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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8



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  #1401  
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu View Post
And whatever the level of Snape's smarts (I happen to think they're stratospheric but that's just me ) the use he puts them to is phenomenal, is it not? Absolutely integral to Voldy's downfall? We at at least all agree on that don't we?
I'm still not seeing what Snape did that was out-of-this world impressive. Harry played a far bigger role than he did, as did Dumbledore. He was a great Occlumens, but what else was there besides that? The only thing he did where I was very impressed with him was the Silver Doe, and his plan to lead Harry to the sword. Although that whole scene and his conversation with Dumbledore has been so overused in sigs and avatars etc. that it no longer has any effect on me.


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  #1402  
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu View Post
And whatever the level of Snape's smarts (I happen to think they're stratospheric but that's just me ) the use he puts them to is phenomenal, is it not? Absolutely integral to Voldy's downfall? We at at least all agree on that don't we?
I'm afraid we don't. I have asked many times how Snape was integral to that, but no one has really answered...

Before you answer, if you do, you should know that I feel his work in spying was likely as valuable to Dumbledore's plans as Kingsleys spying at the ministry or other jobs he sent his many assists out on. So it isn't like I am saying he did nothing - I just don't feel he did anything more important than anyone else. You know, if Lupin hadn't thrown himself in front of Harry at the DOM, he'd of been struck down; if Ron hadn't pulled him from the pond, he'd of drowned, without Firenze, he may have been crushed and died and without Sirius showing him love, he would not have ejected Voldemort when posessed. So one could make the argument in that light; that without their actions Harry would have died. But even then, I don't really count their actions as making them more integral than anyone else to Voldy's downfall. Others suggest Lily and James were integral because if they had not defied thrice, had Harry, infused their personalities, given protection...yada yada. But in my view, everyone was doing their part whatever it was.

In fact, in hindsight, of everyone helping on the good side, I would say that Snape was the only one to actually hamper the downfall of Voldemort due to his ongoing mistreatment of Harry and placing his own desires over that of the cause (i.e., dropping the Occlucmency lessons)

I should qualify my above statement because I used Ron in the example - I do feel Ron and Hermione were significantly more integral to Voldy's downfall than others - along with Harry and Dumbledore. Without those four, it wouldn't have happened. Everyone else, while absolutely helpful, played a less significant role in the actual downfall, imo.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 19th, 2008 at 10:46 pm.
  #1403  
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Malfoy (who was not a practicing DE in CoS, as he admitted to Voldemort in GoF) heard about the good marks - better than Draco's - why didn't he use this information against Snape?
Um - he liked Snape? The canon is that they were friends, and Narcissa says the same thing, so from Lucius's side there was no reason to believe that Snape wasn't loyal to him and to Voldemort.

Lucius says that it the grades were Draco's fault for not studying harder, which is actually like something Snape (or Hermione) would say to Harry. So Lucius must have thought Snape was being fair to everyone in class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu
And whatever the level of Snape's smarts (I happen to think they're stratospheric but that's just me ) the use he puts them to is phenomenal, is it not? Absolutely integral to Voldy's downfall? We at at least all agree on that don't we?
I'm afraid we don't. I have asked many times how Snape was integral to that, but no one has really answered...
Harry puts it best: Snape was the bravest man he ever knew.

He was integral in several ways:

He loved Lily and made her blood sacrifice possible, although that is a tragedy for him. But his love for her led Voldemort to give her a choice, and that is why Voldemort was vanquished both times - Lily's blood.

Snape saved Harry's life more than once, and his sacrifice of going back to the Graveyard at the end of GoF meant that he could continue his job at Hogwarts, helping the Order and watching over Harry.

