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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12



View Poll Results: What is Snape's greatest weakness?
his vindictiveness 73 36.14%
his inability to move on 97 48.02%
his unsocial behaviour 40 19.80%
his vanity in regard to his intellect 14 6.93%
his inability to take responsibility for his own actions 29 14.36%
his love for Lily 41 20.30%
I don't see Snape having any particular weaknesses. 9 4.46%
I bet Moriath liked this poll better than the last. 28 13.86%
Where is my favourite option? 18 8.91%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 202. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #61  
Old July 13th, 2009, 11:54 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon.
Oh, mine too.

But I don't always give him a pass card where Harry is concerned.

Quote:
We never see him torture anyone, or use Unforgivables, he tells Harry not to use Unforgivables, he was in love with Muggleborn witch all his life, he tells Phineas Nigellus not to use the word Mudblood, he is clearly against Dark Magic as an adult and teaches kids how to fight back, and most of his detentions are done without magic even in Deathly Hallows when he sends kids off to the forest for an evening with Hagrid to make it all sound scary to the rather stupid Death Eaters who don't have a clue.
Agreed.

Quote:
That's the genius in Snape because he has stopped crossing many lines and given up being a Death Eater, but still manages to stay under the radar of the Death Eaters and fool the Dark Lord. It wouldn't be so satisfying as a plotline if Snape were still as bad as they are. He would just be another bad guy in the crowd, but he isn't.
You're preaching to the converted here.

Quote:
By the end of Deathly Hallows, Snape doesn't come across as a scary guy, and I don't think Harry would name his son after a scary guy anyway. Just my opinion.
Well, you don't have to tell me that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
ETA: Here's the comic. Fanon Snape there looks too much like a younger Sirius.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; July 14th, 2009 at 12:01 am.
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  #62  
Old July 14th, 2009, 12:15 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl
But I don't always give him a pass card where Harry is concerned.
Neither do I, but if Harry can forgive him, so can I. And while Harry carries scars from alot of emotional things that happen to him, I don't think he was traumatized for life by his interactions with Snape. Just my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ignisia
ETA: Here's the comic. Fanon Snape there looks too much like a younger Sirius.
I think that artist is confused anyway. JKR is the one to blame for all the references to Snape's dark eyes, his emo childhood, and his "silky" voice. Why do we get blamed for something JKR wrote? Please send your cards and letters to the author.


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  #63  
Old July 14th, 2009, 6:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
As for 'not blaming others for his poor choices', well, he does have a capacity for holding enormous grudges (He is not the only character in the Potterverse to do that, of course!)
Grudges against the Marauders is the only grudge I think Snape harboured. That I think was because of their mutual hatred for each other starting from their first day on the train. And Snape, seeing the SWM, seems to come off worse in most of their exchanges. Surprisingly, in the detention in HBP, Harry goes through the files of wrong doers and offenders, Snape's own name never seems to appear. Which makes me feel that Snape was pretty much the victim and came off second in all their exchanges which I presume were like the SWM or exchanges like that on the train.

Seven years of such rivalry IMO would leave a hatred in anyone's mind, and I think Snape was no exception.

Sirius and James and Remus hated Snape too, though I think they hated him, because he was a Slytherin and he was friends with a girl James liked.

Apart from the Marauders, I don't think Snape held a grudge or a hatred or dislike towards anyone. No one we see in canon.

Quote:
Some people I know thought that Snape's motive (loving Lily) simplified him as a character, but that is not how I see it. JKR paints the conundrum of a man who does the right thing not always for the right reasons: a man who works to protect the son of a man he hated and a woman he loved. So I have stopped wishing she had made Snape 'nicer' ... I like the character as he is, dark side and all.
I think Snape's love for Lily is very different from what his character was. That love lifted him, but his intelligence, his capacity to love and his brilliance never changed when he was a DE and never changed when he turned. Lily's death brought home to him, what his side was doing and how much it could hurt others, because it hurt him. By touching him personally, her death taught him to see where he was going wrong.

His love for Lily changed his ideals, because he realised that those ideals were wrong and would not bring him the glory or the power he sought. He had the courage to walk away not only from Voldemort, but from the glory and the power he was seeking for the rest of his life.

