Login  
 
 
Go Back   Chamber of Secrets > Forum Archives > Post DH References

Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13



View Poll Results: Snape's treatment of Neville...
was justified and reflects positively upon him. 3 1.96%
was justified but reflects negatively upon him. 5 3.27%
sits uncomfortably with me. 19 12.42%
was completely unjustifiable and should have been stopped. 49 32.03%
was completely unjustifiable but horrible teachers are part of life. 19 12.42%
cannot be judged objectively because we only get Harry's perspective. 36 23.53%
put Snape's worst instincts on display. 16 10.46%
does not justify a pony option! 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Thread Tools
  #1421  
Old January 20th, 2010, 8:48 pm
Daggerstone's Avatar
Daggerstone  Female.gif Daggerstone is offline
Splendide Mendax
 
Joined: 4015 days
Location: In Snape's pocket
Age: 42
Posts: 1,284
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

[quote=FurryDice;5485480]
Quote:
I've been thinking about this, and I've come to the conclusion that I firmly believe Snape's treatment of the students was his own, and not instructions from Dumbledore.
In SS, Hagrid tells Harry 'not to worry, that Snape liked hardly any of the students', and I can't quite picture DD coming up with a directive along the lines of "Severus, my boy, being a bloody ******* in the classroom will help our cause a decade or so from today, so be a dear and..."

Quote:
In particular the remark about the teeth - I found that a very malicious comment to a teenage girl at an age when many girls are so sensitive about their appearance.
Somehow I fail to see canon evidence of any of the Hogwarts teachers taking the students' age and sensitivity into account in their actions, but I agree Snape deserved a sound slap for that one...

Quote:
He also needed a Death Eater who knew how things were done at Hogwarts in charge.
He needed a Death Eater who knew people at Hogwarts and the way they operate. I hardly think Voldy worried about the paperwork at that point.


__________________

Last edited by Daggerstone; January 20th, 2010 at 11:30 pm.
Sponsored Links
  #1422  
Old January 20th, 2010, 9:52 pm
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I've been thinking about this, and I've come to the conclusion that I firmly believe Snape's treatment of the students was his own, and not instructions from Dumbledore. If we remove an unpleasant aspect of a character's personality/behaviour by saying it was part of his cover, it edges close to character worship, I think. If faults in adult Snape's character are attributed to his instructions/keeping his cover and not to Snape himself, what faults are his own? All characters have faults and good points.
I absolutely agree that he has faults as well as good points. I think that's clear from the known canonical fact that for much of the series, Snape sees in Harry what he expects to see rather than what's actually there. (The same can be said for Harry as well, incidentally). I do think that I would certainly never attribute all faults to orders. And even to whatever extent he might potentially be acting under orders, I think what we would see would merely be an exaggeration of his personality - not a complete fabrication of his personality. So no, I make no claim that he does not have personality issues to iron out. He clearly does.

All I'm saying is that I do not believe that we can ever assume - with Snape - that everything he does is of his own volition. Given the way the character is drawn, I find it impossible, based on the information currently at our disposal, to establish clear boundaries between where Snape ends and Soldier/Spy begins. I do not believe that is character worship. I think it's merely an acknowledgment that Rowling's portrayal has created a very tricky situation for anyone who wants to get to the bottom of this character. We just don't have sufficient information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I agree, especially in that Snape made an effort to save Lupin, whom he despised. I still think that wouldn't stop him from having a snarky remark for Lupin had they met again .
No argument there! But a snarky remark is really just a snarky remark. Snape is full of snarky remarks - often especially for the people he's saving from being killed. And I have no question that he would save Neville, too, regardless of whatever snark he has ever leveled at him. This is why I find the focus on Snape's snark to be so overdone. He's judged excessively on the basis of what are, at worst, personality flaws and not judged sufficiently on the basis of what's going on with him at much deeper levels.

On a deeper level, he would never hesitate to save the lives of the people entrusted to his safekeeping - whether Order members or students or fellow teachers - even at risk to himself. And it was risky saving Lupin. He could have blown his cover if the curse had actually hit its aim instead of George Weasley's ear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I think we can acknowledge Snape's courage, loyalty and efforts to save others, even under the eye of Death Eaters while also acknowledging that his treatment of students was wrong. As you mentioned, the remark about Hermione's teeth and the incident with Neville's toad. In particular the remark about the teeth - I found that a very malicious comment to a teenage girl at an age when many girls are so sensitive about their appearance.
I do not find the incidents with Hermione and Neville's toad to be appealing, no. I would never say those things to a student. But these are the only incidents I can think of where his behavior toward students (other than Harry) actually crosses a line into malice. Getting angry and calling someone an "idiot boy" in the heat of the moment is not ideal, but teachers - even the best ones - have moments of extreme frustration. And Snape is not the best teacher. Effective perhaps. But not ideal.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1423  
Old January 21st, 2010, 1:59 am
FurryDice's Avatar
FurryDice  Female.gif FurryDice is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: Ireland
Age: 35
Posts: 2,591
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post

In SS, Hagrid tells Harry 'not to worry, that Snape liked hardly any of the students', and I can't quite picture DD coming up with a directive along the lines of "Severus, my boy, being a bloody ******* in the classroom will help our cause a decade or so from today, so be a dear and..."
Nope, don't see it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
I absolutely agree that he has faults as well as good points. I think that's clear from the known canonical fact that for much of the series, Snape sees in Harry what he expects to see rather than what's actually there. (The same can be said for Harry as well, incidentally). I do think that I would certainly never attribute all faults to orders. And even to whatever extent he might potentially be acting under orders, I think what we would see would merely be an exaggeration of his personality - not a complete fabrication of his personality. So no, I make no claim that he does not have personality issues to iron out. He clearly does.

