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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14



View Poll Results: Did Snape pass Voldemort the information that led to Vance's capture and murder?
Yes, he told the Black sisters the truth and acted for the greater good. 14 13.33%
Yes, I believe he did. Dumbledore's orders. 19 18.10%
Yes. He cared about Lily and no-one else. 13 12.38%
Maybe. This does not become clear in the text. 47 44.76%
It is of course possible but he had changed so much by then that I don't believe it. 11 10.48%
No, he would not have caused another woman's death, no way. 8 7.62%
No, he was lying to the Black sisters to gain their trust. That's what spies do. 28 26.67%
Something else Moriath forgot to mention. 12 11.43%
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  #281  
Old February 24th, 2010, 10:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
This makes me think of something I've always wondered about Snape. You say that James grew into a great person, but we only have that info from his friends and family, not objective people. Snape as a teacher, seemed to be generally hated, feared, strict and serious. But the kids in Slytherin all seem to love Snape and he obviously treated them better than he did the other students. That makes me wonder how Snape was with them when others weren't around. If all the Slytherins like him there must be something positive about him (outside of dedicating his life to Harry). I wonder was he really nice? understanding and sympathetic to their teenage problems? Did he tell jokes in the common room? Show them cool spells just for fun? Just something I think about.
I wonder about that too. I dont think he was all smiles and sunshine to the Slytherins like that, but i do think he was much more understanding of them. I have this image in my head of a Slytherin student asking do to extra credit and Snape giving them the right book to do it or nudging the Quidditch captain in the right direction when mapping out plays, etc. Perhaps a Slytherin made a snarky comment about the Gryffindors and Snape backed it up with a even funnier snarky comment in the common room. To me, that seems in character. Hell, i have reason to believe some of the snark that came from the direction of the Slytherin table was in fact engineered by Snape.


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  #282  
Old February 24th, 2010, 11:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I found his intelligence magnificent; his work admirable, his remorse very touching, his classroom behaviour strict and sarcastic, his sacrifice moving and his Patronus and the way she touched Harry absolutely wonderful.
Wish I'd said that . . .


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  #283  
Old February 24th, 2010, 11:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
I wonder about that too. I dont think he was all smiles and sunshine to the Slytherins like that, but i do think he was much more understanding of them. I have this image in my head of a Slytherin student asking do to extra credit and Snape giving them the right book to do it or nudging the Quidditch captain in the right direction when mapping out plays, etc. Perhaps a Slytherin made a snarky comment about the Gryffindors and Snape backed it up with a even funnier snarky comment in the common room. To me, that seems in character. Hell, i have reason to believe some of the snark that came from the direction of the Slytherin table was in fact engineered by Snape.
I can imagine them doing their best Harry Potter impersonations. Now I wanna write some fan fiction . . .


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  #284  
Old February 25th, 2010, 2:56 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

I personally think the reason why Snape was popular with the Slytherins was because he favoured them. He didn't have to get warm and fuzzy in the common room - and I'm not sure that Slytherins are really into warm and fuzzy - because he was giving then extra points and deducting points from students from other houses and so ensuring that Slytherin won the house cup repeatedly before Harry arrived at Hogwarts. I think the Slytherins would also have felt that their House Master was someone with whom students from other houses would not want to mess. He was strict, harsh and unswervingly on the side of the Slytherins - at least from the Slytherin students' point of view. IMO that would be enough to make him liked and respected by them.


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  #285  
Old February 25th, 2010, 3:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy
because he was giving then extra points and deducting points from students from other houses
I'm not contesting the idea that he might have given the Slytherins points, because it's entirely possible (or even probable) that he could have done it out of sight of other students, but Harry hardly ever sees Snape give anyone points (apart from when he gave his consent for Gryff to get points in OotP ). He mainly seems to deduct them. I get the impression that he wanted to take this tack in class, thinking that punishment would be more effective in getting results. (*insert facepalming emoticon*)


I love the mental image of Professor Snape in the Slytherin Common Room. I doubt he'd really "loosen up" too much, but I can see him being indulgent toward them outside of class.
However, I think it's important to consider how his relationships with the children of DEs would work. He's not a DE anymore, nor does he condone what these kids' parents are out there doing. And yet he still has to buddy up to them, so to speak, to get in good with those families and gather information. Whether he truly likes some of his Slytherins is a question I still can't seem to come to a conclusion about.


