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Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero



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  #1  
Old January 18th, 2007, 6:08 am
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Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

The character of Severus Snape has kept us guessing since he first billowed his way into our minds. Like the Elixir of Life, the Answer to the Great Question of Life, the Universe and Everything (i.e. What is up with Snape?) has been sought after by many a mad fan.
One explanation is that he follows the pattern of the Byronic Hero/Gothic Hero archetype (they're pretty similar).

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.answers.com/topic/byronic-hero
[A Byronic Hero is] A kind of hero found in several of the works of Lord Byron. Like Byron himself, a Byronic hero is a melancholy and rebellious young man, distressed by a terrible wrong he committed in the past.
Quote:
Originally Posted by the evol wikipedia.org
The Byronic hero has the following characteristics:
  • conflicting emotions, bipolar tendencies, or moodiness
  • self-critical and introspective
  • struggles with integrity
  • a distaste for social institutions and social norms
  • being an exile, an outcast, or an outlaw
  • a lack of respect for rank and privilege
  • a troubled past
  • being cynical, demanding, and/or arrogant
  • often self-destructive
  • troubles with sexual identity
  • loner, often rejected from society
And please read this wonderful post by Chievrefueil for more information and sources.
http://www.cosforums.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=750

Thoughts?


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  #2  
Old January 18th, 2007, 8:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

I'll channel Subtle Science here, and give you her favorite example of a Byronic Hero - Manfred.

Manfred is tormented by his past and wants to end it all, but others try to talk him out of it. Here's a nice page about the history of the poem on, funnily enough, a website called "The Literary Gothic."

http://www.litgothic.com/Texts/manfred.html

Manfred
Byron undertook "Manfred," his most Gothic work, in late 1816, a few months after the famed ghost-story sessions which provided the initial impetus for Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and John Polidori's The Vampyre, which some argue is based on Byron's fragment of a novel, his brief response to the challenge of the ghost-story sessions. Byron also heard Goethe's Faust about this time, and "Manfred" may also owe something to Matthew Lewis, author of The Monk, who visited Byron a month or two before "Manfred" was begun. The poem was completed in April of 1817 and published in June of that year.


All of it resembles Snape, but there are a few passages which really sound like him thinking about death, because nothing seems to give him a reason to live:

The beginning:

. . . I live, and bear
The aspect and the form of breathing men.
But grief should be the instructor of the wise;
Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most 10
Must mourn the deepest o'er the fatal truth,
The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.
Philosophy and science, and the springs
Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world,
I have essay'd, and in my mind there is
A power to make these subject to itself--
But they avail not: I have done men good,
And I have met with good even among men--
But this avail'd not: I have had my foes,
And none have baffled, many fallen before me-- 20
But this avail'd not: Good, or evil, life,
Powers, passions, all I see in other beings,
Have been to me as rain unto the sands,
Since that all-nameless hour. I have no dread,
And feel the curse to have no natural fear
Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes
Or lurking love of something on the earth.

(He conjures up spirits and begs them for "forgetfulness" and death, but they deny him that.)

MANFRED. The spirits I have raised abandon me,
The spells which I have studied baffled me,
The remedy I reck'd of tortured me;
I lean no more on super-human aid,
It hath no power upon the past, and for
The future, till the past be gulf'd in darkness,
It is not of my search. -- My mother Earth!
And thou fresh breaking Day, and you, ye Mountains,
Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye. 270
And thou, the bright eye of the universe
That openest over all, and unto all
Art a delight -- thou shin'st not on my heart.
And you, ye crags, upon whose extreme edge
I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindled as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest forever -- wherefore do I pause? 280
I feel the impulse--yet I do not plunge;
I see the peril -- yet do not recede;
And my brain reels -- and yet my foot is firm.
There is a power upon me which withholds,
And makes it my fatality to live;

I won't quote the rest of the poem, but it's obvious that the main character faces the choice of life or death, and chooses life almost against his will. He's tormented, and sees no way out.