Finally, he took the Sword of Gryffindor to Harry so the necklace horcrux could be destroyed. That wraps up the work of Regulus, Kreacher, and the Trio, and couldn't be more symbolic.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; August 19th, 2008 at 11:05 pm.
  #1404  
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:03 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Aside from the business of Voldemort giving Lily a chance to step aside, which Snape totally did not envision or plan as a way to help the "good side", which I suppose was even more integral to the outcome...the Horcrux hunt as we know it would never have happened without Snape's intervention. He saved the life of Albus Dumbledore, which would otherwise have been lost before he made arrangements to convey the Horcrux information to Harry, and gave him that last year in which to finalize his plans, continue the hunt, and train Harry. And that was something Snape did by choice and for the right reasons. It was something he was able to do, beause of his mastery of the Dark Arts/DADA.


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Last edited by arithmancer; August 19th, 2008 at 11:11 pm.
  #1405  
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Snape saved Harry's life more than once, and his sacrifice of going back to the Graveyard at the end of GoF meant that he could continue his job at Hogwarts, helping the Order and watching over Harry.
More than once? There's only one time I can think of, in SS/PS at the Quidditch match.

I agree with wwb on this one. Snape played his part but the things he did don't greatly eclipse those of everybody else. Nothing ever would have gotten done if it hadn't been for Dumbledore and his masterkind plan. Dumbledore found out about Voldemort's Horcruxes, Ron, Hermione, and Harry found and destroyed all of the Horcruxes, Harry gave his life in order to destroy Voldemort and ended up ultimately being the one to kill Voldemort. Snape's role is way too overblown, IMO.


  #1406  
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Um - he liked Snape? The canon is that they were friends, and Narcissa says the same thing, so from Lucius's side there was no reason to believe that Snape wasn't loyal to him and to Voldemort.

Lucius says that it the grades were Draco's fault for not studying harder, which is actually like something Snape (or Hermione) would say to Harry. So Lucius must have thought Snape was being fair to everyone in class.
good point. But that is why I felt Snape could have said "good job" to Hermione. The response would have been the same - I'd imagine anyway.

Quote:
Harry puts it best: Snape was the bravest man he ever knew.

He was integral in several ways:

He loved Lily and made her blood sacrifice possible, although that is a tragedy for him. But his love for her led Voldemort to give her a choice, and that is why Voldemort was vanquished both times - Lily's blood.
First, thank you for answering this finally. I am not sure why no one ever does, but I've asked for quite some time now. I completely agree with you that was important to Voldemort giving Lily a choice and makes Snape asking him important to the story. The second time it was only Lily's blood which Voldemort had taken himself - Snape was not involved in that to my recollection. Nonetheless, I agree the first sacrifice had to happen and Snape was invovled in that. But this is what I was saying before. If Lily and James had not defied Voldy thrice and had a child, Voldy would not have been able to be vanquished in the way he was either. So that was just as important to the downfall. These things I do not call integral because they are just people "involved" - unknowingly in "setting up" the whole game plan. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual bringing down of the dark lord, imo. Deathly very aptly described those integral points, imo.

Quote:
Snape saved Harry's life more than once, .
I don't recall more than once, and the once I recall (broom slowing) was a failed attempt. Ron and Hermione did it more times as did Dumbledore. So did Lupin, Sirius, his mum and dad, and Arthur Weasley. So since they all did this tremendous service, I consider them all equally helping in this regard, but not one any more integral than another.

Quote:
and his sacrifice of going back to the Graveyard at the end of GoF meant that he could continue his job at Hogwarts, helping the Order and watching over Harry
How is that more integral to bringing down the dark lord than Kingsley keeping up his front as an Auror dedicated to the Ministry and against the Order? Or Arthur going on life risking missions for the Order? Or the many other tasks undertaken by the Ministry? I agree what Snape did was important, just no more so than anyone else. In a sweeping sense, everyone was helpful to the downfall of Voldemort. But I am speaking of what makes Snape moreso than others.