All I'm saying is that I do not believe that we can ever assume - with Snape - that everything he does is of his own volition. Given the way the character is drawn, I find it impossible, based on the information currently at our disposal, to establish clear boundaries between where Snape ends and Soldier/Spy begins. I do not believe that is character worship. I think it's merely an acknowledgment that Rowling's portrayal has created a very tricky situation for anyone who wants to get to the bottom of this character. We just don't have sufficient information.
I'm inclined to think that if it had been part of Snape's role as spy to be unpleasant to students, it would likely have been mentioned in The Prince's Tale. Snarkiness is one of the many things that come to mind when you mention Snape - other aspects of him were explained in the Pensieve here, why not this one. Nor did Dumbledore mention this at Kings Cross when they spoke of Severus.

Quote:
No argument there! But a snarky remark is really just a snarky remark. Snape is full of snarky remarks - often especially for the people he's saving from being killed. And I have no question that he would save Neville, too, regardless of whatever snark he has ever leveled at him. This is why I find the focus on Snape's snark to be so overdone. He's judged excessively on the basis of what are, at worst, personality flaws and not judged sufficiently on the basis of what's going on with him at much deeper levels.

On a deeper level, he would never hesitate to save the lives of the people entrusted to his safekeeping - whether Order members or students or fellow teachers - even at risk to himself. And it was risky saving Lupin. He could have blown his cover if the curse had actually hit its aim instead of George Weasley's ear.
I agree that Snape, during the second war, did what he could to save others. However, I really don't think that's relevant to the fact that he could be unfair and spiteful at times. Yes, his loyalties are a much more important faspect of his personality, but that doesn't mean that there aren't serious shortcomings in his interpersonal skills.


Quote:
I do not find the incidents with Hermione and Neville's toad to be appealing, no. I would never say those things to a student. But these are the only incidents I can think of where his behavior toward students (other than Harry) actually crosses a line into malice. Getting angry and calling someone an "idiot boy" in the heat of the moment is not ideal, but teachers - even the best ones - have moments of extreme frustration. And Snape is not the best teacher. Effective perhaps. But not ideal.
Personally, I think his behaviour towards students is very unprofessional. (Although there were a lot of unprofessional goings-on at Hogwarts.) Maybe there were no other incidents like these, but the fact that he is the biggest fear of a boy whose parents were tortured into insanity suggests his classroom was not a secure place for students.


__________________

Pic by julvett at deviantart http://julvett.deviantart.com/gallery/2984632
"Relationships are like glass; sometimes it's better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself trying to put them back together." Anonymous
"Like this one time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatising event of my life and she’s trying to make it about her leg. Like my pain meant nothing." - Cordelia; Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1Ep11.

Last edited by FurryDice; January 21st, 2010 at 2:02 am.
  #1424  
Old January 21st, 2010, 2:52 am
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I'm inclined to think that if it had been part of Snape's role as spy to be unpleasant to students, it would likely have been mentioned in The Prince's Tale. Snarkiness is one of the many things that come to mind when you mention Snape - other aspects of him were explained in the Pensieve here, why not this one. Nor did Dumbledore mention this at Kings Cross when they spoke of Severus.
I'm apparently not making my point plain. My point is that we don't know everything that's going on with Severus or what his motivations are in various circumstances.

For example, Serpensortia. Did Snape make that suggestion to Draco (as we assume he did) primarily in order to humiliate Harry or for a more strategic reason - i.e. to find out if he's a Parselmouth? There's good reason for someone like Dumbledore to suspect Harry is a Parselmouth. And if he did, there would be very good reason for him to ask Snape to find out - and how better to find out than by placing a snake in front of him and see what happens?

Now, we don't know that this is what happened (I'm not making that claim). But it would be very surprising, wouldn't it, if we discovered that Dumbledore - the guy who's usually about 10 moves ahead of everybody else - were taken completely by surprise by the fact that this kid who has been touched by Voldemort could speak to snakes? If he did suspect, then it's at least plausible that Snape's completely out-of-the-blue (implied) suggestion of a snake would help settle the matter. Or, of course, maybe he was just in a nasty mood, having to act as "assistant" to such an inferior Wizard as Lockhart.

As for the Pensieve... I think we need to remember that the memories in the Pensieve are selective, specific memories of things important for Harry - memories about his mother (a Gift from Snape) and memories concerning his mission. Other memories are irrelevant, like how everybody found out he was a Parselmouth - whether it was just spur of the moment Snape being nasty or whether it was part of a plot with Dumbledore being strategic.

As for King's Cross, Snape is almost entirely irrelevant to the conversation Dumbledore has with Harry - except in regard to Snape's (non-existent) relationship to the Elder Wand. Snape is irrelevant because Harry has seen the memories. He has already changed his mind about Snape. Nothing more really needs to be said. The conversation he has with Dumbledore is about Dumbledore, and Dumbledore's flaws and plans.

BTW, to the point that Harry has already changed his mind about Snape... I find it very significant that in the big showdown with Voldemort, Harry refers to Snape several times as "Severus Snape" - thinking of him as a real person, not an epithet, for the first time ever.