He discusses his problems with a Shepherd - a "Chamois" herder, actually, who talks him down from the mountaintop, and who thinks he is mad, but not evil. Manfred tells him that though he envies the cozy home and family, they are not for him, because he is the classic "outsider."

Then he has a vision of the "Witch of the Mountain" to whom he tells a story of lost love. He feels that every loved one died due to him - his "fatal embrace." In effect, he feels cursed.


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  #3  
Old January 20th, 2007, 4:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

I'm not as literary as some I know and post with - my references are more symbolic. But I easily recognize Snape as a typical brooding Gothic (Byronic) Hero. Dark, stern, seemingly heartless on the exterior - yet a cauldron of emotions under the surface.

I'm going to speak of a symbol in the JKR books that I think describes Snape in this style perfectly. I realize this section of the forums implies we don't use canon - but since it isn't yet forbidden to use canon here I will. This [the Pensieve] appears to be the only place symbolic imagery is allowed anymore.

When Snape tells Harry to bring him his potions book after the SectumSempra in the bathroom, Harry reacts by going to find a place to hide it. He is not only stunned and hurt, nor worried that his cheating might be revealed - he is worried what will happen to the book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbp/bk6/ch24/Sectumsempra/pg525
"...Would he [Snape] confiscate or destroy the book that had taught Harry so much...the book that had become a kind of guide and friend? Harry could not let it happen..."
Harry enters the RoR and is overawed by its appearance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pg526
"He gasped. Despite his haste, his panic, his fear of what awaited him back in the bathroom, he could not help but be overawed by what he was looking at...."
This is where JKR begins the symbolism - starting with cathedrals - the place in history to run to for a chance to hide or escape - a chance to tell your side of the story instead of being hung immediately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pg526cont.
"...He was standing in a room the size of a large cathedral, whose high windows were sending shafts of light down upon what looked like a city with towering walls, built of what Harry knew must be objects hidden by generations of Hogwarts inhabitants. There were alleyways and roads bordered by tottering piles of broken and damaged furniture..."
Pretty much the description of a walled medieval cathedral town with the houses that lean out over the streets. Harry runs thru one of the alleys 'taking a turn' at the broken Vanishing Cabinet and...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pg526cont.
"...finally pausing beside a large cupboard that seemed to have had acid thrown at it's blistered surface. He opened one of the cupboard's creaking doors. It had already been used as a hiding place for something in a cage that had long since died; it's skeleton had five legs. He stuffed the Half-Blood Prince's book behind the cage and slammed the door. He paused for a moment, his heart thumping horribly, gazing around at all the cluuter...Would he be able to find this spot again admidst all this junk? Seizing the chipped bust of an ugly old warlock from on top of a nearby crate, he stood it on top of the cupboardwhere the book was now hidden, perched a dusty old wig and a tarnished tiara on the statue's head to make it more distinctive, then sprinted back through the alleyways..."
Harry has subconsciously built a Snape to hold the book.

First note that it's a CUPBOARD (hint at the treatment of Harry at the Dursleys? and a similarity to Snape thru that?) But the piece of furniture known as a cupboard derives from the 'chest' of the middle ages. They were even still called chests after they had become vertical for quite some time - a few centuries I think. And a 'chest' is symbolically a torso.

This particular one has been hit with acid - symbolic of what youngSnape probably endured between his homelife and the bullying at school. The five-legged thing in a cage is symbolic of a heart - dead in it's rib'cage'. Either because it was locked away and purposely allowed to die or because it was taken from the owner and hidden her among the secrets - left to die in that way.

Note that it has five legs - it was one of those Quintapeds. Made from a spell against an enemy that actually made the enemy MORE dangerous instead of less. Made what they are by their enemy. So, a heart made into a dangerous creature by it's enemies.

Harry places the HBP book (a pre-quintaped version of youngSnape's heart) in the cupboard, placing it behind the 'cage' - again the cage as ribcage.