Lily, helped him only by being the girl Snape loved. But truly, it was Snape's love that was pure, Snape's love that changed him and Snape's love that made him grow.

His character grew and evolved because he, Snape had the capacity to love, recognise that love, give it the importance and had the courage to change for it IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
My problem is when people paint Snape as darker than he actually was in the canon.


1) Lucius Malfoy got a dark object into Hogwarts to kill muggleborns.
2) Sirius sent Snape into the tunnel to be cursed or die
3) Remus never reveals Sirius animagus form even after Sirius breaks into Gryffindor Tower
4) Draco repaired the vanishing cabinet that brought Fenrir and other DEs into Hogwarts and was responsible for Bill Weasley's partial curse.

Snape was a DE like Lucius Malfoy and Draco and Regulus. He made mistakes and he understood he made them and once he understood he was in the wrong, he made efforts to correct them.

Can we say the same of any of these people I've written above? I don't think so. None of them actually repented and non of them cared enough about their mistakes that they took steps to correct it and yet, it's Snape who's the villain all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittling View Post
Actually what was said was that in the 7th year Snape didn't miss an opportunity to hex James. To me that fact that it is specified as the 7th year means that a change in behaviour is marked and thus he did not hex James at every opportunity before that.


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Last edited by The_Green_Woods; July 14th, 2009 at 6:21 am.
  #64  
Old July 14th, 2009, 8:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I don't think making broad comparisons work in helping to define who Snape was or how he was. Pulling one deed from Lucius' life or Remus' life, etc., doesn't define them as people, imo. I feel one has to take a person's entire life into consideration and it is the same with Snape. If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.
Well, I don't think Snape's a saint as much as I think he's human, much more than the other "good characters".

1) Lucius Malfoy -- DE until last minute in the Forest. Was willing to hand over Harry even in Malfoy Manor in DH.

2) Sirius Black -- reckless, and had a biased view of Slytherin and judged people without knowing them. He thought nothing of accusing people (Snape in OOTP, Slytherins in general) and he did this all through his life. He also had isolated incidents where he sent those he did not like to meet fully grown werewolves and the like.

3) Remus Lupin -- Had no remorse of hiding Sirius's animagus form; he never resigned the next day or told Dumbledore about it, even after the break in. He also partial as a prefect in his school days, not doing his duties properly always. By cutting a lot of slack for the 3 boys who friended him, Remus made others suffer for that slack, the SWM one such incident we see in canon IMO.

4) Draco became a DE; thought it was the right thing to do and then set traps for Dumbledore, not caring that others could also lose their lives, if Dumbledore failed to take the bait.

If I see what Snape did all his life, like the other 4 persons I have given, then

Snape -- became a DE after school at 18; turned over the prophecy to Voldemort when he was 19 and then changed when he was 20 years, coming to Dumbledore on the hill and then for the next 18 years he spent his life as a spy for Dumbledore and pretended to work for Voldemort as his DE and spy in the Order.

To keep his cover he taught in Hogwarts, because Voldemort had ordered him to get a job there.

Snape if he was nasty, harsh or partial had a reason. He was there as a spy for Voldemort and was behaving in the manner Voldemort expected him to.

Can we say that the other repented or had reasons for their behaviour, except perhaps Draco? Can we say they felt remorse or that they felt ashamed of their actions. None that we see in canon and yet it's Snape's actions which are looked at in the negative always.


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  #65  
Old July 14th, 2009, 11:38 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
I don't think making broad comparisons work in helping to define who Snape was or how he was. Pulling one deed from Lucius' life or Remus' life, etc., doesn't define them as people, imo. I feel one has to take a person's entire life into consideration and it is the same with Snape. If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.
I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.

And I think the reason that in the end Snape comes across to many readers as understandably human is because we know so much about him compared to other characters. He made alot of mistakes and the same could be said for almost any character whose entire life is written about in these books.

In Goblet of Fire, there is a theme about Snape's "second chances" and Harry not understanding why Dumbledore trusted him so much. Yes, that's the book in which we find out that Snape was a Death Eater, and the book with the infamous "Hermione's Teeth" fiasco.