Now, once again, I'm not saying that Snape was acting on orders from Dumbledore to behave a certain way in the classroom. I'm saying that we do know for a fact that Snape is often acting on orders and doing things that we know nothing about. We simply do not know the extent of those orders. And I have already said that if Dumbledore had wanted Snape to court favor with the Death Eaters' kids, the snark involved would be merely an exaggeration of his personality, not an alternate personality. The snark is a real part of him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I agree that Snape, during the second war, did what he could to save others. However, I really don't think that's relevant to the fact that he could be unfair and spiteful at times. Yes, his loyalties are a much more important faspect of his personality, but that doesn't mean that there aren't serious shortcomings in his interpersonal skills.
Never said he doesn't have serious shortcomings in his interpersonal skills. If we agree that his loyalties are more important than his shortcomings, though, then we have common ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Personally, I think his behaviour towards students is very unprofessional. (Although there were a lot of unprofessional goings-on at Hogwarts.) Maybe there were no other incidents like these, but the fact that he is the biggest fear of a boy whose parents were tortured into insanity suggests his classroom was not a secure place for students.
And yet, Dumbledore lets Snape treat the son of Aurors this way in front of the sons of Death Eaters. There would certainly be good strategic reason to allow him to do so in order to establish the suspicion that his real loyalties are with the Death Eaters. I'm not saying that that's what happened. I'm saying that it would be a strategically sound maneuver. And this is war. Remember, Dumbledore never believed the war was really over. He was always preparing for Voldemort's return.

As for Snape's level of professionalism... I guess that would depend upon what we regard as his profession. I don't regard being a teacher as his real profession. It's not why Dumbledore hired him. Dumbledore hired him so that he could prepare himself for protecting Harry and prepare himself for infiltrating the Death Eaters when Voldemort would eventually return. His teaching position is essentially a front so he can remain at Hogwarts without arousing suspicion.

Now, he happens to be a genius Potioner, so that's a plus for Dumbledore. And he's very skilled at countering curses, so that's another plus. But teacher? He certainly has the knowledge required, but hardly the right disposition. Then again, he's a far more effective teacher than the other person hired as a result of the prophecy.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1425  
Old January 21st, 2010, 3:43 am
FurryDice's Avatar
FurryDice  Female.gif FurryDice is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: Ireland
Age: 35
Posts: 2,591
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
I'm apparently not making my point plain. My point is that we don't know everything that's going on with Severus or what his motivations are in various circumstances.

For example, Serpensortia. Did Snape make that suggestion to Draco (as we assume he did) primarily in order to humiliate Harry or for a more strategic reason - i.e. to find out if he's a Parselmouth? There's good reason for someone like Dumbledore to suspect Harry is a Parselmouth. And if he did, there would be very good reason for him to ask Snape to find out - and how better to find out than by placing a snake in front of him and see what happens?
Ooh, I hadn't thought of that, but I think it's a strong possibilty, especially considering Harry's conversation with Dumbledore at the end of the year. I'm sure there were nastier spells he could have suggested to Draco if he'd only wanted Harry to be humiliated in this instance.

Quote:
Or, of course, maybe he was just in a nasty mood, having to act as "assistant" to such an inferior Wizard as Lockhart.
I don't see Snape as any exception there , Lockhart put most people in a nasty mood. Severus just wasn't discouraged from giving him the "evil eye" so early in the year.

Quote:
BTW, to the point that Harry has already changed his mind about Snape... I find it very significant that in the big showdown with Voldemort, Harry refers to Snape several times as "Severus Snape" - thinking of him as a real person, not an epithet, for the first time ever.
Yep, Harry does come to appreciate what Snape had done for him. I doubt they'd have been on great terms after the war if Snape had survived though, too much water under the bridge for friendship. Respect and appreciation on Harry's part, yes. Meeting to discuss the old days over drinks, no.

Quote:
Now, once again, I'm not saying that Snape was acting on orders from Dumbledore to behave a certain way in the classroom. I'm saying that we do know for a fact that Snape is often acting on orders and doing things that we know nothing about. We simply do not know the extent of those orders. And I have already said that if Dumbledore had wanted Snape to court favor with the Death Eaters' kids, the snark involved would be merely an exaggeration of his personality, not an alternate personality. The snark is a real part of him.
As a real part of him, I'd say he would have been snarky whether it was expected of his role or not.

Quote:
Never said he doesn't have serious shortcomings in his interpersonal skills. If we agree that his loyalties are more important than his shortcomings, though, then we have common ground.
Yes, his eventual loyalties are more important. My take is I can respect and admire his loyalties and courage while still disliking his treatment of those he dislikes and is in authority over.

Quote:
And yet, Dumbledore lets Snape treat the son of Aurors this way in front of the sons of Death Eaters. There would certainly be good strategic reason to allow him to do so in order to establish the suspicion that his real loyalties are with the Death Eaters. I'm not saying that that's what happened. I'm saying that it would be a strategically sound maneuver. And this is war. Remember, Dumbledore never believed the war was really over. He was always preparing for Voldemort's return.
Perhaps it was a strategic manoeuvre, but Snape was only human - not all of his actions were strategic parts of the plan, you'd need to be a machine to do that without letting emotions affect any of your actions. After DH, I became very inclined to believe that Snape's dislike of Neville had to do with the fact that he wasn't chosen by Voldemort. If Voldemort had picked the other candidate for the prophecy, perhaps Lily would still be alive. Exacerbated by Neville's poor potions skills maybe, but I can see that resentment coming in there.