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  #286  
Old February 25th, 2010, 8:51 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I found his intelligence magnificent; his work admirable, his remorse very touching, his classroom behaviour strict and sarcastic, his sacrifice moving and his Patronus and the way she touched Harry absolutely wonderful.
Fantastic!!!!


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  #287  
Old February 25th, 2010, 9:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post

I found his intelligence magnificent; his work admirable, his remorse very touching, his classroom behaviour strict and sarcastic, his sacrifice moving and his Patronus and the way she touched Harry absolutely wonderful.
Don't we all just love him

Many people say he was a horrible teacher. But sometimes I wish I had a teacher like him, someone who is absolutely no nonsense, extremely knowledgeable about the subject, can answer any question that pops into your head and yet deliver subtle jokes.


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  #288  
Old February 26th, 2010, 2:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

The only reason some say he was a bad teacher is because he was strict. I think he was probably one of the better teachers because he expected a great deal from his students, even those not from his house. He may have given a somewhat unfair advantage to Slytherins, but he tried his best to teach what he could. He wanted his students to understand exactly what he was teaching, even when he was teaching DADA.


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  #289  
Old February 26th, 2010, 11:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

I've actually had a teacher like Snape. It was disconcerting to say the least at the beginning and I know some students had trouble with her style of teaching. As it turned it out, she was one of the best teachers I had. Her class was never boring and as long as you took what she said in the right spirit, you could enjoy them.
IMO Snape was a little too hard on Neville and Hermione at the beginning. Rn and Harry were not affected by it but it seemed to have caused Neville and Hermione discomfort. However, I think its partly because Jo had to portray Snape as a shady character.


  #290  
Old February 26th, 2010, 11:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slartibartfast View Post
The only reason some say he was a bad teacher is because he was strict. I think he was probably one of the better teachers because he expected a great deal from his students, even those not from his house. He may have given a somewhat unfair advantage to Slytherins, but he tried his best to teach what he could. He wanted his students to understand exactly what he was teaching, even when he was teaching DADA.
There is more to teaching than being strict and standing for no nonsense. There is the small matter of teaching in a capable manner the students in your class who are not as quick to pick up as other students. These children need to be taught, not berated. I have thought for a long time that Hermione did more teaching of Potions than Snape. If she had not been there to explain and help Harry and Ron, I doubt they would have done as well in Potions as they did.


  #291  
Old February 27th, 2010, 1:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
I have thought for a long time that Hermione did more teaching of Potions than Snape. If she had not been there to explain and help Harry and Ron, I doubt they would have done as well in Potions as they did.
I think Hermione's gift was her ability to follow instructions to the letter and that is her downfall in Book Five when she gets Slughorn for a teacher instead of Snape.

Really Snape's teaching style favored Hermione because she could read well and wanted to be meticulous. In effect, Snape taught children best when they were more like himself.

Snape wrote his instructions on the board every year, but for some reason Harry and Ron had trouble following them, while Hermione and others didn't. With Harry at least there might have been an eyesight problem going on, but usually he wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing.

However, when Harry followed along in the Prince's book (Snape's book) he became better at Potions than Hermione, because she wasn't following Snape's recipes anymore. Therefore, I would say they both succeeded because of Snape's influence. JMO


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  #292  
Old February 27th, 2010, 1:13 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

1. Do you think Snape wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
I suppose it's possible....but really I think it was never about Harry in any way other than the fact that he was Lily's son. If he wanted anyone's forgiveness, it was Lily's, which is made obvious by his actions in the books, but there's no actual support for him wanting Harry's approval.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
I think he would look forward to what would no doubt be his illustrious career of rulebreaking.
If this question is about if Snape would be angry about being Harry's son's namesake, I don't really think it would please him, but I doubt it would **** him off either.

3. What would you say was Snape's relationship to other Death Eaters like? What about Order members (during the second war, which excludes James, Sirius and Lily )?
Well, as we can observe from Bella's reactions to him, I'm fairly certain that he doesn't get on remarkably well with the other Death Eaters. He is, after all allowed to spend inordinate amounts of time not working for Voldemort, so in the cases of people like the Malfoys (Lucius especially), I can see it being a jealousy thing...Plus, he does spend fourteen years serving Dumbledore and then, wham, he's Voldemort's favorite? I really doubt the DE are terribly happy about that in general.
As for the Order...well, I'd say his relationships with them are better than with the DE. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that he is really on their side....Basically, he's just his abrasive self with them....

4. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
Would it be too fangirlish to say that I love him just the way he is? Well, yes, probably it would be. But really, I wouldn't have Snape any other way. Maybe make him even snarkier....But other than that, I can't think of anything.

5. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
Phew...geeze, I'm not sure. He is such a proud person....I don't know how well he would have done in post war years. Especially considering everyone in the Wizarding World besides Harry thinks he's a traitor. It's like thinking about what Sirius would have done had his name been cleared in PoA.
Maybe he would have gone on being DADA teacher or something. I think McGonagall would have taken her place as Headmistress after the war....

6. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
Yes. He's almost a tragic hero (he does sort of bring about his own downfall), and he is very, very brave.

7. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
If anything, I think his love for her would have brought him back to the good side. Remember, he didn't turn good because of her death, but the thought that Voldemort might harm her. Even if she had lived (say, if Peter hadn't been a tremendous git), he still would have loved her and fought for the good side because that was where she was, and what she wanted, and also to protect her.

8. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
Well, Dumbledore's death we know was planned between them, something I actually suspected before DH. His treatment of Sirius had a lot to do with the way Sirius treated him at school...sort of like how how Sirius was horrible to Kreacher, so Kreacher was horrible back...So no, actually, his love for Lily didn't really affect my views of his actions that much.

9. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
Because he was finally being accepted by someone. His parents fought a lot, and he was sort of generally rejected by everyone but Lily. Snape's life sucked, so he seems to have cleaved to the things that accept him, like Lily, and other prospective Death Eaters. Kind of like how, in Star Wars, all Chancelor Palpatine had to do to gain Anakin's support was accept him.

10. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
Well, I did have a little revelation about why he was always so awful to Neville. The prophecy could have gone either way, so I believe that Snape feels that Neville, had the Dark Lord picked him instead, could have "saved" Lily. As selfish as that may be, Snape has never presented a terribly selfless attitude , especially when it comes to Lily Potter.

11. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
I think he was desperate and terrified. His actions don't display wonderful selflessness or anything besides intense, almost manic, fear and grief. But he does prove himself brave in going to Dumbledore, and offering him anything in exchange for the protection of the Potters.

12. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
His actions after Lily dies are irrational, but he is grieving. Her death seems to have changed him a little for the worse. Had she lived, there's a chance that he could have turned out to be a nicer human being, and it does seem like her death impacted him negatively, making him bitter and angrier than he was before.

13. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
It's hard to say...but I think his best quality is his loyalty, both to Lily and Dumbledore (once he gets there, anyway). His biggest flaw is his pride, which causes major rifts between himself and Lily, possibly driving him to become a Death Eater, or at least putting him on the path.

14. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
Honestly? No, I don't. I feel that Snape really only saw Harry as a means of redemption, or a link to his mother.

15. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
Both, really. Dumbledore seems to have such influence over Snape as would suggest a father-son relationship, but Snape also speaks to Dumbledore in such a way as suggests friendship close enough for true honesty.

16. Do you think Snape should have been sorted into Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
I think that, yes, Snape had the qualities that make a good Slytherin, but he also would have gone well in Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. He was very, very brave and very, very bright, so it all depends on your point of view. I really doubt he would have made the same sorts of choices had he been in, say, Ravenclaw, or even Gryffindor, with Lily. He did meet his DE friends in Slytherin....Maybe if he'd been sorted elsewhere he and Lily would have even ended up together (O.o moment of existential thought: WOULD HARRY HAVE EXISTED?).

17. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?
Well, Harry's bravery is more...selfless, as Dumbledore himself says. He tends to act for the good of others. Snape also acts for others good, but for other reasons. He goes to Dumbledore for the Potter's good, he protects Harry, he spies on Voldemort. One might even say that Snape is more brave, or at least stronger, than some heroes because he overcomes his own negative reasons to act for the greater good. Does that make sense?

18. What line of profession would Snape have chosen if he had not had to stay at Hogwarts as a professor?
Geez, another hard one. Honestly, I have no idea. Maybe a Healer, since he's good at potions. Or, then again, maybe just a potions supplier for St. Mungo's. I can't see him actually practicing medicine. He's not nice enough (but we love him anyway).


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  #293  
Old February 27th, 2010, 9:53 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I think Hermione's gift was her ability to follow instructions to the letter and that is her downfall in Book Five when she gets Slughorn for a teacher instead of Snape.

Really Snape's teaching style favored Hermione because she could read well and wanted to be meticulous. In effect, Snape taught children best when they were more like himself.