He tops the cupboard torso with a head of an ugly old warlock (believed by several who I've discussed this with to be Parscelus - a bust Peeves (I think) threatened to drop - but even if not - the fact is it's ugly and that is how Harry sees Snape. I like the Parselus idea - because of the connections with healing and potions. But I'm not positive we have canon that it definitely was dropped and thereby broken and put in the room.

Anyway, he tops his man with an ugly warlock head, throws a wig on it (shades of dressing Snape in a dress) and then a tiara - in other words a 'crown' for a Prince

Harry has built Snape's life - from outside abuses to locked away dangerous heart. It's a life-size reminder from JKR of what she said in bk5 - 'he is what wizards made him' but with his own responsibilities in it as well (letting his heart die of neglect?) - or is it that there's still the heart of the HBP (whom Harry liked) hiding behind the apparently dead heart

Anyways - perfect symbol for the 'brooding' gothic hero, I think.


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When Dumbledore asked Snape, "If you are prepared..." he didn't mean 'Have your Death Eeater robes returned from the cleaners'.
Everything we've seen Snape do, was done knowing Voldemort WOULD return someday.

And when that day would come, that he had better have the appropriate memories that would enable him to lie to Voldy's face.

Last edited by hwyla; January 21st, 2007 at 4:04 am.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 5:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Aw, hwyla, you know I love Cupboard!Snape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
The five-legged thing in a cage is symbolic of a heart - dead in it's rib'cage'. Either because it was locked away and purposely allowed to die or because it was taken from the owner and hidden her among the secrets - left to die in that way.
Good point. To add to it, the heart is in a cage, confined. Snape does this with himself when he supresses the emotions bubbling inside him. They cannot get out of the "cage".

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
Harry places the HBP book (a pre-quintaped version of youngSnape's heart) in the cupboard, placing it behind the 'cage' - again the cage as ribcage.
Which is a good sign, and bolsters the theory that Harry will, in a sense, "heal" Snape by allowing Snape to forgive himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
He tops the cupboard torso with a head of an ugly old warlock (believed by several who I've discussed this with to be Parscelus - a bust Peeves (I think) threatened to drop - but even if not - the fact is it's ugly and that is how Harry sees Snape. I like the Parselus idea - because of the connections with healing and potions. But I'm not positive we have canon that it definitely was dropped and thereby broken and put in the room.
And Paracelsus had quite a mouth on him, IIRC. Rather like our Billowy One.


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  #5  
Old January 20th, 2007, 5:55 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Hwyla I loved your symbolism of cupboard Snape.

Great thread Iggy.

I have for a long while now viewed Snape as a gothic hero,he is dark, brooding and mysterious,there is a sense that he is a villain when you first look at him,which is a normal pattern for these characters. There is also the sense of a tragic past,one that many speculate Snape had.

My favorite gothic novels were Wuthering Heights and Bram Strokers Dracula.
I always had compassion for these characters eventhough they had traits that were not so loveable. Heathcliff reminds me of Snape as a very stern minded man,although I will say Heathcliff is a bit worse then Snape,lol. Dracula always seemed to be very tragic in that he was just longing for his lost love,I have a feeling we will be seeing this angle played out with Snape in the final book.



Last edited by alwaysme; January 20th, 2007 at 6:04 pm.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 7:57 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

I haven't read Dracula (yet), but a long while ago, I read Wuthering Heights. There were definitely a few parts where Heathcliff reminded me of Snape (even though, as you said, Heathcliff is much worse).

One quote from Wuthering Heights really reminds me of something from HP:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuthering Heights
'Now, YOU go!' he said to Earnshaw. 'Accursed witch! this time she has provoked me when I could not bear it; and I'll make her repent it for ever!'

