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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8



View Poll Results: Snape's main feeling for James would be...
Loathing 25 15.53%
Contempt 16 9.94%
Envy 27 16.77%
Hatred 17 10.56%
Jealousy 59 36.65%
Regret 0 0%
You're evil for restricting the options and not even putting up my favourite. 17 10.56%
Voters: 161. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1361  
Old August 18th, 2008, 5:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I agree that was his prime motivation in 1981.
I think he had changed, by 1998.
I think his emotion for Lily was still the basis - but his priorities changed in as far as what he wanted to achieve. I think there was initially a dichotomy involved: bringing down Voldemort (Lily's killer) and helping to protect her son. But the latter (which he was never able to achieve effectively) was completely tossed out when he adopted Dumbledore's plan.

Quote:
However, I do not regard Snape as 'fatally' tainted by his (admittedly considerable) character flaws. His courage and loyalty to Dumbledore, in all his years as a double agent, are shown and proved in The Prince's Tale, IMO.
I agree his courage and loyalty to Dumbledore are shown and proved. But this truth does not in any way redeem Snape's behavior, imo. But understand, that is all that Snape required redemption for in my view; I aways believed he was on the good side.

Quote:
But didn't JKR say that she wanted Snape to be redeemed?
Yes, but she never said for what. I can only assume it was from being believed to be a loyal Death Eater to a man working for Dumbledore on behalf of the good side. I think she achieved that. But that is not the redemption I was looking for.

Quote:
And 'fatally flawed' he might be, but he's still a darned sight more interesting than most other people in the Potterverse. (OK, there are other characters I like and find fascinating too. )
I respect your view; and I have never said that Snape wasn't interesting, I think he was an interesting character.

I feel that the whole idea of "love" was put through the ringer in Snape's tale. It is not unrequited love that is bothersome to me (although I am not a fan of it, I can accept it.) It is Snape's behavior in light of that love - for me it fatally taints the love. I once said that "love", the emotion, is in and of itself positive. I still believe that, just to clarify. But the character of one's love is much more important to me and I think characters like Snape, Merope, and others, displayed the negative character love can take on when it is selfish, possessive, and/or obsessive in nature. JKR's quote aptly describes Merope as well: she loved, was loyal to her love, and indeed laid down her life for it. Do these factors make it praiseworthy considering all of the circumstances? Not in my opinion ~ not in the least; same with Snape. So I respect Jo's opinion that this could be seen as heroic in nature, but I would have to respectfully, but fervently, disagree.


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 18th, 2008 at 5:30 pm.
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  #1362  
Old August 18th, 2008, 5:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaustubh77 View Post
In some of them he is great and in some not so. Hadn't it been for love, Snape would have gone mad long before he died.
Why do you think this? I think his love made him a better man, but it seems pretty clear to me that it was also the root of a lot of his misery. If he had not loved Lily, it seems to me he could have made a successful Death Eater. He would not be a character I would like, let alone admire, but that's a different story.


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  #1363  
Old August 18th, 2008, 5:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by zgirnius View Post
Why do you think this? I think his love made him a better man, but it seems pretty clear to me that it was also the root of a lot of his misery. If he had not loved Lily, it seems to me he could have made a successful Death Eater. He would not be a character I would like, let alone admire, but that's a different story.
Why do you feel that way? Isn't it possible that Snape might have eventually betrayed Voldemort on his own, and left the Death Eaters to work for Dumbledore? Don't you think you might admire him for that and appreciate his character in such a circumstance?


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  #1364  
Old August 18th, 2008, 5:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Why do you feel that way? Isn't it possible that Snape might have eventually betrayed Voldemort on his own, and left the Death Eaters to work for Dumbledore? Don't you think you might admire him for that and appreciate his character in such a circumstance?
I think it is possible, (and certainly admirable if done owing to some sort of abstract concept of morality rather than a calculation that Albus was winning) but unlikely. With all his human connections being to fellow Death Eaters, I'm not sure how this would come about.