Quote:
Finally, he took the Sword of Gryffindor to Harry so the necklace horcrux could be destroyed. That wraps up the work of Regulus, Kreacher, and the Trio, and couldn't be more symbolic.
Do you mean integral in a symbolic way? Scrimgeour brought Harry and the trio important items as well for the hunt they were upon, is he then integral? In my opinion he is not. No more than anyone else who did there bit and so I don't see how this makes Snape stand out in this regard.

I totally respect your view if you see these things as making Snape more important than the others in the story in bringing down Voldemort. I just don't see these things as integral myself - no more integral than what everyone else did with the exception of Dumbledore and the trio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
Aside from the business of Voldemort giving Lily a chance to step aside, which Snape totally did not envision or plan as a way to help the "good side", which I suppose was even more integral to the outcome...the Horcrux hunt as we know it would never have happened without Snape's intervention. He saved the life of Albus Dumbledore, which would otherwise have been lost before he made arrangements to convey the Horcrux information to Harry, and gave him that last year in which to finalize his plans, continue the hunt, and train Harry. And that was something Snape did by choice and for the right reasons. It was something he was able to do, beause of his mastery of the Dark Arts/DADA.
Thanks for answering. . I spoke to the first part of your response above. I agree that Snape gave Albus more time and even if someone could have done the same thing, it was Snape that actually did it. Nonetheless, I find it difficult to understand why this act (keeping Dumbles alive) would make Snape more integral than Ron, Lupin or Firenze keeping Harry alive. I don't count any of it as 'integral' in the sense of making these individuals more imporant than others in the overall big picture. That is, if Firenze had not interceded, there would be no Harry Potter - thus, no downfall of Voldemort as it happened. Is he integral too? If not, why not? And if he is, how then is Snape more integral than him (considering that is not all Firenze did and sacrificed for the effort)?


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  #1407  
Old August 20th, 2008, 12:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Wow, we're nearing version 9 of this thread. Snape's popular!

On the subject of Snape's brains-- I don't think Snape's intelligence would be emphasized in HBP if it wasn't good enough to write about. Would the scribblings of a mediocre student create more sympathy for Snape than the scribblings of a genius? Don't think so.

The books make it clear that Snape is one smart cookie. As Zg pointed out, even his vocabulary is a clue. Being able to come up with a first potions class speech like that takes verbal skill. Plus, we have the logic puzzle (a skill which, according to Hermione, most wizards would have trouble on), the HBP book, and all the books covering the walls of his home. Not only that, but Snape is able to brew the Wolfsbane Potion, something only a few people can do, according to Lupin.


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  #1408  
Old August 20th, 2008, 3:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I'm sorry, but I don't think that is obvious at all. We know that the Potions Book in question is a NEWT level text book (Harry and Ron both had to purchase a copy when they were unexpectedly allowed to take the NEWT level Potions course).
The Levicorpus was written in the NEWT level book, a spell that James used on Snape during their OWLS. I think Snape already had that book; it may have belonged to his mother and he would have started on the NEWTS potions long before he started 6th year (he was supposed to know more curses than half the 7th years when he came to school) IMO.

Then it does become possible that Lily may have learnt from him. They were together in the holidays; it is not hard to think Lily and Snape may have discussed Snape's corrections, potions and other subjects in general IMO. It is not improbable to think that Lily may have used that potions knowledge in her NEWT year IMO.


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  #1409  
Old August 20th, 2008, 3:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

While anything is possible, why should Lily's brilliance be attributed to Snape? Are not witches as able to be great of their own accord just as wizards are? Snape seems to have had an aptitude for Potions, but it could also be possible that all the potions modifications had been written in by his mother prior to his obtaining the book. So maybe a witch is responsible for Snape's seeming prowess.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 20th, 2008 at 3:30 am.
  #1410  
Old August 20th, 2008, 3:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by DeathlyH View Post
More than once? There's only one time I can think of, in SS/PS at the Quidditch match.
He was the only Order member who had any idea Harry might have gone to the MoM in OotP. If he had not reported his suspicion, there would have been no rescue. It is also possible that the DEs in HBP "The Flight of thet Prince" could have forgotten their orders, if Snape did not remind them.