But to balance all that, JKR makes sure that we realize Snape is not a real Death Eater anymore. In the Pensieve, Harry hears Dumbledore say that Snape was no more a Death Eater than he was. When he rushes in with Dumbledore and McGonagall to help save Harry from Fake Moody, she mentions his face "scowling" out of Barty's Foe Glass three separate times. He hates Barty as much as Barty hates him.

And that goes back to an earlier scene in which Dumbledore's trust is balanced against the idea that because Snape still has the Dark Mark he is unable to change. Fake Moody confronts Snape at night and taunts him about his past:

GoF"You know I'm hiding nothing, Moody," he said in a soft and dangerous voice, "as you've searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself."

Moodys face twisted into a smile. "Auror's privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -"

"Dumbledore happens to trust me," said Snape through clenched teeth. "I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!"

"Course Dumbledore trusts you," growled Moody. "Hes a trusting man, isn't he? Believes in second chances. But me - I say there are spots that don't come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"

Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

Moody laughed. "Get back to bed, Snape."

"You don't have the authority to send me anywhere!" Snape hissed, letting go of his arm as though angry with himself. "I have as much right to prowl this school after dark as you do!"

"Prowl away," said Moody, but his voice was full of menace. "I look forward to meeting you in a dark corridor some time...


Harry hears all this and once again thinks the worst of Snape because he sees Moody as a good guy. But the idea of "spots that don't come off" is a Death Eater's idea of redemption. Once again, JKR turns it all around at the end of the book. Barty-Moody is the real lying and conniving Death Eater and "most faithful servant," while Snape is Dumbledore's Man.


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  #66  
Old July 14th, 2009, 12:28 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Grudges against the Marauders is the only grudge I think Snape harboured. That I think was because of their mutual hatred for each other starting from their first day on the train. And Snape, seeing the SWM, seems to come off worse in most of their exchanges. Surprisingly, in the detention in HBP, Harry goes through the files of wrong doers and offenders, Snape's own name never seems to appear. Which makes me feel that Snape was pretty much the victim and came off second in all their exchanges which I presume were like the SWM or exchanges like that on the train.

Seven years of such rivalry IMO would leave a hatred in anyone's mind, and I think Snape was no exception.
I too noted the lack of Snape's name in the detention cards, but came to a different conclusion. If Snape was a Marauder victim, his name would have come up in the detention cards, just like the names of the other victims did. I concluded that although Snape and the Marauders hated each other, Snape was not a special victim of the Marauders, and the Marauders did not seek him out for bullying, until after the werewolf incident. After that, I think Snape was on their radar, because they wanted to get even.


  #67  
Old July 14th, 2009, 12:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

I meant as the aggressor; as the victim we don't have any other names except Betram Aubrey, so Snape's name could have been there or most likely since Snape was a Slytherin, acts gainst him would have gone unnoticed or unpunished. The SWM did not see punishments for either the Marauders for starting it or for Snape for retaliating or taking away points from him for the use of mudblood IMO.
-------------------

But I don't understand wht you mean by this. Could you please explain?

Quote:
until after the werewolf incident. After that, I think Snape was on their radar, because they wanted to get even.
The Marauders wanted to get even with Snape for Sirius sending Snape into the tunnel? Why?


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  #68  
Old July 14th, 2009, 1:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I meant as the aggressor; as the victim we don't have any other names except Betram Aubrey, so Snape's name could have been there or most likely since Snape was a Slytherin, acts gainst him would have gone unnoticed or unpunished. The SWM did not see punishments for either the Marauders for starting it or for Snape for retaliating or taking away points from him for the use of mudblood IMO.
-------------------

But I don't understand wht you mean by this. Could you please explain?



The Marauders wanted to get even with Snape for Sirius sending Snape into the tunnel? Why?
I agree with you that Snape hated James and Sirius since the train, and James and Sirius hated Snape since the train, but the detention cards don't show Snape to be any kind of victim of bullying.

I don't think the Marauders feel a need to get even for Sirius sending Snape down the tunnel ( that doesn't even make sense?). Sirius complained that Snape was sneaking around after them, trying to get them expelled. Snape seems to confirm this with his conversation with Lily, where he reveals that he is trying to show her that the Marauders are not wonderful. His motive, as revealed by him, has nothing to do with being bullied and everything to do with the fear that James likes Lily and Lily might start liking James back.

