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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #121  
Old February 13th, 2011, 8:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
As I recall, we do learn that Crabbe and Goyle fail (Snape uses Remedial Potions classes as an excuse to keep them from helping Draco in HBP), so he obviously doesn't get all his students through.
It was DADA that Crabbe and Goyle failed not Potions.

"I would've had Crabbe and Goyle with me if you hadn't put them in detention!"

"Keep your voice down!" spat Snape, for Malfoy's voice had risen excitedly. "If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass their Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. this time around, they will need to work a little harder than they are doing at pres --"
(HBP, The Unbreakable Vow)

Quote:
I think many of Snape's students would have done better if Snape had been less fearsome. We know, for example, that Neville excels at DADA under Harry's teaching, because he responds well to praise and encouragement. This has always suggested to me that he would have done better at Potions if Snape had tried a different tack.
I agree, Snape's demeanor probably didn't help some students, as we see with Neville.


Quote:
I think I agree with this (although I do think his treatment of Hermione does raise some questions about his treatment of gifted, enthusiastic students, as well).
On his treatment of Hermione, I don't think he was bothered by her enthusiasm so much, as that she loved showing off. To be honest having a student like, Hermione in the class is a mixed blessing from a teachers point of view. They often have the effect of making other students in the the class lazy. However, there are strategies a teacher can use to deal with this situation, but it can be frustrating when consistantly only one student volunteers to answer questions.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; February 13th, 2011 at 8:22 pm.
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  #122  
Old February 13th, 2011, 8:25 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I always figured Neville must have made an "Acceptable" since he didn't have to do Remedial Potions
I've always assumed that the Hogwarts system is like the RL Muggle education system in England, where you only need to retake subjects at GCSE (OWL) level if you need them for your career or to be able to move onto 'A' level (NEWTs). Harry doesn't retake Divination or History of Magic, despite failing them.

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I just checked the book and McGonagall doesn't make any comment on Potions, so he must not have failed.
But she's only going through the subjects he needs to carry on with his choice of NEWTs, and as he isn't doing NEWT level Potions, she wouldn't need to discuss his Potions result - it would be irrelevant. She doesn't mention the subjects that Harry failed in his interview, so I don't see her failure to mention Potions means that Neville must have passed.

He could well have passed Potions - I just don't think we have enough evidence to come to a firm conclusion one way or the other. Bringing this back to the topic of Snape - I don't see that Neville's result can be used as evidence either for or against Snape's teaching ability, as we don't actually know what it is.

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
It was DADA that Crabbe and Goyle failed not Potions.
MyBad. Thanks - I should have checked. OK, so we don't have any firm evidence that any of his students failed.

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
He probably got a A for Acceptable to my mind. Both he and Harry speak about how much better the examination went without Snape breathing down their necks.
That's a good point - I'd forgotten that the exam went well.

Quote:
PS, I did read a lot of pages before posting but there were only 4 or 5 pages in this thread.
*Puts mod's hat on*

No-one should be expecting you to have read stuff that was posted any longer ago than that. Don't worry about it.



Last edited by Melaszka; February 13th, 2011 at 8:33 pm.
  #123  
Old February 13th, 2011, 8:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
Snape has Bieber fever? How did you find out? You don't read The National Enquirer do you?
No. I read the thread keywords - it's the mods who write them.

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
I don't know if I'm that impressed by Snape passing Umbridge's inspection. I don't if I'm impressed or got a good case of the heebie jeebies
As Mel was so kind to point out, so did McG. And I'm almost sure that fact doesn't give anyone "heebie jeebies" - quite the contrary.

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Harry got an "Exceeds Expectations" on his Potions Owl plus his career goal was to be an Auror, which is why McGonagall made him sign up for Slughorn's class along with Ron.


Do we have any idea how much bearing the class grade has on the OWL outcome, BTW? I've always wondered about that.