He had his hand in her hair; Hareton attempted to release her looks, entreating him not to hurt her that once. Heathcliff's black eyes flashed; he seemed ready to tear Catherine in pieces, and I was just worked up to risk coming to the rescue, when of a sudden his fingers relaxed; he shifted his grasp from her head to her arm, and gazed intently in her face. Then he drew his hand over his eyes, stood a moment to collect himself apparently, and turning anew to Catherine, said, with assumed calmness -
'You must learn to avoid putting me in a passion, or I shall really murder you some time! Go with Mrs. Dean, and keep with her; and confine your insolence to her ears. As to Hareton Earnshaw, if I see him listen to you, I'll send him seeking his bread where he can get it! Your love will make him an outcast and a beggar. Nelly, take her; and leave me, all of you! Leave me!'
Quote:
Originally Posted by OotP
"So," said Snape, gripping Harry's arm so tightly Harry's hand was starting to feel numb. "So ... been enjoying yourself, Potter?"
"N-no ..." said Harry, trying to free his arm.
It was scary: Snape's lips were shaking, his face was white, his teeth were bared.
"Amusing man, your father, wasn't he?" said Snape, shaking Harry so hard that his glasses slipped down his nose.
"I -- didn't --"
Snape threw Harry from him with all his might. Harry fell hard onto the dungeon floor.
"You will not repeat what you saw to anybody!" Snape bellowed.
"No," said Harry, getting to his feet as far from Snape as he could, "No, of course I w--"
"Get out, get out, I don't want to see you in this office ever again!"
In both cases, the child is nearly hurt badly....but the adult manages to collect themselves enough to get the child away from them before any real damage is done....and ends with the same meaning
"...leave me, all of you! Leave me!"
"Get out, get out!"


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  #7  
Old January 20th, 2007, 8:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
Harry has built Snape's life - from outside abuses to locked away dangerous heart. It's a life-size reminder from JKR of what she said in bk5 - 'he is what wizards made him' but with his own responsibilities in it as well (letting his heart die of neglect?)

Anyways - perfect symbol for the 'brooding' gothic hero, I think.
Wonderful symbol. Great post, hwyla. And great thread, ignisia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysme View Post
Dracula always seemed to be very tragic in that he was just longing for his lost love,I have a feeling we will be seeing this angle played out with Snape in the final book.
You know, your mention of Dracula brings to mind the references to Snape in the books that led some to believe he might be a vampire. I think JKR has nixed that line of thought, but I don't think it is a coincidence either. I do think Snape had love in his past that ended tragically and that his entire existence since has been tailored toward doing what he feels has to be done to bring down the person responsible for the tragedy in his past (namely, Voldemort). As such, he is on some level living the sort of half-life associated with vampires.


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Old January 20th, 2007, 9:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by HagathaChristie View Post
You know, your mention of Dracula brings to mind the references to Snape in the books that led some to believe he might be a vampire. I think JKR has nixed that line of thought, but I don't think it is a coincidence either. I do think Snape had love in his past that ended tragically and that his entire existence since has been tailored toward doing what he feels has to be done to bring down the person responsible for the tragedy in his past (namely, Voldemort). As such, he is on some level living the sort of half-life associated with vampires.
Yes it does seem that JKR has definitely put the vampire symbolism in there for a reason,we have all those bat mentions and the vampire essay that Lupin comments on in POA.


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Old January 20th, 2007, 9:17 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoA
"Great, you can help me [with the Vampire essay]!" said Neville, his round face anxious. "I don't understand that thing about garlic at all-- do they have to eat it or--"
He broke off with a small gasp, looking over Harry's shoulder.
It was Snape. Neville took a quick step behind Harry.
Disregarding Neville's adorability here for a second, I think this was one quote that the vampire theorists used quite a lot. While I always thought Vampire!Snape would be way too soap opera-ish, this quote is thought-provoking.
JKR has said there is no connection between Snape and vampires, but that doesn't stop me from being curious about this quote....


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  #10  
Old January 20th, 2007, 9:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Disregarding Neville's adorability here for a second, I think this was one quote that the vampire theorists used quite a lot. While I always thought Vampire!Snape would be way too soap opera-ish, this quote is thought-provoking.
JKR has said there is no connection between Snape and vampires, but that doesn't stop me from being curious about this quote....
Absolutely and I think what it is is Snape is obviously not meant to be a vampire literally but he relates to the characteristics of a vampire,the pale skin,black hair and the mystery. JKR has symbolised it nicely. Often vampires also have a tragic passion/love for one woman only,another gothic hero trait.