So Snape follows them around trying to get them in trouble, and then the Marauders want to get even when they see him near them.


  #69  
Old July 14th, 2009, 1:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
II don't think the Marauders feel a need to get even for Sirius sending Snape down the tunnel ( that doesn't even make sense?).
That is what I understood and I also thought that it made no sense.

Quote:
So Snape follows them around trying to get them in trouble, and then the Marauders want to get even when they see him near them.
And one of them get even by sending Snape into the tunnel? But I think I'll not elaborate, I'm getting into a banned topic.

Quote:
posted by guad
I'm pretty sure you're not the only one. I personally have the same problem, but the other way around.
Snape was proved to be better than what Harry, Ron, Sirius and Remus and others thought he was for the first six books, by Harry himself both in his fight with Voldemort and in the epilogue.

On the other hand, we have nothing to say other characters evolved as Snape did, from their childish past to grow up to be men. Ron, for an example.


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  #70  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Apart from the Marauders, I don't think Snape held a grudge or a hatred or dislike towards anyone. No one we see in canon.
Er ... Harry???

Now, I don't find Snape unredeemable or unforgivable because of his attitude to Harry. Obviously Harry didn't either. (And neither, I would say, does JKR. ) But I just can't argue that one away, not based on my interpretation of the interaction between Snape and Harry, and what JKR says about it.

I may not agree with her but it's her fictional construct. Which we are free to critique, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.
I agree. HP may be a fantasy saga but it's fantasy with psychologically believable characters. Of course JKR makes a very clear distinction between good and evil in her saga. But that doesn't automatically make everyone on the side of good a saint, and it doesn't make everyone on the 'wrong' side a villain without any redeeming qualities.

Needless to say, I regard Snape as having turned from the 'wrong' to the 'right' side.

Quote:
GoF"You know I'm hiding nothing, Moody," he said in a soft and dangerous voice, "as you've searched my office pretty thoroughly yourself."

Moodys face twisted into a smile. "Auror's privilege, Snape. Dumbledore told me to keep an eye -"

"Dumbledore happens to trust me," said Snape through clenched teeth. "I refuse to believe that he gave you orders to search my office!"

"Course Dumbledore trusts you," growled Moody. "Hes a trusting man, isn't he? Believes in second chances. But me - I say there are spots that don't come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d'you know what I mean?"

Snape suddenly did something very strange. He seized his left forearm convulsively with his right hand, as though something on it had hurt him.

Moody laughed. "Get back to bed, Snape."

"You don't have the authority to send me anywhere!" Snape hissed, letting go of his arm as though angry with himself. "I have as much right to prowl this school after dark as you do!"

"Prowl away," said Moody, but his voice was full of menace. "I look forward to meeting you in a dark corridor some time...


Harry hears all this and once again thinks the worst of Snape because he sees Moody as a good guy. But the idea of "spots that don't come off" is a Death Eater's idea of redemption. Once again, JKR turns it all around at the end of the book. Barty-Moody is the real lying and conniving Death Eater and "most faithful servant," while Snape is Dumbledore's Man.
Totally agree with this. Very perceptive analysis, SIP.


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  #71  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Snape was proved to be better than what Harry, Ron, Sirius and Remus and others thought he was for the first six books, by Harry himself both in his fight with Voldemort and in the epilogue.

On the other hand, we have nothing to say other characters evolved as Snape did, from their childish past to grow up to be men. Ron, for an example.
That wasn't my point. SIP said that she had a problem with excessif blackpainting of Snape and I say I have the same problem but the other way around, meaning excessif gloryfying of Snape. I tried to illustrate this in a humourous way through this comic linked above.

Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.

As a few random examples: Saying that Lily loved Snape and James used lovepotion to marry her. Saying that Snape won the war, which is IMO taking away credit of other people such as Harry, Dumbledore, Ron, Hermione, Neville or Dobby. Painting Snape as a gothic hero.
Similary it's not correct IMO to say that Snape is a sadist.