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I also think he makes a much better DADA teacher than a Potions teacher (Ernie Macmillan and Hermione both give his first DADA lesson good feedback) and things might have been different if he could have taught his first choice of subject.
Yes, but he teaches advanced level classes with DADA.

I'm still not convinced whether it's subject itself - the Gryffindor issue aside - that made Snape more agreeable a lecturer in the DADA classroom than the Potions one. Even the HBP book is useful only as long as one is willing to venture beyond the curriculum... and Hermione isn't impressed with it .


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  #124  
Old February 13th, 2011, 8:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by TreacleTartlet View Post
On his treatment of Hermione, I don't think he was bothered by her enthusiasm so much, as that she loved showing off. To be honest having a student like, Hermione in the class is a mixed blessing from a teachers point of view. They often have the effect of making other students in the the class lazy. However, there are strategies a teacher can use to deal with this situation, but it can be frustrating when consistantly only one student volunteers to answer questions.
Hermione generally felt that she had the right answer when she volunteered the answer. With other students in Snape's classes, it's possible that they did not volunteer information in Snape's classroom because they did not feel it was a safe environment in which to get an answer wrong. I mean "safe" in the sense that with an abrasive teacher like Snape, they may have wanted to avoid the risk of being belittled if they were wrong (or even if they were right, as was the case with Hermione's answers). I think students may have been reluctant to raise their hands in that situation, and I do not think it was due to Hermione.

ETA -Daggerstone, I think the O.W.L. grade is fully dependent on the examinations at the end of fifth year. Otherwise, external examiners would not be appointed to ensure an unbiased grade.


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  #125  
Old February 13th, 2011, 8:44 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
Do we have any idea how much bearing the class grade has on the OWL outcome, BTW? I've always wondered about that.
In the old GCE 'O'Level system, which is what JKR would have sat at 16, and is probably what the OWL's are based on, there was no class grade. It was solely graded on the externally set and marked written papers and practical exams.

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
With other students in Snape's classes, it's possible that they did not volunteer information in Snape's classroom because they did not feel it was a safe environment in which to get an answer wrong. I mean "safe" in the sense that with an abrasive teacher like Snape, they may have wanted to avoid the risk of being belittled if they were wrong (or even if they were right, as was the case with Hermione's answers). I think students may have been reluctant to raise their hands in that situation, and I do not think it was due to Hermione.
That may indeed be one of the reasons other students did not volunteer to answer questions. Although, do we ever see anyone else ever volunteer an answer when Hermione is in the class, except for the one time in Moody's class?



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; February 14th, 2011 at 2:58 pm.
  #126  
Old February 14th, 2011, 5:47 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
PS, I did read a lot of pages before posting but there were only 4 or 5 pages in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
No-one should be expecting you to have read stuff that was posted any longer ago than that. Don't worry about it.
No one is expecting it -- I just mentioned the comment she made had been discussed previously, and then followed up stating that the previous conversations were still archived. I apologize if my comments were taken wrong -- it wasn't my intent to insinuate that anyone should have to read through umpty-gazillion pages before jumping in with both feet. Heck, that's something Hermione would do... or me. But that's my issue, sure wouldn't expect it of anyone else.

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Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
Do we have any idea how much bearing the class grade has on the OWL outcome, BTW? I've always wondered about that.
Don't all the OWL exams have a written and a practical component to them (except I suppose for History of Magic)? That would be two areas students (and by extension, their teacher) would be graded in for the entire OWL grade. If students constantly failed their OWLs in Potions, I'm sure the Ministry would have done something about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggerstone View Post
teaches advanced level classes with DADA.


And his success there indicates that he would have been much happier and probably much less abrasive teaching advance classes only, and not having to teach people who didn't want to be there.

If I may pull out a personal experience, the scariest chemistry prof at my university was evil and vicious with the 100 level classes; once you got up into the 300 and 400 levels though he was just the sweetest, nicest guy in the world. He just couldn't deal with teaching the underclassmen the basics.