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  #1411  
Old August 20th, 2008, 3:49 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Are not witches as able to be great of their own accord just as wizards are?
Sure! Hermione is an example of that.

Quote:
Snape seems to have had an aptitude for Potions, but it could also be possible that all the potions modifications had been written in by his mother prior to his obtaining the book.
Yes, that indeed is possible.

But the writing on the potion corrections seem to match with the spells which Snape said was his (HBP- Flight of the Prince). So I don't personally think Eileen Snape was responsible for the corrections. I think Snape wrote them and Lily IMO learnt from them.


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  #1412  
Old August 20th, 2008, 4:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Then it does become possible that Lily may have learnt from him. They were together in the holidays; it is not hard to think Lily and Snape may have discussed Snape's corrections, potions and other subjects in general IMO. It is not improbable to think that Lily may have used that potions knowledge in her NEWT year IMO.
So, Lily has no aptitude for potions yet she remembers ingredients and stiring instructions she read in a book almost 3 years before? (the summer between 4th and 5th year would have been the last time there were friends and the end of 7th year would be almost 3 years later). I don't find that very plausible. Slughorn raved about her. I don't think that she would remember every potion correction flawlessly. I think the most logical conclusion is that she's got an aptitude for potions herself.

In fact, given the evidence we have, I think somebody could make a strong case that Lily is the potions wiz and that Snape just copied down the instructions that she gave him while they spent their summers together.

I prefer to believe that they were both good at potions and that is one of the things they bonded over. Others may differ.

I think that if Lily continued to take credit for Snape's work after she decided not to be friends with him, that would make her a pretty obnoxious person. I don't recall anything in canon where she was described as a user who stole credit from others. I thought she was well thought of by others and generally considered fair. That's why I cannot believe that she just sponged off of him for 7 years, especially after she was no longer friends with him. Again, I just think they were both good at potions.


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Last edited by wingardium713; August 20th, 2008 at 4:05 am.
  #1413  
Old August 20th, 2008, 4:19 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

There is no need for Lily to remember instructions from 3 years before. She could have just understood everything about the corrections Snape made because she was intelligent and naturally good at Potions or she may have even copied Snape's instructions for treating particular ingredients like crushing instead of cutting the Sopophorus Bean IMO.


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  #1414  
Old August 20th, 2008, 4:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
There is no need for Lily to remember instructions from 3 years before. She could have just understood everything about the corrections Snape made because she was intelligent and naturally good at Potions
I could see her remembering a lot of things, I cannot see her remembering every little detail for every single potion in the book. It seems that if you get one detail wrong (adding something in the wrong order or stiring the wrong way), you can have a disaster on your hands (Neville gave us examples of that) or you get poor results (see Hermione's potions compared to Harry's in 6th year). If these things were so easy to remember, why did Snape have to write them down? If he, on his very first try, is capable of bettering the book's potions and it's easy to remember the instructions 3 years later, he shouldn't need to note it down at all. This would suggest that it's not easy to remember every little detail, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
or she may have even copied Snape's instructions for treating particular ingredients like crushing instead of cutting the Sopophorus Bean IMO.
How could she copy things down in a book that she didn't own yet? Her parents weren't wizards. She wouldn't have hand-me-down text books. Would she really go out and buy a 6th year text book before 5th year? Why? Was she planning on dumping Snape the summer before 5th year, but wanted to still be able to use his knowledge to score praise from Slughorn? If she wasn't planning on dumping him, why would she have the contingency plan to continue to be in the Slugclub? (she could always just refer to his book in 6th and 7th year or at least waited until the summer between 5th and 6th year if she didn't want to get caught cheating). If she did copy down his instructions between 4th and 5th year "just in case", that would make her seem so incredibly calculating and cold, in my opinion. And we have no indication that she was like that. Quite the opposite.

