Snape must be selfish, because he was a Slytherin.

There is also the suggestion by Dumbledore, in "The Prince's Tale" that by the time of GoF, Snape was more like a Gryffindor.

Is there anywhere in the text where it could be implied that Snape was a spy for "greater good?"

DH“Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?”

“Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape.

Also, Snape agrees to protect all of the students of Hogwarts during Voldemort's takeover, in the scene in which ALbus then asks Snape to kill him. I do not see the applicability of this decision by Snape either to the protection of Harry (who will not even be at school when Voldemort takes over), or to the defeat of Voldemort for the purpose pf revenge. Note that of course all members of the Order of the Phoenix other than Peter, including Snape himself, wanted and worked fot the defeat of Voldemort; it seems to me some of them were probably not in this for revenge, but because they recognized a world without Voldemort's reign of terror would be a better place.

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Last edited by arithmancer; February 5th, 2011 at 2:28 pm.
Old February 5th, 2011, 2:48 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3


I think selfishness was present everywhere as much as loyalty, kindness, goodness and evil were. Snape imo was certainly not selfish; I think he was one of the most selfless characters in the Book.

The man who, in my opinion, won the war against Voldemort for Harry Potter and the Light! Severus Snape!

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Old February 5th, 2011, 3:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

I think Snape's motivation was love, not revenge. JMO. And I'm basing that on Dumbledore's opinion of him as well as the conclusion Harry draws in "Flaw in the Plan."

Flaw in the Plan"What chldish dream is this?" said Voldemort, but still he did not strike, and his red eyes did not waver from Harry's.

"Severus Snape wasn't yours," said Harry. "Snape was Dumbledore's. Dumbledore's from the moment you starting hunting down my mother. And you never realized it, because of the thing you can't understand.

ETA: The "thing Voldemort doesn't understand" is known to be love, the "ancient magic" mentioned in several of the books.

So in my mind, the "flaw" in the plan is love, not revenge. Otherwise we might as well believe that Harry's whole motivation in fighting is revenge for Lily's death as well, and for all the deaths of his friends. However, Harry dies and comes back to life as "protection" for everyone through the shield charm, just as Lily died trying to save him out of love. Voldemort asks Harry sarcastically if his actions are based on "love again," and as I see it, that's a parallel to Dumbledore asking Snape if he still loves Lily and he says "Always." So based on those passages, my own personal feeling is that love is the major motivation and not revenge. Voldemort understands revenge, since he has wrought it on his own family, but he doesn't understand love, and that's how Dumbledore, Snape, and Harry all trick him into believing he has won. JMO


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Old February 5th, 2011, 5:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.3

closed, pending version 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436

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