I used to be of the "obscurists" pre DH, meaning believing that Snape is nasty but essentially on Dumbledores side. And I think that it's essentially confirmed by DH. I was wrong in the whole Lily plot and I still think it's cheesy as hell. What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on

As to what you said, I never said anything comparing Snape to the other characters or to what they thought. Of course it's true, Harry and Co believed him a DE, and he in the end wasn't.

Also I don't think his particular achievements were more spectacular than what others did. So he was a spy, cool. So he helped secure the sword? Excellent. So he has a Bambi? Cute.

So what I'm meaning to say here, it's fine for anyone to have their opinion, but actually there's nothing people can say to make me love or despise Snape more or less than I already do.


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Old July 14th, 2009, 2:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwb
If one looks at all of Snape's deeds, good and bad, then I think one can reach a conclusion of villain or saint, but I think it would be different for everyone because he was written as such an ambiguous character clear to the end of the series.
I see absolutely no point in doing this whatsoever. To start with we are not given all the information about the whole of Snape's life in order to make such a judgement. We are only given the information regarding Snape which is pertinnet to the plot of this story - which is as it should be. Therefore I think there is nothing to gain from trying to label characters as one thing or another. To me that is not the point of character analysis. To me the point of character analysis is to analyse the character and that means looking at all the different aspects of the person, so as to understand them and so perhaps gain a better understanding of the world around as, the people in it and other literature and literary characters. To me character anlysis is not about trying to sum up a character in a single sentence.

IMO no person has the right to judge another as good or bad, and I would even suggest that the character bashing/worship rules of the forums are based on this principle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SIP
I agree with The Green Woods - there is no reason to classify Snape as either a villain or a saint because those are extremes. Certainly there are lots of villains in these books, but not a single saint, in my opinion. Even Dumbledore is totally human by the end of the series and while superior to many other characters, he is flawed. Almost everyone is flawed. To me, a broad comparison is what sweeps people into extreme black and white categories.
And that is where prejudice starts. Once you start labelling people then you reduce that person to a label and they cease to be a person, but part of a group and then people from different groups start to hate each other because they are different - Muggles Vs. Magic folk; Purebloods Vs. Muggleborns; Gryffindor vs. Slytherin. This is one of the reason why I think the sorting in the books should be like sorting in real life - totally random. If this had been the case with Snape then he would have had a wider range of influences in his life which I believe would have made a real difference in his life. The story we have though is one that actually seems to highlight the dangers of labelling people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guad
So what I'm meaning to say here, it's fine for anyone to have their opinion, but actually there's nothing people can say to make me love or despise Snape more or less than I already do.
I think that goes for most people who post on this thread!

btw when people talk about Snape being a "Gothic hero" they mean in a literary sense (like for excample Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights) not as a Goth/Emo guy who is a hero which is something completely different!


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Last edited by CathyWeasley; July 14th, 2009 at 2:30 pm.
  #73  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

I agree that there's no reason to see Snape as a villain or a saint. And I think that a tendency toward having to reduce characters into prefab dichotomous judgments would not be well served in many cases throughout the series. I actually think that Voldemort's potrayal as a pure villain makes him less compelling: he's just....bad. With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated. I like that not everybody sees him as redeemed, however I do think he redeemed himself at very great personal cost: I don't think anyone else paid so much for their actions.

Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!


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  #74  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Well, since I'm new to the thread, I thought I'd start off by answering a few of the "study questions" that I found to be particularly compelling and see how it goes from there. Sorry if this puts a break in the conversation.


1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
Absolutely not. At least, not directly. I think Snape wanted to be redeemed--but in Lily's eyes and no others. This is why the last thing he says to Harry is "Look at me" because, Harry shares Lily's eyes.

7. 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.

It doesn't necessarily change how I felt about about Snape's actions. He was a perfectly horrid person in his treatment of Sirius, Remus, Harry--just about anyone that reminded him of James. The love that he has for Lily is a different side of his personality--one which seems to have had no affect whatsoever on the rest of him. He still couldn't move past his grudge with James.

13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
Perhaps on some very base level. But like he says, the only reason for him to care about Harry Potter is that he is the son of Lily.