So, I continue to believe that Snape and Lily were good at potions and neither took advantage of the other.


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Last edited by wingardium713; August 20th, 2008 at 4:36 am.
  #1415  
Old August 20th, 2008, 4:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
There is no need for Lily to remember instructions from 3 years before. She could have just understood everything about the corrections Snape made because she was intelligent and naturally good at Potions or she may have even copied Snape's instructions for treating particular ingredients like crushing instead of cutting the Sopophorus Bean IMO.
Even though that is plausible, I'd rather prefer to think figured things out herself instead of goddamn freeloading. You are asuming that Lily and Snape worked together on potions and his potion-making book. But if you assume the opposite, your theory doesn't work. How would Lily be so good at potions is Snape wasn't there to figure things out for her? Well, it can be she figured things out for herself and didn't need to remember or copy off Snape. I do think that's the best assumption because it works whether Lily did or didn't work with Snape and it seems in character of her.


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  #1416  
Old August 20th, 2008, 5:10 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I could see her remembering a lot of things, I cannot see her remembering every little detail for every single potion in the book. It seems that if you get one detail wrong (adding something in the wrong order or stiring the wrong way), you can have a disaster on your hands (Neville gave us examples of that) or you get poor results (see Hermione's potions compared to Harry's in 6th year). If these things were so easy to remember, why did Snape have to write them down? If he, on his very first try, is capable of bettering the book's potions and it's easy to remember the instructions 3 years later, he shouldn't need to note it down at all. This would suggest that it's not easy to remember every little detail, in my opinion.


How could she copy things down in a book that she didn't own yet? Her parents weren't wizards. She wouldn't have hand-me-down text books. Would she really go out and buy a 6th year text book before 5th year? Why? Was she planning on dumping Snape the summer before 5th year, but wanted to still be able to use his knowledge to score praise from Slughorn? If she wasn't planning on dumping him, why would she have the contingency plan to continue to be in the Slugclub? (she could always just refer to his book in 6th and 7th year or at least waited until the summer between 5th and 6th year if she didn't want to get caught cheating). If she did copy down his instructions between 4th and 5th year "just in case", that would make her seem so incredibly calculating and cold, in my opinion. And we have no indication that she was like that. Quite the opposite.

So, I continue to believe that Snape and Lily were good at potions and neither took advantage of the other.
I agree. More than that, if JKR wanted us to believe that Slughorn was lying or mistaken, she would have cleared it up for certain, imo, because we know very little about Lily and the 4 or 5 facts we got I would have to assume are accurate.

I can only reach conclusions from what is presented in the canon. Sanpe had an aptitude for potions, based on his changes in his book and Slughorn's comment; and he was fascinated with the dark arts. I would imagine that in his courses other than potions, he did mediocre work (meaning median), because while I think he was as bright as say Ron or Harry, we don't hear of him being exceptionally bright or a particularly clever student - nor were his inventions called exceptional. I would imagine that is because as we saw with the twins, inventing spells and such is fairly common and considering the number of pranks, jinxes and hexes there are, apparently quite a number of people were doing this. Personally I would not consider creation of a curse meant to cut up your enemies as an exceptional achievement, so I discount that myself.

In light of that, I think Lily too was brilliant in potions, in her own right. I am not even convinced they would spend much time talking about potions at all. We never saw Ron and Harry having detailed discussions of that kind. Hermione may have wished to, if either wanted to listen to her. Even in courses where she and Harry excelled - like DADA, they didn't discuss stuff. So in my judgment the idea of their having these types of highly academic discussions is being given more emphasis than what likely occurred based on the way JKR presented her characters in canon. If they had been in college, I might agree - but from eleven to thirteen or fourteen, I would have to doubt it.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 20th, 2008 at 5:14 am.
  #1417  
Old August 20th, 2008, 5:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
How could she copy things down in a book that she didn't own yet? Her parents weren't wizards. She wouldn't have hand-me-down text books. Would she really go out and buy a 6th year text book before 5th year?
LOL She could every easily buy a text book of her own, if she was interested. Should she buy a text book only if she had planned to break off with Snape? She could have been so keen that she could have bought one for herself to pore over it when she was in her home.