Quote:
As for Snape's level of professionalism... I guess that would depend upon what we regard as his profession. I don't regard being a teacher as his real profession. It's not why Dumbledore hired him. Dumbledore hired him so that he could prepare himself for protecting Harry and prepare himself for infiltrating the Death Eaters when Voldemort would eventually return. His teaching position is essentially a front so he can remain at Hogwarts without arousing suspicion.

Now, he happens to be a genius Potioner, so that's a plus for Dumbledore. And he's very skilled at countering curses, so that's another plus. But teacher? He certainly has the knowledge required, but hardly the right disposition.
No, teaching wasn't the ideal career for him, by a long shot. Though Hogwarts has a history of hiring people unsuited to teaching. The reasons for hiring Severus despite that were pretty important though. However, being more intelligent than Lockhart and more on planet Earth than Trelawney, he would have had the sense to conduct himself as a teacher should, but not the disposition as you say.

Quote:
Then again, he's a far more effective teacher than the other person hired as a result of the prophecy.
Of course, Severus Snape had the advantage of actually knowing what he was talking about, while Sybil Trelawney...not so much. Not hired for her teaching skills either.


__________________

Pic by julvett at deviantart http://julvett.deviantart.com/gallery/2984632
"Relationships are like glass; sometimes it's better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself trying to put them back together." Anonymous
"Like this one time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatising event of my life and she’s trying to make it about her leg. Like my pain meant nothing." - Cordelia; Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1Ep11.
  #1426  
Old January 21st, 2010, 4:11 am
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Ooh, I hadn't thought of that, but I think it's a strong possibilty, especially considering Harry's conversation with Dumbledore at the end of the year. I'm sure there were nastier spells he could have suggested to Draco if he'd only wanted Harry to be humiliated in this instance.
Great theory, isn't it? I wish it were mine. Alas, I cannot take credit for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't see Snape as any exception there , Lockhart put most people in a nasty mood. Severus just wasn't discouraged from giving him the "evil eye" so early in the year.
I love the scene in the teachers' lounge at the end of the year when Snape tells Lockhart to chase down the monster. So funny. And the other teachers were just sooooo behind Snape on that! Hilarous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Yep, Harry does come to appreciate what Snape had done for him. I doubt they'd have been on great terms after the war if Snape had survived though, too much water under the bridge for friendship. Respect and appreciation on Harry's part, yes. Meeting to discuss the old days over drinks, no.
Oh, yes. I don't think they would have gotten together over drinks. I think they could very well have been mutually civil though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
Perhaps it was a strategic manoeuvre, but Snape was only human - not all of his actions were strategic parts of the plan, you'd need to be a machine to do that without letting emotions affect any of your actions. After DH, I became very inclined to believe that Snape's dislike of Neville had to do with the fact that he wasn't chosen by Voldemort. If Voldemort had picked the other candidate for the prophecy, perhaps Lily would still be alive. Exacerbated by Neville's poor potions skills maybe, but I can see that resentment coming in there.
Well, now there's a thought! Yes, Snape could very well have been angry that it wasn't Neville who was chosen, particularly when he was first confronted with him. OR... facing the double whammy of Neville and Harry - the two boys who could have been chosen - could be a constant reminder to him of the greatest mistake he ever made (i.e. becoming a Death Eater and then delivering the prophecy to Voldemort). A constant reminder of his own deep moral failure could very well be a constant irritant.

Regardless, the Snape we see at the end of the series is a Snape who has so fully and completely put to death the Death Eater in himself that I really can't see him wishing it had been Neville who had been chosen (and therefore that it had been Neville who had died). I think he wishes that nobody would have died - and that he had never made the mistake that he made. I don't think he's any longer in "trade another life for Lily's" mode.

And if he did have a resentment against Neville in the beginning, he certainly seems to have gotten over it by the end... as shown in Neville's "punishment" for trying to steal the sword of Gryffindor, and also in Neville's being allowed to just "disappear" when Snape has to know full well where he's gone.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1427  
Old January 21st, 2010, 4:31 am
ignisia's Avatar
ignisia  Female.gif ignisia is offline
Leader of the GLITTELUTION
 
Joined: 5019 days
Location: Sitting in a Tin Can
Age: 31
Posts: 4,418
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
And if he did have a resentment against Neville in the beginning, he certainly seems to have gotten over it by the end... as shown in Neville's "punishment" for trying to steal the sword of Gryffindor, and also in Neville's being allowed to just "disappear" when Snape has to know full well where he's gone.
He could still possibly dislike Neville while helping him avoid the Carrows/torture. He works very hard for Harry without really liking him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FurryDice
After DH, I became very inclined to believe that Snape's dislike of Neville had to do with the fact that he wasn't chosen by Voldemort.
That theory always gives me trouble when I think about it. It seems like such a good--almost perfect-- reason for Snape's behavior, and yet he does or says absolutely nothing to hint specifically toward it (please correct me if I'm wrong, it gives me such a headache!), the way James/Lily (and various other reasons) was hinted at in Snape's interaction with Harry. Snape's very closed-lipped much of the time, and yet he's always going on about James or Harry's recklessness in front of the kid. But Harry's only privy to what Snape says to Neville in class, and Snape's not going to talk about the Prophecy there.

It's like one of those scenes CCS was talking about-- Snape could be thinking anything, since his story is so full of intricate details, and yet we're very much left in the dark.


__________________
I am incapable of hating someone who, instead of using a spell to guard the Sorcerer's Stone, uses a logic puzzle.
I'm sorry.