Oh and as for all the vampire talk, I love it being a horror junkie and all.


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Old January 20th, 2007, 10:32 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

I know alot of people think that all English majors study Gothic Heroes in school, but I can tell you that's not true. Everything I know about this topic I learned either on my own or reading posts by Subtle Science. Of course, I've always liked the Gothic Hero individual in movies and books, but I never called it that. I thought of it as the "maverick hero" or the "dark hero."

One of my favorite books growing up was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - her sister wrote Wuthering Heights.

Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre isn't technically a Gothic Hero, and things work out for him in the end, unlike poor Heathcliff. But Rochester suffers for years, loses his faith in God and humanity, has done bad things because he didn't care anymore, and yet he keeps trying, such as raising the daughter of a dead Opera Dancer even though he is unsure the child is his own. When he meets the innocent Jane, who has a dark streak herself, he falls in love, but then tries to find happiness by tricking her into marrying him, only to lose her when she finds out about his crazy wife in the attic and his deception. He redeems himself when his house burns down by rushing to the tower to try to save his crazed wife, only to have her jump off the roof, and then he is blinded as he tries to escape the fire.

As you can see - he's another tormented Gothic Hero - only he has Jane to pull him back from the edge of doom. She hears of the accident and comes back to him, and torments him a little herself before they get married in a Jane-Austenish ending.

Chapter 13 Jane's first impression:

"[H]e is very changeful and abrupt."

"True: no doubt, he may appear so to a stranger, but I am so accustomed to his manner, I never think of it; and then, if he has peculiarities of temper, allowance should be made," [Mrs. Fairfax replies].

"Why?"

"Partly because it is his nature-and we can none of us help our nature; and, partly, he has painful thoughts, no doubt, to harass him, and make his spirits unequal." (158-59, ch.13)


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  #12  
Old January 20th, 2007, 10:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

I have never read Jane Eyre but now I want to!

It is interesting that alot of these stories center around a scorned love affair or lost love.


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Old January 21st, 2007, 4:14 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
...JKR has said there is no connection between Snape and vampires, but that doesn't stop me from being curious about this quote....
Actually her reply was "... Is there a link between Snape and vampires? JK Rowling replies -> Erm... I don't think so. " She didn't prolong the idea that he IS a vampire - but I never thought of the bats as symbols of Dracula as a Gothic Hero. Personally, I think it's more about the legilimency - little bursts of it - like a bat's sonar. But I think a great deal of the vampire theory came from the intense stares and apparent reading of minds as well. Not sure she MEANT the Dracula symbology, but it might be there anyways?


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When Dumbledore asked Snape, "If you are prepared..." he didn't mean 'Have your Death Eeater robes returned from the cleaners'.
Everything we've seen Snape do, was done knowing Voldemort WOULD return someday.

And when that day would come, that he had better have the appropriate memories that would enable him to lie to Voldy's face.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 4:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by hwyla View Post
Not sure she MEANT the Dracula symbology, but it might be there anyways?
It's possible. If she's read Dracula, it may have been absorbed into her mind. Or she could have created the vampire references as a Red Herring?
I doubt the latter, actually. The "erm" in "Erm...I don't think so" sounds like the question sounds far out and weird to her.


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Old January 21st, 2007, 5:37 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

It was a recent question - one posed after MANY vampire theories were running around. I've always figured it meant he isn't a vampire, but she had to think about whether there was any 'connection' between him and vampires - had to think about how the question was actually worded - since it wasn't just whether he WAS a vampire or not.

Anyways - back to 'brooding'.

Do all gothic heros seem to go back to the tragic love idea or does it just SEEM that way?


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When Dumbledore asked Snape, "If you are prepared..." he didn't mean 'Have your Death Eeater robes returned from the cleaners'.
Everything we've seen Snape do, was done knowing Voldemort WOULD return someday.