Standard JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies.


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  #127  
Old February 14th, 2011, 6:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
Do we actually know whether Neville passed his OWL or not?
I assumed he passed Potions, because he never said anything to the contrary when he was chatting with Harry about his OWLS. Harry also never pointed out that Neville failed because of how hateful Snape had been to him all along. I took the absence of any remark of failing any subject as Neville having passed in everything. But there's no canon specifically to say he passed everything.

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As he never opted to study Potions at NEWT level, that is one subject which doesn't come up in his interview with McGonagall where we learn most of Neville's results.


Quote:
We know, for example, that Neville excels at DADA under Harry's teaching, because he responds well to praise and encouragement. This has always suggested to me that he would have done better at Potions if Snape had tried a different tack.
Neville also had no problems with Snape in his DADA lessons in their sixth year; the problem I think was not how Snape dealt with him, but the subject itself. There are no incidents in sixth year where Snape and Neville have what can be called confrontations which are harsh on Neville. IIRC, there was something about Neville melting some six cauldrons in Potions, which makes me feel that it was the subject and not the teacher (who reacted to Neville's clumsiness which could be dangerous to Neville and his partners)which was the problem.

Quote:
Also, Harry (ironically) learns much more from PotionsBook!Snape, who explains things clearly and is fun, than he does from flesh and blood Snape in class.
This is one of the things that made me feel Snape was a good teacher and he might have been far more pleasant (though not less harsh if he felt he was dealing with carelessness) if only he had not been a spy. I think having a secret life along with his public life all through his teaching years made a difference to the man/teacher he might have been and I don't in the Books we've seen that Snape, who was a teacher alone.

However I think he's shown to us through a few things, that suggest Snape is not what he seems on the surface and neither is he what students think of him. One is I think the HBP Book, where his creativity and his clear explanations make the Book and through that Snape interesting, friendly and fun and the other is the Silver Doe, which speaks of a soul and interior that is so radically different from the assumed exterior. Both the HBP Book and the Silver Doe guide Harry and both get Harry's approval, affection and trust. Perhaps if Snape had not been a spy, if he was a normal teacher (I think he would not have been a teacher if not for the spying) he may have been different; only slightly though; he would have I think been sarcastic, not suffered dunderheads and fools gladly, been strict and harsh, but he would not have been personal (to Harry) if it weren't for the spying.

Maybe it was this Snape, Harry saw after the war, which led him to name his second son after Snape imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I always figured Neville must have made an "Acceptable" since he didn't have to do Remedial Potions, and McGonagall says "Acceptable" wasn't good enough to get into a Newt class in Transfiguration. Considering he was worried about dropping Transfiguration due to his Gran's opinion, she probably wouldn't have allowed him to flunk a subject and not repeat it for a better grade.

I just checked the book and McGonagall doesn't make any comment on Potions, so he must not have failed.

Harry got an "Exceeds Expectations" on his Potions Owl plus his career goal was to be an Auror, which is why McGonagall made him sign up for Slughorn's class along with Ron.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; February 14th, 2011 at 6:45 am.
  #128  
Old February 14th, 2011, 3:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
So, Susan, this is the long way of saying that I disagree with your assessment that a double agent needs to appear neutral. The opposite is often, in fact, the case.
And in my opinion, the books offer evidence that Snape understood his role as you do, and acted accordingly. One need only compare how he handled Sirius, an Order member (in OotP), and his (rather similar, personality-wise) cousin, a Death Eater (in HBP). The sarcasm and coldness that are his trademarks throughout are apparent in both scenes, but Sirius he is happy to provoke until Harry needs to physically prevent a magical altercation, whereas Bellatrix, he placates in various ways when she is about to boil over. The courtesy and consideration he appears to extend to Narcissa in the same scene, we do not see in any scene I can remember anywhere in the series with any Order character, excepting only (and even this, arguably) Albus Dumbledore in scenes when they are alone.