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  #75  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by guad View Post
I was wrong in the whole Lily plot and I still think it's cheesy as hell. What can I say, I have no particular sweet feelings for a guy who holds on to his teenage crush and is unable to move on
Like you feel that saying Snape won the war is excissive glorification, I feel that describing his love for Lily as a "teenage crush" and his efforts to make amends for his sin against her "inability to move on" is excissive simplification. It seems like a disregarding dismissal of a crucial plotline to me, and annoys me the same way the glorification of Snape annoys you. What is more, it runs contrary to canon, which calls it "love" in several places and gives it a central meaning to the very structure of the books - confirmed by the author, if you take her words as canon too.


  #76  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:38 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by guad View Post
Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.
I don't see people in this thread 'imposing their opinion on others'. (Surely they would get into hot water with the mods if that were the case.) I personally get annoyed when people claim Jo as a higher authority in order to rubber-stamp their own subjective analysis.

And as will be obvious to anyone who reads my posts, I don't agree with my fellow Snape fans on every single point of interpretation because we are not all joined at the hip. For example, I take the view, since it jives with how I read the story and JKR's own remarks, that his feelings of dislike for Harry were genuine. I also think they were complicated -- how long can a man truly hate the son of the woman he loved, really? -- and I think a canon case can be built for that.

Obviously Snape-detractors and Snape-lovers alike look to canon for their respective interpretations. Naturally I side with the redemptive arc for Snape.

Quote:
As a few random examples: Saying that Lily loved Snape and James used lovepotion to marry her.
I'm aware of the nuttier theories out there in fandom, guad, but here on this very thread, here on CoS, I've never seen that suggested.

Quote:
Painting Snape as a gothic hero.
The Byronic trope is not an unreasonable literary analysis, actually. Snape has been compared to Heathcliff before ... and the brutal, savage, unforgiving Heathcliff really does make Snape look like a saint! (Heathcliff is also something of a misogynist, which Snape certainly isn't.)

Quote:
Similary it's not correct IMO to say that Snape is a sadist.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsev View Post
With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated.


Quote:
I like that not everybody sees him as redeemed, however I do think he redeemed himself at very great personal cost: I don't think anyone else paid so much for their actions.
I'm inclined to think the same.

Quote:
Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!
For all his protestations that he didn't care for the boy (and I do think that was largely true), he does choose to share some very personal (and unflattering ) memories with Harry as he lies dying.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; July 14th, 2009 at 3:02 pm.
  #77  
Old July 14th, 2009, 2:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I don't see people in this thread 'imposing their opinion on others'. (Surely they would get into hot water with the mods if that were the case.) Obviously Snape-detractors and Snape-lovers alike appeal to canon to back up their respective interpretations. Naturally I side with the redemptive arc for Snape.
Everyone has their own view of the canon, and there is always more than one way to look at it, especially in Snape's case. There is no way to easily stereotype characters and real people into the good/evil, smart/delusional, or absolute hater/absolute fanatic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took
This to me is not an unreasonable literary analysis, actually. Snape has been compared to Heathcliff before ... and the brutal, savage, unforgiving Heathcliff really does make Snape look like a saint! (Heathcliff is also something of a misogynist, which Snape certainly isn't.)
I just love the whole topic of Gothic Hero/Byronic Hero Snape. I recently read a long essay on Byronic Hero archetypes and was astounded to find so many similarities to Snape.

Most Byronic Heroes, for example, have a secret sin they've committed in the past which fills them with regret. They're frequently shown to have intense eyes that can bore into a person and appear to read their innermost thoughts. They have great passions and are usually very clever and talented. Also, they are separate from their fellow men, either from a sense of being different, or by choice.
Snape himself also has the appearance of a Gothic Villain, which was one of the character types that helped inspire the Romantic poets.


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  #78  
Old July 14th, 2009, 3:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
To me the point of character analysis is to analyse the character and that means looking at all the different aspects of the person, so as to understand them and so perhaps gain a better understanding of the world around as, the people in it and other literature and literary characters. To me character anlysis is not about trying to sum up a character in a single sentence.
Well said!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsev View Post
With regard to Snape, perhaps Rita Skeeter should have titled her book Severus Snape: It's Complicated.
So true!