VIVA LA GLITTELUTION
Looking for a home away from home?
Hogsmeade ~ Apparate.me
Avatar by SIP
  #1428  
Old January 21st, 2010, 4:44 am
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
He could still possibly dislike Neville while helping him avoid the Carrows/torture. He works very hard for Harry without really liking him.
I think the real issue I was discussing here was resentment at Neville for being alive - i.e. for not being chosen. I don't think Snape was thinking that way by the end of DH. He may or may not have liked Neville, but he was certainly not wishing him ill.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!

Last edited by ccollinsmith; January 21st, 2010 at 5:02 am.
  #1429  
Old January 21st, 2010, 5:02 am
silver ink pot's Avatar
silver ink pot  Female.gif silver ink pot is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 6050 days
Location: Shining Snape's Halo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,778
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith
As for the Pensieve... I think we need to remember that the memories in the Pensieve are selective, specific memories of things important for Harry - memories about his mother (a Gift from Snape) and memories concerning his mission. Other memories are irrelevant, like how everybody found out he was a Parselmouth - whether it was just spur of the moment Snape being nasty or whether it was part of a plot with Dumbledore being strategic.
If Serpensortia was an experiment to test Harry's Parselmouth ability, or a ploy to make Harry look tough in front of the Slytherins (one of my old theories) then it was also a "controlled" experiment because Snape was never really going to let that snake hurt anyone, least of all Harry! He is quick to tell Harry is going to "take care of it," meaning to make it Evanesco!

Quote:
As for King's Cross, Snape is almost entirely irrelevant to the conversation Dumbledore has with Harry - except in regard to Snape's (non-existent) relationship to the Elder Wand. Snape is irrelevant because Harry has seen the memories. He has already changed his mind about Snape. Nothing more really needs to be said. The conversation he has with Dumbledore is about Dumbledore, and Dumbledore's flaws and plans.
I think that's an excellent point. Harry seemed at peace about Snape before he ever went back to the forest.

I believe Harry asks Dumbledore about his intentions regarding Snape because he hates to think that Dumbledore wanted Snape to die in that horrible way. For me, the jury is out on whether Dumbledore always expected Snape to be collateral damage. I like to think not, but on the other hand Snape was willing to put his life on the line over and over for Harry, so it's an implied agreement between himself and Dumbledore that there was going to be risk. Snape could have been killed the night he returned to the Graveyard, but that was his own choice to make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CC
BTW, to the point that Harry has already changed his mind about Snape... I find it very significant that in the big showdown with Voldemort, Harry refers to Snape several times as "Severus Snape" - thinking of him as a real person, not an epithet, for the first time ever.
Even when he is watching the memories in Prince's Tale, he thinks of Snape as "Severus Snape" for the first time when Severus is sorted into Slytherin. That is about halfway through the memories, so something happens to Harry's perception.

Prince's TaleAnd Severus Snape moved off to the other side of the Hall, away from Lily, to where the Slytherins were cheering him, to where Lucius Malfoy, a prefect badge gleaming upon his chest, parted Snape on the back as he sat down beside him…


I think pity has started to set in at that point. After that Snape is referred to as "Severus."

In OotP, when Harry sees Snape's memories of his father yelling at his mother, he sees him as the "crying little boy," which he can't equate with "adult-sized Snape" who later pulls him out of the Pensieve.


__________________


"It may have escaped your notice, but life isn't fair."
~ Severus Snape, OotP movie


Severus Snape ~ Bloomsbury Books Favorite HP Character

Severmore ~ NEW Harry Potter Network ~ LJ Dungeon
  #1430  
Old January 21st, 2010, 7:05 am
Bscorp's Avatar
Bscorp  Undisclosed.gif Bscorp is offline
Seventh Year
 
Joined: 4727 days
Posts: 1,502
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Just returning to the subject of Snape personality again, (really again?) . I am inclined to think that Snape's original disposition was bitter and unpleasant, and I think Dumbledore used this to his advantage. He did not encourage Snape to change his attitude, he did not want Snape to get along with everyone— or anyone really for that matter - because he knew Snape's role. I believe Snape knew his role too. From the moment Snape walked up to that hill to meet Dumbledore any chance of him making friends was exterminated.

I used the phrase "original disposition" because his "actual" self is unknown by anyone until Harry sees his thoughts in The Prince's Tale. IMO, Snape's outward disposition can tell about as much about him as a prisoner's stripes can tell about his taste in clothing. The Man is simply not free to change his appearance.

But what prompted me to write about this again is the thought of the irony at play here.

While Snape's outward disposition was allowed to fester in bitterness and snark and other apparently negative emotions, his inward reality was changing and redeeming itself day by day. His inside self was growing more and more enlightened.


__________________
"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper." — Edmund Burke
“But the big ones, the Dumbledore storyline, the Snape storyline were always there because you — the series is built around those.” -J.K. Rowling

Last edited by Bscorp; January 21st, 2010 at 7:08 am.
  #1431  
Old January 21st, 2010, 7:29 am
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
Just returning to the subject of Snape personality again, (really again?) .
But it's not "again" for all of us. Some of us are latecomers and new to the discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
I am inclined to think that Snape's original disposition was bitter and unpleasant, and I think Dumbledore used this to his advantage. He did not encourage Snape to change his attitude, he did not want Snape to get along with everyone— or anyone really for that matter - because he knew Snape's role. I believe Snape knew his role too. From the moment Snape walked up to that hill to meet Dumbledore any chance of him making friends was exterminated.