Other examples contrasting Snape's demeanor towards Order members and DEs abound, IMO.

Regarding the DADA curse, I am convinced Snape was aware of it (as it was common knowledge among the students, and as he has seen it in action for his entire life in the WW.) Did he want the DADA position? I think yes, in the sense that it is and was his favorite subject, and no, in the sense that he needs to stay at Hogwarts.

Based on statements by characters in the books, I agree it was the DADA position that Snape applied for, but it was the Potions position he was given by Dumbledore. Whether or not at the time Snape was pleased by this, and whether or not Albus explained his reasons to Snape, I think by the time, ten years later, that Harry comes to school, Snape has every intention (whatever his inclinations) to continue in Potions.

I don't find the speculation that Snape believed he could break the curse, convincing, for a couple of reasons. First, its duration. To believe he could, he would have to believe that he is Dumbledore's superior in this, as Dumbledore has been unable to stop it for decades. I do not see evidence Snape sees himself in such a light, I see evidence that Snape, to the contrary, believes in Dumbledore's expertise even after his trust in Albus's goodness is shaken (by the "revelation", in the timeline of HBP, that Albus has always planned for Harry's death). We also have Snape's own words comparing himself, in terms of magical power, to Albus, in OotP, in a private conversation with Harry Potter:

OotP"Do not say the Dark Lord’s name!" spat Snape.

There was a nasty silence. They glared at each other across the Pensieve.

"Professor Dumbledore says his name," said Harry quietly.

"Dumbledore is an extremely powerful wizard," Snape muttered. "While he may feel secure enough to use the name…the rest of us…"


It seems to me this is telling us Snape believed himsself less powerful.

Second, the glory-seeking motivation suggested does not accord with what we see of him in the series, IMO. Possibly before Lily's death he would briefly have toyed with such an idea (speculatively, as we are never shown him in this period). After, it seems to me he has voluntarily accepted a role that involves hiding his (considerable) light under the proverbial bushel, as no one but Dumbledore knows what he has accomplished.


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  #129  
Old February 14th, 2011, 3:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I've always been under the impression that Neville passed Potions, as per TGW, because there is nothing mentioned about his failing. With all of the emphasis on how badly he was treated during Potions class, I really think there would have been something mentioned if he, or any of Harry's inside circle had failed.

Also, we never hear anything about Severus being so terrible from Ginny, Fred, or George Weasley, or really any of the others. And, I only remember one disparaging remark about Ron, and that was at the Dueling Club when his wand was broken.

So the onlly ones we see he is overly snarky with are:

Harry, who, while being treated badly because of Severus' animosity towards James (which, I believe, we have reached a consensus on, was wrong), also did enough to get snarked at regularly;

Hermione, who relied more on what was on the page than what she could do with that knowledge (IMO, Severus may have felt she was so intelligent she should have looked "beyond" the books, somewhat like he did...that she was wasting her talents);

Neville, who was almost totally incompetent in Potions and probably shouldn't have been allowed anywhere near a cauldron. I agree Severus' methods only seemed to succeed in worsening the situation, but, Neville, IMO, would have not been good at Potions, no matter who was teaching him.


I've thought about Severus' not really having chosen to be a teacher, but, more or less, being forced into a teaching position. We've speculated on several occasions as to what else he might have done. However, reading back on the previous thread, it seemed to many of us that Hogwarts was the only real home he'd ever known...somewhat like Harry and Tom Riddle. I'm wondering, had there been no Voldemort (which would have meant no wars, no spying, and no curse on the position) if Severus might not have applied for and gotten the DADA position? He had a talent and interest in the subject, and, as we see in HBP, was very good at teaching it. He didn't seem to have any family or other ties outside the school.

It would have been nice if JKR had somehow worked in a memory about his interview with his Head of House after his O.W.L.S. as to what his choice of a career path was. That would have given us a bit more insight into him.