Quote:
Oh and I was rethinking the question about whether he wanted/needed Harry's forgiveness and am now leaning yes. It seems to me that when he was dying and he gave Harry his memories, that he expressly gave Harry the ones that not only told him about the horcrux and Harry's sacrifice, but he also chose to give Harry the memories about Lily and there would not be any reason to do that if he didn't want Harry to understand who he was. The big softie!
Exactly! Snape gave Harry memories that were not really required in giving the message he was asked to pass on. Why? I think we need only look at Snape's last words to Harry, which I think carries more than one meaning. "Look... at... me."

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by guad View Post

Personally it's of course up to each person to either have a little Snape pic to throw darts on or a Snape shrine to venere at home, but I think it gets a little annoying when people distort facts and try to impose their opinion on others.
Oh, I agree, but distorting facts and imposing opinions is not a critisism that can be soley thrown at the feet of Snape fans.



Last edited by TreacleTartlet; July 14th, 2009 at 3:07 pm.
  #79  
Old July 14th, 2009, 3:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
here on CoS, I've never seen that suggested
Well, I have seen it, here on Cos. There was a reason the topic of lovepotion got banned . Of course that's long ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoana View Post
Like you feel that saying Snape won the war is excissive glorification, I feel that describing his love for Lily as a "teenage crush" and his efforts to make amends for his sin against her "inability to move on" is excissive simplification. It seems like a disregarding dismissal of a crucial plotline to me, and annoys me the same way the glorification of Snape annoys you. What is more, it runs contrary to canon, which calls it "love" in several places and gives it a central meaning to the very structure of the books - confirmed by the author, if you take her words as canon too.
Sure, it was love, so says canon, I never said it wasn't. And I still found it cheesy. I have no problem in living with the fact that many fans find it adorable and awesome and romantic, so I expect the same regarding my opinions
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
For example, I take the view, since it jives with how I read the story and JKR's own remarks, that his feelings of dislike for Harry were genuine. I also think they were complicated -- how long can a man truly hate the son of the woman he loved, really?
Well, I took it that Snape hated Harry because he reminded him of James. So he let his feelings towards James dominate his relation towards Harry (from book 1 on, I'm refeering here to the look of hatred he shots to Harry in the welcome feast) instead of looking a bit more searching for Lily's qualities. I personally think that Harry had lots more in common with Lily than only the eyes.


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Old July 14th, 2009, 3:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
Most Byronic Heroes, for example, have a secret sin they've committed in the past which fills them with regret. They're frequently shown to have intense eyes that can bore into a person and appear to read their innermost thoughts. They have great passions and are usually very clever and talented. Also, they are separate from their fellow men, either from a sense of being different, or by choice.
Snape himself also has the appearance of a Gothic Villain, which was one of the character types that helped inspire the Romantic poets.
I'm sure JKR was perfectly aware of all the above.

Even Snape's 'black eyes' fit the trope.

I mean, who has black eyes in RL? Nobody has black eyes! Our pupils are black, but nobody on earth has an iris which is actually coloured black.

Snape's black eyes, 'like black tunnels' etc., belong to a standard Romantic cliche. A cliche that JKR exploits and uses to the max because she seems to be setting Snape up to be the villain of the piece ...

... which, ultimately, he isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guad View Post
Well, I have seen it, here on Cos. There was a reason the topic of lovepotion got banned . Of course that's long ago.
Ah. Ancient history, before my time.

Quote:
Well, I took it that Snape hated Harry because he reminded him of James. So he let his feelings towards James dominate his relation towards Harry (from book 1 on, I'm referring here to the look of hatred he shots to Harry in the welcome feast) instead of looking a bit more searching for Lily's qualities. I personally think that Harry had lots more in common with Lily than only the eyes.
Oh, sure, he sees Harry as James Mark Two, which is not always fair. (And I agree with you about Harry resembling Lily in more than a physical way).

That first look is perhaps more complicated than it seems. I would not want to gloss over the fact that Snape really did resent Harry, and I believe JKR wanted to convey that, but Harry also gets mixed messages from that first look ... the sharp pain he feels is because Voldemort is attached to the back of Quirrell's head. Harry associates this unpleasant reaction with Snape. And thus the tone for their relationship is set.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; July 14th, 2009 at 3:16 pm. Reason: edited because I hadn't finished typing, lol
 
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