And when that day would come, that he had better have the appropriate memories that would enable him to lie to Voldy's face.
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  #16  
Old January 21st, 2007, 5:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

She later confirmed that she meant he's not a vampire in the Mugglenet Interview, and said no canon supported that, though I see what Hwyla means - the man is dressed up like Bella Lugosi, with the cape and the greased hair. Perhaps she meant him to look like Heathcliff, but instead he looks like a Vampire.

But my argument against the vampire theory is that you can't have a predatory teacher who drinks human blood all the time. Lupin would eat humans if he could, but his ailment can be controlled - a vampire cannot. And after seeing the wimpy vampires at Sluggies party, and the way they leered at young girls, it's obvious Snape isn't one.

Quote:
JKR: . . . there are lines of speculation I don't want to shut down. Generally speaking, I shut down those lines of speculation that are plain unprofitable. Even with the shippers. God bless them, but they had a lot of fun with it. It's when people get really off the wall it's when people devote hours of their time to proving that Snape is a vampire that I feel it's time to step in, because there's really nothing in the canon that supports that.

ES: It's when you look for those things

JKR: Yeah, it's after the 15th rereading when you have spots in front of your eyes that you start seeing clues about Snape being the Lord of Darkness. So, there are things I shut down just because I think, well, don't waste your time, there's better stuff to be debating, and even if it's wrong, it will probably lead you somewhere interesting. That's my rough theory anyway.
Another thing we learn about Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre is that there was a time when he was innocent. He tells Jane that at one time he was her "equal" but his bad luck in life has changed him - that is rather like Heathcliff with his disappointments, and also Manfred:

Jane Eyre Online Text: http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext98/janey11.txt

Mr. Rochester about his life

. . . No, young lady, I am not a general philanthropist; but I bear a conscience;"
. . . "and, besides, I once had a kind of rude tenderness of
heart. When I was as old as you, I was a feeling fellow enough,
partial to the unfledged, unfostered, and unlucky; but Fortune has
knocked me about since
. . .

. . . "I have a past existence, a series of deeds, a colour of life to contemplate within
my own breast, which might well call my sneers and censures from
my neighbours to myself. I started, or rather (for like other
defaulters, I like to lay half the blame on ill fortune and adverse
circumstances) was thrust on to a wrong tack at the age of one-and-
twenty, and have never recovered the right course since: but I
might have been very different; I might have been as good as you
-- wiser -- almost as stainless. I envy you your peace of mind,
your clean conscience, your unpolluted memory. Little girl, a
memory without blot or contamination must be an exquisite treasure
-- an inexhaustible source of pure refreshment: is it not?"


"How was your memory when you were eighteen, sir?"

"All right then; limpid, salubrious: no gush of bilge water had
turned it to fetid puddle. I was your equal at eighteen -- quite
your equal. Nature meant me to be, on the whole, a good man, Miss
Eyre; one of the better kind, and you see I am not so.
You would
say you don't see it; at least I flatter myself I read as much in
your eye (beware, by-the-bye, what you express with that organ;
I am quick at interpreting its language). Then take my word for
it, -- I am not a villain: you are not to suppose that -- not
to attribute to me any such bad eminence; but, owing, I verily
believe, rather to circumstances than to my natural bent, I am a
trite commonplace sinner, hackneyed in all the poor petty dissipations
with which the rich and worthless try to put on life.


. . . You would say, I should have been
superior to circumstances; so I should -- so I should; but you see
I was not. When fate wronged me, I had not the wisdom to remain
cool: I turned desperate; then I degenerated.
Now, when any vicious
simpleton excites my disgust by his paltry ribaldry, I cannot
flatter myself that I am better than he: I am forced to confess
that he and I are on a level. I wish I had stood firm -- God
knows I do! Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre;
remorse is the poison of life
."

"Repentance is said to be its cure, sir."

"It is not its cure. Reformation may be its cure; and I could
reform -- I have strength yet for that -- if -- but where is the
use of thinking of it, hampered, burdened, cursed as I am? Besides,
since happiness is irrevocably denied me, I have a right to get
pleasure out of life: and I WILL get it, cost what it may."