I used the phrase "original disposition" because his "actual" self is unknown by anyone until Harry sees his thoughts in The Prince's Tale. IMO, Snape's outward disposition can tell about as much about him as a prisoner's stripes can tell about his taste in clothing. The Man is simply not free to change his appearance.
I think that's an excellent reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
But what prompted me to write about this again is the thought of the irony at play here.

While Snape's outward disposition was allowed to fester in bitterness and snark and other apparently negative emotions, his inward reality was changing and redeeming itself day by day. His inside self was growing more and more enlightened.
Yes. I totally subscribe to that. Going through the discipline of doing the right thing over and over and over and over without any public acclaim - those things are transformative. He labors in secret, and the change within him occurs in secret.

What I find so striking about the Patronus is how dazzlingly bright it is. That's the true inner Snape for all to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
If Serpensortia was an experiment to test Harry's Parselmouth ability, or a ploy to make Harry look tough in front of the Slytherins (one of my old theories) then it was also a "controlled" experiment because Snape was never really going to let that snake hurt anyone, least of all Harry! He is quick to tell Harry is going to "take care of it," meaning to make it Evanesco!
Oh absolutely. There was never going to be any actual danger from the snake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I believe Harry asks Dumbledore about his intentions regarding Snape because he hates to think that Dumbledore wanted Snape to die in that horrible way. For me, the jury is out on whether Dumbledore always expected Snape to be collateral damage. I like to think not, but on the other hand Snape was willing to put his life on the line over and over for Harry, so it's an implied agreement between himself and Dumbledore that there was going to be risk. Snape could have been killed the night he returned to the Graveyard, but that was his own choice to make.
With the Elder Wand, I'm sure that Dumbledore knew the risk was high. But of course there's got to be an implied agreement. Snape is a soldier and spy. He knows that he's placing his life in mortal peril. I think it's clear that Dumbledore would prefer for him not to die. The fact that Dumbledore could not speak for several minutes when Severus left to go to the Graveyard speaks volumes to me. But there's always going to be an element of risk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Even when he is watching the memories in Prince's Tale, he thinks of Snape as "Severus Snape" for the first time when Severus is sorted into Slytherin. That is about halfway through the memories, so something happens to Harry's perception.

Prince's TaleAnd Severus Snape moved off to the other side of the Hall, away from Lily, to where the Slytherins were cheering him, to where Lucius Malfoy, a prefect badge gleaming upon his chest, parted Snape on the back as he sat down beside him…


I think pity has started to set in at that point. After that Snape is referred to as "Severus."
Thanks for the quotes.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1432  
Old January 21st, 2010, 10:02 am
silver ink pot's Avatar
silver ink pot  Female.gif silver ink pot is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 6050 days
Location: Shining Snape's Halo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,778
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Here's an idea that popped into my head tonight inspired by my daughter's Law School grades. (And trust me, I'm not comparing Law School to Hogwarts for eleven year olds, so bear with me, please).

In most of her classes, the final exam is the only grade and determines their class standing, but some teachers also take into account class participation. Her most Snape-worthy professor gave only three A's in a class of 80 students, 7 B+'s, 30 B's, and the final 40 students (half of the class) got C's and D's.

The connection I see to to Snape is that it's sort of like O.W.L. exams in that they have one shot to get those grades up where they belong.

That made me think about the fact that Snape gives essays as homework, which Harry and Ron complain loudly about every year. Essays are really something extra in the curriculum because the class is about Potion-making, a practical art.

All the teachers give essays at Hogwarts, but it just suddenly occurred to me that there's a reason why they do that, and in Potions a particularly good reason. It's a class that almost no one enjoys, even Hermione. Plus we hear over and over that Snape grades unfairly, never gives out bonus points, and favors the Slytherins.

But giving an essay is a good way to pad grades if someone is a dismal failure as a Potioneer. For those who don't like the subject, it could even be a way for them to shine if they are good at research like Hermione. So I would say that Snape is actually levelling the playing field by giving essay assignments in which the Hufflepuffs could do just as well as the Slytherins, which is probably why Ernie McMillan still likes Snape during DADA class.

Someone pointed out to me tonight that there's no "essay" component of the Potion O.W.L. exam, so what's the point of Snape giving Harry the Moonstone Essay in OotP? It makes it even more apparent that he wanted him to learn the Draught of Peace potion correctly in spite of Umbridge's interference. And it would be an extra grade to counteract any of the zeroes that Harry has received in class while making potions. JMO (Of course Snape makes it sound so much like a punishment to please Umbridge that Harry is furious about it, but I think there is method in the madness).

Just some thoughts . . .


__________________


"It may have escaped your notice, but life isn't fair."
~ Severus Snape, OotP movie


Severus Snape ~ Bloomsbury Books Favorite HP Character

Severmore ~ NEW Harry Potter Network ~ LJ Dungeon

Last edited by silver ink pot; January 21st, 2010 at 10:12 am.
  #1433  
Old January 21st, 2010, 1:37 pm
arithmancer's Avatar
arithmancer  Undisclosed.gif arithmancer is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 5323 days
Location: The Hogwarts Boathouse
Posts: 7,938
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

I believe the Potions OWL does have a theory part. IIRC, in OotP Harry wrote an answer on his OWL about the Polyjuice Potion (which would certainly not have been assigned in the practical part as it is a NEWT standard potion).

In which case, among other purposes, Snape's essay assignments would prepare students to take this part of their standardized exams in Potions.