Snape wrote his instructions on the board every year, but for some reason Harry and Ron had trouble following them, while Hermione and others didn't. With Harry at least there might have been an eyesight problem going on, but usually he wasn't paying much attention to what he was doing.

However, when Harry followed along in the Prince's book (Snape's book) he became better at Potions than Hermione, because she wasn't following Snape's recipes anymore. Therefore, I would say they both succeeded because of Snape's influence. JMO
This is a prime example of where I think Snape fails as a teacher. He knows more than the books. But he is content to let his students just follow the instructions. He was the Potions Master for years. He could not in all that time approach DD or the Ministery about amendments to the books. He couldn't say to his students, 'experiment a lttle, don't be afraid to try a slightly different approach'. He did not encourage experimentation and then he remonstrates with Hermione that she she is too slavish in following the instructions. It cannot be both ways. He could either teach in a manner designed to let his students try different ways of doing things, or he was the type of teacher who says 'open your books at page 15, and do the exercise, and no arguements.' I know what kind of teacher he appears to me as.


  #294  
Old February 27th, 2010, 10:57 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
This is a prime example of where I think Snape fails as a teacher. He knows more than the books. But he is content to let his students just follow the instructions. He was the Potions Master for years. He could not in all that time approach DD or the Ministery about amendments to the books. He couldn't say to his students, 'experiment a lttle, don't be afraid to try a slightly different approach'. He did not encourage experimentation and then he remonstrates with Hermione that she she is too slavish in following the instructions. It cannot be both ways. He could either teach in a manner designed to let his students try different ways of doing things, or he was the type of teacher who says 'open your books at page 15, and do the exercise, and no arguements.' I know what kind of teacher he appears to me as.
I think there's evidence in the books to show that he did teach his improvements. First, he wrote the recipes on the board rather have the students read them from the book. However most significant to me is that Hermione always made superior potions before Slughorn's N.E.W.T.'s class, but when she was stuck with the standard text Harry did better because he was using Snape's improvements in the Prince's book.

The only time I recall him telling them to turn to a specific page was when he was subbing for Lupin in DADA and wanted the students to study werewolves.


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  #295  
Old February 27th, 2010, 11:09 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by snapes_witch View Post
I think there's evidence in the books to show that he did teach his improvements. First, he wrote the recipes on the board rather have the students read them from the book. However most significant to me is that Hermione always made superior potions before Slughorn's N.E.W.T.'s class, but when she was stuck with the standard text Harry did better because he was using Snape's improvements in the Prince's book.

The only time I recall him telling them to turn to a specific page was when he was subbing for Lupin in DADA and wanted the students to study werewolves.
If the recipes that he wrote on the board were different from the text then I think we would have at the least heard about it from Hermione. We don't hear from her and when the class moves into Advanced Potions the book is the same as it was when Snape was a student. This tells me that he made no effort to get the book text updated. That Harry can use a book that is at least 20 years old is to me, very telling. It is not surprising that Hermione is struggling, her textbook is inaccurate and yes, after 5 years of just following the text in Snape's classes, she is now trying to create potions from an innaccurate text book. Snape was a teacher for a long time, he could have tried to get his improvements into the official text. Why didn't he?
Well, there is the problem of the plot of THBP, so that could be an answer to my question, but there could have been another reason for Harry to read the Sectumsempra spell somewhere. Sectumsempra is not a potion spell.


  #296  
Old February 27th, 2010, 5:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
If the recipes that he wrote on the board were different from the text then I think we would have at the least heard about it from Hermione. We don't hear from her and when the class moves into Advanced Potions the book is the same as it was when Snape was a student. This tells me that he made no effort to get the book text updated. That Harry can use a book that is at least 20 years old is to me, very telling... Snape was a teacher for a long time, he could have tried to get his improvements into the official text. Why didn't he?
Okay, so between serving as a spy for Dumbledore, serving as a fake spy for Voldemort, protecting Hogwarts, protecting Harry, and spending time with Dumbledore studying the skills he needs in order to succeed in his mission, Snape is also supposed to become a textbook author?

Don't forget... Snape was not hired primarily as a teacher. Being a teacher is his cover. His true job is much more complex and dangerous. Anything that distracts him from the success of his mission is to be eschewed. The recipes on the board should be sufficient. The only thing "telling" is that Snape is an obviously better potioner than the Professor who taught him and than the book he learned out of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza101 View Post
It is not surprising that Hermione is struggling, her textbook is inaccurate and yes, after 5 years of just following the text in Snape's classes, she is now trying to create potions from an innaccurate text book.
No, her text is not inaccurate. Snape's recipes are an improvement, not a correction. If she follows the book, she should be able to create the potion. Snape just found a better way to create the potion. He was smarter and more creative than the book. Hermione was not.