"Then you will degenerate still more, sir."

"Possibly: yet why should I, if I can get sweet, fresh pleasure?
And I may get it as sweet and fresh as the wild honey the bee
gathers on the moor."

"It will sting -- it will taste bitter, sir."

"How do you know? -- you never tried it. How very serious -- how
very solemn you look: and you are as ignorant of the matter as
this cameo head" (taking one from the mantelpiece). "You have no
right to preach to me, you neophyte, that have not passed the porch
of life, and are absolutely unacquainted with its mysteries."




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Last edited by silver ink pot; January 21st, 2007 at 5:53 am.
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  #17  
Old January 21st, 2007, 7:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Mr. Rochester about his life
"Dread remorse when you are tempted to err, Miss Eyre;
remorse is the poison of life."

"Repentance is said to be its cure, sir."

"It is not its cure. Reformation may be its cure.
I remember posting this quote elsewhere when I first read Jane Eyre. It really reminds me of Snape: Feeling bad is not enough. You have to really change, and I think Severus has been working on that ever since he first turned away from Voldemort.


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  #18  
Old January 21st, 2007, 7:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Ah, thank you, SIP. It's been years since I read Jane Eyre and those quotes were wonderful.

Snape is so obviously a Gothic Hero, in my opinion, yet they never end well, do they? I still have hope that Snape will be the exception to the Gothic Hero and survive to have some sort of rewarding future.


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  #19  
Old January 21st, 2007, 7:49 pm
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alwaysme  Female.gif alwaysme is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sly_Lady View Post
Ah, thank you, SIP. It's been years since I read Jane Eyre and those quotes were wonderful.

I need to run to the bookstore and buy Jane Eyre,since I seem to be the only one here who hasn't read it.


Quote:
Snape is so obviously a Gothic Hero, in my opinion, yet they never end well, do they? I still have hope that Snape will be the exception to the Gothic Hero and survive to have some sort of rewarding future.
Lets keep our fingers crossed.


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  #20  
Old January 21st, 2007, 8:40 pm
Hinoema  Female.gif Hinoema is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Byronic/Gothic Hero

Out of sheer curiosity, I now have to study to see what this 'Byronic hero' is. The list of qualifications in the intial post seems to be a wonderful DSM4 diagnostic for antisocial disorders, but what makes the character heroic, I wonder?

Interesting tidbit I found- apparently, Heathcliffe was not meant to be a "Byronic hero".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Masters
If Catherine does not see Heathcliff as a romantic figure, why should the reader do so by designating him a Byronic hero? Indeed this problem is exactly what Brontė addresses through the failed romance between Heathcliff and Isabella. This episode provides a necessary contrast to the relationship of Heathcliff and Catherine. It shows that Heathcliff is “implacable in revenge” not generally, but most disturbingly and specifically in the areas of love and romance where his supposed attractiveness stems from (“Byronic”). Thus neither of the two romantic entanglements in Heathcliff’s life support the notion of him as a Byronic hero, for the one with Catherine lacks romance and the one with Isabella is too fictitious. To make this criticism apparent, Brontė gives Heathcliff enough Byronic characteristics for Isabella, and possibly the reader, to consider him as such, only to then reject this interpretation of her creation and comment on the danger of romanticizing. For Heathcliff only becomes the hero as a fantasy, and in pointing this out Brontė urges her readers to shed their romantic ideals and reconsider popular conceptions of romance so as not to impose those expectations on Wuthering Heights.

http://www.colorado.edu/PWR/occasion...eathcliff.html
Another interesting item:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFODR
Heroic Despair

In darkly romantic tales, heroes often deviate from traditional ideals. The hero is often defiant or melancholic - or rather, the defiance and melancholy makes him a hero. He or she is often called a "Byronic hero" or a "anti-hero".

http://hem.passagen.se/hehe/distinct...omanticism.htm


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