__________________
The Sorting Hat says I belong in Slytherin.



“Death is the only pure, beautiful conclusion of a great passion.”-D. H. Lawrence

All was well.


Avatar by nerwende, signature art by sigune, used with permission.
  #1434  
Old January 21st, 2010, 7:47 pm
Bscorp's Avatar
Bscorp  Undisclosed.gif Bscorp is offline
Seventh Year
 
Joined: 4727 days
Posts: 1,502
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

The essay assignments make me giggle a bit. I have a lot of teacher friends and the one thing they hate grading the most are essays. For some students it's like pulling teeth. IF Snape hates teaching, he's making it harder on himself handing out extra essay assignments which take a lot more care and precision in grading than , say, multiple choice or quick answer.

But Oh! Wait a minute, this brings a thought to mind. Remember when Harry found letter and obsessed over all the little ways that her handwriting was like his??? Perhaps Snape had an alterior motive in demanding so many hand written assignments from The Boy.


__________________
"He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper." — Edmund Burke
“But the big ones, the Dumbledore storyline, the Snape storyline were always there because you — the series is built around those.” -J.K. Rowling
  #1435  
Old January 21st, 2010, 8:05 pm
silver ink pot's Avatar
silver ink pot  Female.gif silver ink pot is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 6050 days
Location: Shining Snape's Halo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,778
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
I believe the Potions OWL does have a theory part. IIRC, in OotP Harry wrote an answer on his OWL about the Polyjuice Potion (which would certainly not have been assigned in the practical part as it is a NEWT standard potion).

In which case, among other purposes, Snape's essay assignments would prepare students to take this part of their standardized exams in Potions.
Thanks! I should have checked that in the book, but it still fits my theory that Snape was trying to maximize the student's success by giving them essay assignments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp
The essay assignments make me giggle a bit. I have a lot of teacher friends and the one thing they hate grading the most are essays. For some students it's like pulling teeth. IF Snape hates teaching, he's making it harder on himself handing out extra essay assignments which take a lot more care and precision in grading than , say, multiple choice or quick answer.
Personally, I don't know how teachers can stand to read essays. However, from my own experience I'd rather have an old-fashioned blue book essay exam with time to write down as much as I possibly knew, rather than multiple choice or true/false.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp
But Oh! Wait a minute, this brings a thought to mind. Remember when Harry found letter and obsessed over all the little ways that her handwriting was like his??? Perhaps Snape had an alterior motive in demanding so many hand written assignments from The Boy.
Fascinating idea!


__________________


"It may have escaped your notice, but life isn't fair."
~ Severus Snape, OotP movie


Severus Snape ~ Bloomsbury Books Favorite HP Character

Severmore ~ NEW Harry Potter Network ~ LJ Dungeon
  #1436  
Old January 21st, 2010, 8:11 pm
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
The essay assignments make me giggle a bit. I have a lot of teacher friends and the one thing they hate grading the most are essays. For some students it's like pulling teeth. IF Snape hates teaching, he's making it harder on himself handing out extra essay assignments which take a lot more care and precision in grading than , say, multiple choice or quick answer.
Count me in: grading essays IS the most tedious thing about teaching. And Snape is definitely making it harder on himself by assigning them. Maybe he's in a particularly penitential mood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
But Oh! Wait a minute, this brings a thought to mind. Remember when Harry found letter and obsessed over all the little ways that her handwriting was like his??? Perhaps Snape had an alterior motive in demanding so many hand written assignments from The Boy.
Hmmmmm.....


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1437  
Old January 21st, 2010, 8:29 pm
boushh's Avatar
boushh  Female.gif boushh is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 4400 days
Location: Back in Sev's Corner
Age: 47
Posts: 2,557
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
The essay assignments make me giggle a bit. I have a lot of teacher friends and the one thing they hate grading the most are essays. For some students it's like pulling teeth. IF Snape hates teaching, he's making it harder on himself handing out extra essay assignments which take a lot more care and precision in grading than , say, multiple choice or quick answer.
Most definitely. And personally I can see him actually going over the essays carefully, rather than skimming them.

Quote:
But Oh! Wait a minute, this brings a thought to mind. Remember when Harry found letter and obsessed over all the little ways that her handwriting was like his??? Perhaps Snape had an alterior motive in demanding so many hand written assignments from The Boy.
Excellent observation.


  #1438  
Old January 21st, 2010, 10:51 pm
ccollinsmith's Avatar
ccollinsmith  Female.gif ccollinsmith is offline
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!
 
Joined: 3715 days
Location: The Village
Posts: 2,273
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by boushh View Post
Most definitely. And personally I can see him actually going over the essays carefully, rather than skimming them.
If the way he read... and re-read... and re-read... and re-read his own O.W.L. is any indication, I'm sure he did go over them carefully.


__________________



Hogsmeade Awards 2013: Voted #1 - Biggest Cat Lover | Voted #2 - Most Creative Member |
Voted #2 - Most Likely to Make a Doctor Who Reference


VIVA LA GLITTELUTION!
  #1439  
Old January 21st, 2010, 11:13 pm
silver ink pot's Avatar
silver ink pot  Female.gif silver ink pot is offline
Assistant to Professor Snape
 
Joined: 6050 days
Location: Shining Snape's Halo
Age: 59
Posts: 9,778
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
If the way he read... and re-read... and re-read... and re-read his own O.W.L. is any indication, I'm sure he did go over them carefully.
Oh, absolutely!