Question: While Severus was teaching DADA during HBP, do you think he had to be careful how "well" he was teaching the students to defend themselves so as not to raise any suspicions with Voldemort? Or, was that his chance to give them some of the tools he knew they would be needing soon?


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  #130  
Old February 14th, 2011, 8:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
It would have been nice if JKR had somehow worked in a memory about his interview with his Head of House after his O.W.L.S. as to what his choice of a career path was. That would have given us a bit more insight into him.
That would have been really interesting, or if she had included more of his classes with other houses, or advanced classes. Unfortunately, it wasn't "Severus Snape and the Boy Who Lived"... and if she was more amenable to fandom running with her characters, that would be an interesting series! Like the Star Trek extracurricular books...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Question: While Severus was teaching DADA during HBP, do you think he had to be careful how "well" he was teaching the students to defend themselves so as not to raise any suspicions with Voldemort? Or, was that his chance to give them some of the tools he knew they would be needing soon?
I think he had to balance his teaching with his status as an often-Legilimensed spy, just as he had to with every other thing he did. I also believe he did his very best to give his students the tools they needed. IMHO it wasn't in Severus' nature to do anything by half measures -- he would have taught DADA to the absolute best of his ability, just as he taught Potions.

That said, he probably had to maintain his snarky, critical persona as protection, so that what LV saw when he went brain-picking was the same difficult person who made learning a frightening experience. However, DADA would be frightening to begin with, so possibly the lines between whether the class was frightened by Severus vs. the subject matter were blurred enough that Severus was safe in teaching the kids exactly what they needed to know.

JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies.


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  #131  
Old February 14th, 2011, 8:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Question: While Severus was teaching DADA during HBP, do you think he had to be careful how "well" he was teaching the students to defend themselves so as not to raise any suspicions with Voldemort? Or, was that his chance to give them some of the tools he knew they would be needing soon?
I think he would have had to restrain himself, he probably wanted to train them hard to make them a kind of army. However, he had to attach to school currículum without catching much attention. Quite frustrating for him though. When I read the book I was a bit dissapointed with the DADA lecture scene, I was expecting him to teach the kids curses from the range of "Sectumsempra" and on.


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  #132  
Old February 14th, 2011, 9:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
When I read the book I was a bit dissapointed with the DADA lecture scene, I was expecting him to teach the kids curses from the range of "Sectumsempra" and on.
I think it is significant that we did not see this. The Carrows taught such things, in the classes we did not see (but heard enough about to know the Unforgivables and Fiendfyre were both taught).

In all the instances we were shown of Snape teaching DADA/duelling, he taught defenses. The first instance was in CoS, when he took advantage of Lockhart's Duelling Club to teach the students "Expelliarmus" (which came in handy for Harry on so many occasions.)

The second was in HBP, in the first class. He wanted the students (especially Harry) to practice blocking spells non-verbally.

The third was the next class we see, in which he collects an essay on defenses against Dementors, refers to an earlier essay on resisting the Imperius Curse, and answers a question about Inferi brought up by a student concerned about current events.

This might have been about spying to some extent, since it might be that this would seem to be him, holding his students back, to the other Death Eaters and Voldemort. Given, however, that this also seems to be his personal modus operandi when dealing with attacks as an adult (again, examples include the Duelling Club, most of his duel with Harry in HBP, and his duel with the Hogwarts teachers in DH) I think this is also the information Snape believed would be most valuable to his students.

His speech is about how flexible their defenses must be, after all.


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Last edited by arithmancer; February 14th, 2011 at 9:37 pm.
  #133  
Old February 14th, 2011, 11:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
I think he would have had to restrain himself, he probably wanted to train them hard to make them a kind of army. However, he had to attach to school currículum without catching much attention. Quite frustrating for him though. When I read the book I was a bit dissapointed with the DADA lecture scene, I was expecting him to teach the kids curses from the range of "Sectumsempra" and on.
I agree with Arithmancer's view. I think the distinction is made in DH that the Carrows "taught" the Dark Arts, which is similar to what Lord Voldemort wanted to do with the DADA job, and what FakeMoody/Barty Jr. did in GoF with the Unforgiveables.