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  #297  
Old February 27th, 2010, 5:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
Okay, so between serving as a spy for Dumbledore, serving as a fake spy for Voldemort, protecting Hogwarts, protecting Harry, and spending time with Dumbledore studying the skills he needs in order to succeed in his mission, Snape is also supposed to become a textbook author?
Well I'm sure he would have done something to pass the time while waiting the 10 years for Harry to come to Hogwarts.
Quote:
Don't forget... Snape was not hired primarily as a teacher. Being a teacher is his cover. His true job is much more complex and dangerous. Anything that distracts him from the success of his mission is to be eschewed. The recipes on the board should be sufficient. The only thing "telling" is that Snape is a obviously better potioner than the Professor who taught him and than the book he learned out of.
That cover was not used for the first 10 years he was in the job. And if what he did for that 10 years for 90% of the time was teaching, that does make him a teacher


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No, her text is not inaccurate. Snape's recipes are an improvement, not a correction. If she follows the book, she should be able to create the potion. Snape just found a better way to create the potion. He was smarter and more creative than the book. Hermione was not.
All the more reason for him to do the improvements. Very few pupils were as clever as Hermione. Snape's position as a teacher should have been to teach as well as he could. He kwne so much about potions and how to improve on the established text. I just think he could have done so much more.


  #298  
Old February 27th, 2010, 6:38 pm
AuditoryEden  Female.gif AuditoryEden is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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All the more reason for him to do the improvements. Very few pupils were as clever as Hermione. Snape's position as a teacher should have been to teach as well as he could. He knew so much about potions and how to improve on the established text. I just think he could have done so much more.
If we look at Snape's behavior throughout the series, we find that Snape doesn't really care all that much about giving an active effort towards helping students succeed. He expects his students to do well on their own, punishing people who help them (see book three, Hermione helps Neville with a shrinking solution), so it seems doubtful that Snape would produce a textbook to help his students excell.
Also, his selfish side probably would have wanted to keep the secrets of his success to himself. He never shows any real signs of wanting to help others except where Lily is concerned; all his actions after her death are prompted by the wish to protect her son.


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  #299  
Old February 27th, 2010, 7:47 pm
TreacleTartlet  Female.gif TreacleTartlet is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

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Originally Posted by AuditoryEden View Post
If we look at Snape's behavior throughout the series, we find that Snape doesn't really care all that much about giving an active effort towards helping students succeed. He expects his students to do well on their own, punishing people who help them (see book three, Hermione helps Neville with a shrinking solution), so it seems doubtful that Snape would produce a textbook to help his students excell.
Also, his selfish side probably would have wanted to keep the secrets of his success to himself.

Snape does not have the students use the text book in his class, instead he writes the method on the board. If he wanted them to use the standard recipes from a text book, why not get them to use the book like Slughorn did. The fact that he bothers to put the recipes on the board indicates to me that Snape was actually teaching the students his own improved recipes.

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He never shows any real signs of wanting to help others except where Lily is concerned; all his actions after her death are prompted by the wish to protect her son.
Snape did help others, for a start he tried to save Lupin in the Seven Potters. Also, he mentions saving the lives of others to Dumbledore in DH.

DH, The Prince's Tale
'How many men and women have you watched die?
'Lately, only those whom I could not save,' said Snape.


  #300  
Old February 27th, 2010, 7:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.14

It seems to me that Snape actually taught and/or gave directions that went beyond what was found in the textbook. I'm not sure I can see that as a bad thing. If all one needed was a textbook then we wouldn't need to have teachers.

The person that really excelled in Potions in book 6 was Harry and it was because he was the only one that in effect was still being taught by Snape. The way the improvements were written was as if his voice was coming through the page. That's partly why Harry felt a connection to the book and looked upon the Prince as a friend, IMHO. It was more than a textbook.

Snape knew more about the subject than the man who taught him. He imparted that knowledge to his students, if we are to believe that those instructions he gave to his students were improvements upon the textbook. I think that's a plausible inference to make. Whether he should have made his own textbook... That I don't know. The WW doesn't seem to be one that accepts changes easily, so I don't know how well received the idea would be. I also don't see Snape even considering to write a textbook until after he was teaching for a while, and by then his other concerns were far more important. He gave the information to his students... that's good enough for me.


 
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