__________________


"It may have escaped your notice, but life isn't fair."
~ Severus Snape, OotP movie


Severus Snape ~ Bloomsbury Books Favorite HP Character

Severmore ~ NEW Harry Potter Network ~ LJ Dungeon
  #1440  
Old January 22nd, 2010, 12:48 am
FurryDice's Avatar
FurryDice  Female.gif FurryDice is offline
Hogwarts Graduate
 
Joined: 4442 days
Location: Ireland
Age: 35
Posts: 2,591
Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.13

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Well, now there's a thought! Yes, Snape could very well have been angry that it wasn't Neville who was chosen, particularly when he was first confronted with him. OR... facing the double whammy of Neville and Harry - the two boys who could have been chosen - could be a constant reminder to him of the greatest mistake he ever made (i.e. becoming a Death Eater and then delivering the prophecy to Voldemort). A constant reminder of his own deep moral failure could very well be a constant irritant.

Regardless, the Snape we see at the end of the series is a Snape who has so fully and completely put to death the Death Eater in himself that I really can't see him wishing it had been Neville who had been chosen (and therefore that it had been Neville who had died). I think he wishes that nobody would have died - and that he had never made the mistake that he made. I don't think he's any longer in "trade another life for Lily's" mode.

And if he did have a resentment against Neville in the beginning, he certainly seems to have gotten over it by the end... as shown in Neville's "punishment" for trying to steal the sword of Gryffindor, and also in Neville's being allowed to just "disappear" when Snape has to know full well where he's gone.
Snape did save people's lives while still thoroughly disliking them (i.e. Lupin). I don't think saving Neville was any indication that he disliked him any less. While I don't think he would have traded another life for Lily's, I do think that he would have looked at Neville and seen a reminder of the past, as he did when he saw Harry. Yes, he moved on so completely from the Death Eater who carried the prophecy to Voldemort not caring who died. However, both boys would have surely been a constant reminder of that mistake. And while I don't think he would have wished Neville dead, I also do think he would have on some level, thought "Better the Longbottoms than Lily".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
That theory always gives me trouble when I think about it. It seems like such a good--almost perfect-- reason for Snape's behavior, and yet he does or says absolutely nothing to hint specifically toward it (please correct me if I'm wrong, it gives me such a headache!), the way James/Lily (and various other reasons) was hinted at in Snape's interaction with Harry. Snape's very closed-lipped much of the time, and yet he's always going on about James or Harry's recklessness in front of the kid. But Harry's only privy to what Snape says to Neville in class, and Snape's not going to talk about the Prophecy there.
We don't see much of Snape's interactions with Neville and as is widely admitted, so much of Snape is beneath the surface, so I think it's entirely possible that he resented the fact that Neville was not the one chosen.

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
Just returning to the subject of Snape personality again, (really again?) . I am inclined to think that Snape's original disposition was bitter and unpleasant, and I think Dumbledore used this to his advantage. He did not encourage Snape to change his attitude, he did not want Snape to get along with everyone— or anyone really for that matter - because he knew Snape's role. I believe Snape knew his role too. From the moment Snape walked up to that hill to meet Dumbledore any chance of him making friends was exterminated.
However, Dumbledore did point out that Snape's view of Harry was at odds with his own and that of other teachers; and also that Snape saw what he expected to see in Harry. I also don't think Snape would have appreciated being asked to change his bitterness unless it was strictly considered necessary for the mission.


Quote:
While Snape's outward disposition was allowed to fester in bitterness and snark and other apparently negative emotions, his inward reality was changing and redeeming itself day by day. His inside self was growing more and more enlightened.
I'm not sure - Snape moved so far beyond his Death Eater past, but I think he continued to hold a lot of guilt and bitterness also.


[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
The essay assignments make me giggle a bit. I have a lot of teacher friends and the one thing they hate grading the most are essays. For some students it's like pulling teeth. IF Snape hates teaching, he's making it harder on himself handing out extra essay assignments which take a lot more care and precision in grading than , say, multiple choice or quick answer.
Most Hogwarts teachers assigned essays. Two advantages essay questions have over mcqs or short answer questions is that although grading essays is a lot of work, there isn't the work that would be involved in compiling new sets of questions each week and an essay shows what a student knows and understands far more than multiple choice or short answers. I think Snape was well aware that the, er, less diligent students, like Harry and Ron, would simply guess their way through multiple choice questions -remember the Astrology Diaries?

Quote:
But Oh! Wait a minute, this brings a thought to mind. Remember when Harry found letter and obsessed over all the little ways that her handwriting was like his??? Perhaps Snape had an alterior motive in demanding so many hand written assignments from The Boy.
I don't think that's the case - we've seen a lot of Hogwarts teachers assign essays. I would consider it extremely creepy and obsessive if I thought that was Snape's motivation in assigning essays. Even if he did steal the letter signed with love - that was actually from Lily.


__________________

Pic by julvett at deviantart http://julvett.deviantart.com/gallery/2984632
"Relationships are like glass; sometimes it's better to leave them broken than to hurt yourself trying to put them back together." Anonymous
"Like this one time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatising event of my life and she’s trying to make it about her leg. Like my pain meant nothing." - Cordelia; Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1Ep11.

Last edited by FurryDice; January 22nd, 2010 at 12:52 am.
 
Go Back  Chamber of Secrets > Forum Archives > Post DH References

Bookmarks

Tags
character analysis, severus snape


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 1:15 pm.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Original content is Copyright © MMII - MMVIII, CoSForums.com. All Rights Reserved.
Other content (posts, images, etc) is Copyright © its respective owners.