Whereas Snape taught DADA as a cautionary defense class, with all the warning pictures on the wall of what those dark spells could actually do to someone. To me that is sort of like the "defensive driving" classes they teach in the U.S. in which they show kids films about car wrecks to make a point about the seriousness of the responsibility. Harry thought Snape showed them those pictures and made his speech about evil being a "multi-headed monster" because he "loved" the Dark Arts, but I think he loved teaching them how to fight back against the Dark Arts. JMO

Also, Snape denounced Sectumsempra to Harry as a Dark spell right after he found Draco, and he also said, "No Unforgivables for you!" in Flight of the Prince. I think that shows where adult Snape's mind was at about dark spells, otherwise to my mind he would be no better than the Carrows or Voldemort, yet we know he was on the opposite side.


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  #134  
Old February 15th, 2011, 12:46 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I don't mean that he would teach DA in order to make the students "addict" to them as he himself was in his youth, of course not, I just thought that he would give the DA the treatment one would give to Martial Arts, you know how to injure, yet you are thought you don't have to injure unless necessary.
Similar to that is what Lupin tells Harry in DH, that it is no time for soft spells, that he needs to use stronger things.
So I guess to me, Snape would have thought kids to know and master dark spells, and over all, not to use them. And I think he woud do so in order for them to really understand the "punch" and so be more effective in protective spells.
When I said "train them as an army" I meant something in the lines of "Dumbledore's army" not in the lines of Death Eaters. What they learn with Harry, even if it is not considered DA, they are still offensive spells, not defensive.


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  #135  
Old February 15th, 2011, 12:58 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by arithmancer View Post
In all the instances we were shown of Snape teaching DADA/duelling, he taught defenses.... also seems to be his personal modus operandi when dealing with attacks as an adult (again, examples include the Duelling Club, most of his duel with Harry in HBP, and his duel with the Hogwarts teachers in DH) I think this is also the information Snape believed would be most valuable to his students.

His speech is about how flexible their defenses must be, after all.
This is an interesting angle that I think should be explored. We never see Snape on the attack except when he kills Dumbledore, which wasn't really an attack, IMO. Snape is all about defense -- he disarmed Lockhart, he taught defense, he couched everything in terms of defense, and even when Harry was flinging everything in the book at him during TFotP, all Severus ever did was block the spells, except at the end, when he finally popped Harry with the wizarding equivalent of a newspaper on a puppy's behind, so that Severus could get away. (IMO)

If nothing else, Severus' refusal to use anything except defensive magic shows me how far he had come in his redemptive arc, even as early as CoS.

JMHO, YMMV disclaimer applies.


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  #136  
Old February 15th, 2011, 1:11 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
I don't mean that he would teach DA in order to make the students "addict" to them as he himself was in his youth, of course not, I just thought that he would give the DA the treatment one would give to Martial Arts, you know how to injure, yet you are thought you don't have to injure unless necessary.
Similar to that is what Lupin tells Harry in DH, that it is no time for soft spells, that he needs to use stronger things.
Well, Remus and Severus never did agree on much, did they? And as I recall, Harry disagreed with that approach, too.

To me, Martial Arts is also about defense, and it's taught that way in most classes. Throwing someone over your shoulder and injuring them so you can get away isn't the same thing as controlling, torturing, or killing with Unforgivables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sekhmetlion
When I said "train them as an army" I meant something in the lines of "Dumbledore's army" not in the lines of Death Eaters. What they learn with Harry, even if it is not considered DA, they are still offensive spells, not defensive.
Harry sort of trained the Army ~ Dumbledore's Army ~ in OotP, and he did it in terms of defensive spells like Patronuses, so I think that fits with the theme in the books of not having to sink to that dark level in order to fight back, which is why I believe "Expelliarmus" won the day in DH instead of "Avada Kedavra." JMO


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  #137  
Old February 15th, 2011, 2:13 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Good points about the defensive spells. Another example of Severus only using defensive tactics was when McGonagall and the other teachers drove him out of Hogwarts. He used only defensive tactics, even though they were using much stronger offensive spells and trying to do him harm. So, even in self-defense, he did not attack or use anything "Dark."