PerfectDystopia, Snape and Lily could have worked together on his potions book, or Snape could have figured it out on his own and taught Lily (I personally think Lily learnt from Snape); Snape knew far more than Lily when they met for the first time. It would not be wrong for her to learn from him and learning would not be freeloading IMO.


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  #1418  
Old August 20th, 2008, 6:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
PerfectDystopia, Snape and Lily could have worked together on his potions book, or Snape could have figured it out on his own and taught Lily (I personally think Lily learnt from Snape); Snape knew far more than Lily when they met for the first time. It would not be wrong for her to learn from him and learning would not be freeloading IMO.

I think that it would show a complete lack of character on Lily's part if she took credit for being a "wiz at potions" if she is just reguritating stuff from memory that her friend invented. I think most people would give credit to the person who modified the potions rather than taking all the glory for oneself. Especially when that person is standing right there and one is no longer friends with them. If I found myself in the same sitiution, I would just follow the instructions in the text book or give full credit to the author of the modified potions for which I was being praised. I think most people would do the same. He was her ex-best friend. Who would use somebody like that? In my opinion, somebody who was not very nice at all.

And, yes, I do think that Harry showed a lack of character for taking the glory. It's not as bad as doing it right in front of your ex-friend, but it's not something to be proud of, in my opinion. He had numerous reasons for justifying it to himself (e.g. trying to get into Slughorn's good graces), but I think even he knew it was the wrong thing to do. But, that is a topic for Harry's thread. Suffice to say, I got the impression that Lily was much more "perfect" than her son, so I don't think she would behave worse than him on this matter.

I think Snape is great at potions, and so was his friend Lily.


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Last edited by wingardium713; August 20th, 2008 at 6:19 am.
  #1419  
Old August 20th, 2008, 6:19 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wingardium713 View Post
I think that it would show a complete lack of character on Lily's part if she took credit for being a "wiz at potions" if she is just reguritating stuff from memory that somebody else invented.
Is learning from a friend equal to lack of character? I respectfully disagree. And should Lily forget all that she had learnt from Snape, because she broke away from him? I'm sorry, but I don't understand. Should Lily forget about Azkaban, dementors and everything she learnt from Snape?

Snape was her friend and she learnt from him. Then she broke off because of various reasons. Should Lily also forget and re-learn everything Snape may have told her when they were friends? Why?


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Spotlight on Snape and Molly

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  #1420  
Old August 20th, 2008, 6:34 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

We were never told that Lily copied off of Snape, and that would have been important knowledge for us to know, since it would have been a parallel to Harry. Also, Lily and Snape stopped being friends in their fifth year. Lily's skill with potions would have plummeted, just like Harry's did when he stopped using Snape's potion book, if she was only using what she learned from Snape. Why try to diminish her own skills? Surely more than one person in the series can be talented with potions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
The books make it clear that Snape is one smart cookie.
There's still a huge difference between being smart and being smarter and more talented than all the other smart and talented wizards in the series. I don't think this kind of thing should be a contest. IMO, it's silly to try to elevate one character above the others, and it's rather pointless since it can never be satisfactorily established. We have a substantial array of talented wizards and witches all contributing to the rich tapestry of the series. BTW, the same is true for which wizard or witch made the most crucial contribution or sacrifice. There were several crucial contributions and personal sacrifices. I don't feel that making this into a contest is conducive to intelligent discourse since that's not the point of the books.


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Last edited by ComicBookWorm; August 20th, 2008 at 8:03 am.
 
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