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  #138  
Old February 15th, 2011, 4:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Good points about the defensive spells.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Another example of Severus only using defensive tactics was when McGonagall and the other teachers drove him out of Hogwarts. He used only defensive tactics, even though they were using much stronger offensive spells and trying to do him harm. So, even in self-defense, he did not attack or use anything "Dark."
I'm rereading PoA right now, and they've all gathered in the Shrieking Shack. Even then, all Severus does is tie up Lupin. He threatens Sirius when Sirius begins to curse him, but he doesn't follow through. He doesn't even Expelliarmus anyone.

Of course, he gets a Triple Expelliarmus which knocks him out, but still...


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  #139  
Old February 15th, 2011, 4:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by sekhmetlion View Post
I just thought that he would give the DA the treatment one would give to Martial Arts, you know how to injure, yet you are thought you don't have to injure unless necessary.
Similar to that is what Lupin tells Harry in DH, that it is no time for soft spells, that he needs to use stronger things.
So I guess to me, Snape would have thought kids to know and master dark spells, and over all, not to use them. And I think he woud do so in order for them to really understand the "punch" and so be more effective in protective spells.
This is the spirit in which I took your remarks. I would not consider that teaching such as you describe would be at all a bad thing, for what it is worth; as a black belt in a martial art myself, I find the analogy apt. (And since I only ever used my art in sport competition, I never had to decide what level of injury was "necessary"). In fact we do see Snape use a Dark Curse defensively (Sectumsempra, to prevent a Death Eater from killing Lupin, while also only injuring, not killing, the DE, in the incident which results in George's accidental loss of an ear).

I just find it interesting that the books did not go there (showing Snape teach curses), hence my post. I also find it very interesting that Harry did not agree with Lupin. ("I won't blast people out of the way just because they're there ... That's Voldemort's job.") And of course, at the very end, he protects his friends from Voldemort with Protego, and in his duel with Voldemort, uses Expelliarmus.

I think there is something thematic going on with this, myself. In my opinion, Rowling is trying to say something about the problem inherent in humans who know how to injure, making a decision as to whether it is necessary in a particular instance. (Totally OT remark, this is why I think she had Harry successfully torture Amycus...was this really necessary? ) I think Snape's character arc is exemplifying this theme (among others). In Snape's Worst Memory, for example, Snape is seen using a spell to cut James. He thought it was "necessary", at the time, I would argue. I think it is justifiable under the circumstances, given that he was attacked by two boys in the incident. But was it the best possible response, objectively speaking? Well, probably not...but it gave Snape (momentarily) the satisfaction of hurting his opponent as he himself had been hurt.

So, in adult Snape's avoidance of such spells, and in not seeing him teach them, I think we are being shown his growth. He knows (IMO) that he is not the best judge of what is "necessary".


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Last edited by arithmancer; February 15th, 2011 at 5:01 am.
  #140  
Old February 15th, 2011, 9:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think I see what you're saying, arithmancer, but let me repeat it "in my own words" to see if I have it right:

The difference in Severus as a young man "dabbling" in spells such as Sectumsepra, and, using a cutting spell as a defense, even though he might have used a lesser spell -- compared to Severus the adult, who uses only defensive spells, unless really necessary to use something more destructive (such as in "The Seven Potters"), shows his emotional and moral growth from child to man?

Do I have it about right?

Just my opinion, but, it seems with Dumbledore and Severus, they show their strength through restraint. Use only what you have to when you have to and to the limit you have to. In some philosophies, this is the sign of true of power and wisdom.


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