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  #1365  
Old August 18th, 2008, 5:52 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I respect your opinion. But for me, it is a love so tainted, I could equally characterize it as hatred.* Again, my opinion rests on a very character based analysis here, rather than an esoteric ideology. Snape's overall behavior (not just his treatment of Harry) was linked to his emotion for Lily in my view and the emotion inciting such behavior, on the whole, can only be an extremely negative one in my view.
I don't think Snape's overall emotion was linked to Lily. He loved Lily; he promised to do anything for Dumbeldore; he had to be a death eater to the other DEs; be a spy for the Order; be a teacher in the School and apart from all these roles that were not dependent on Lily was his own past as a DE and his past with the Marauders and his turbulent childhood IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectDystopia View Post
I disagree. I think if you loved someone, truly loved someone, you love them for what they are, not you want them to be. You don't love them despite their "faults", but you instead, love them for it. My best friend is a very neurotic, highstrung person who acts like she is always PMSing. I don't love her despite she is all those things, but I love her because she is all those things. They are not desirable traits, but they are the traits that make her what she is.
Sure! That's what loving someone in spite of their faults is. You realize they are not desirable traits, but you still love her. Perhaps I worded it incorrectly. LOL that happens a lot. But if you mean that you have to love the not so good trait itself in order to show that the love is pure or unconditional, I respectfully disagree.

Love is not liking habits, love is loving a person; something that goes beyond habits, looks and the like IMO. I am sure Snape hated Lily marrying James; I am also sure he never stopped loving her because she did. Those were the things I meant by despite and in spite of BTW.

Quote:
And that's why I don't think Snape's love was unconditional. He loved Lily despite she was James' wife and Harry's mother. He didn't like those things about her, but no matter how much he disliked it, the fact reamains that Lily was James' wife and Harry's mother. Those two things are two very fundamental things that make her who she is. IMO, He couldn't celebrate Lily as a whole because he couldn't stand that fact she was James' wife and Harry's mother.
This is exactly why I think Snape's love was unconditional. He respected her wishes to marry James; he never tries to break that up; but he does not have to like it in order to love her is what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I really am not quite sure why you think he never hated Harry.
I think he hated Harry for what he was more than for who he was (I am sure this doesn't make any sense ).

Snape hated the fact Harry was James's and Lily's. He hated that Harry meant that Lily loved another man; that Lily did not love him; that Harry was a sign of Lily's happy living with James. Those things he hated.

But Harry himself as a person; I am sure he did not; perhaps I may not be able to give you more than the memories he gave Harry and the way he never talks of the memories he saw in their Occlumency lessons, but I am sure that Snape cared for Harry.

He never punishes Harry if he could avoid it IMO. Yes he was harsh at times; probably seeing the James Potter look alike, when he was awfully stressed out did it LOL, but Snape, I think never hated Harry; I think he hated what Harry represented, which was all that he lost, and his own wrong choices and his foolishness, but I don;t think he hated Harry IMO.

Quote:
(I was, however, very disappointed in Rowling's insistence that Snape hated Harry until he died. )
And that is why I don't agree with her about her other statements on Snape as well.


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  #1366  
Old August 18th, 2008, 6:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I don't think Snape's overall emotion was linked to Lily.
I didn't say that; I said his overall behavior was linked to his emotion for Lily. I would agree it was linked to other things as well - his stint with the Death Eaters - his upbringing - his early adventures in life - his lot in life, etc. But it was also linked to his emotion for Lily and that was the part I was referring to.


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  #1367  
Old August 18th, 2008, 7:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I didn't say that; I said his overall behavior was linked to his emotion for Lily. I would agree it was linked to other things as well - his stint with the Death Eaters - his upbringing - his early adventures in life - his lot in life, etc. But it was also linked to his emotion for Lily and that was the part I was referring to.
I am sorry, I misintepreted it .

But if I were to take it to be overall behaviour, I would still say the same; for Snape's behaviour with Harry and his need to prove to the DEs that he was a part of them (Hermione's teeth in GOF) killing Dumbeldore, watching Charity die, the UV, none of this was linked to Lily IMO.


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The man who, in my opinion, won the war against Voldemort for Harry Potter and the Light! Severus Snape!

There is nothing of which every man is so afraid, as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming - Soren Kierkegaard

Spotlight on Snape and Molly

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  #1368  
Old August 18th, 2008, 7:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I am sorry, I misintepreted it .

But if I were to take it to be overall behaviour, I would still say the same; for Snape's behaviour with Harry and his need to prove to the DEs that he was a part of them (Hermione's teeth in GOF) killing Dumbeldore, watching Charity die, the UV, none of this was linked to Lily IMO.
Those were his actions . I was referring to his behavior, you know, all those personal characteristics that we have named in this thread many times.


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  #1369  
Old August 18th, 2008, 8:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Ah, such debate over the nature of "love"....

Was it PerfectDystopia who said somewhere above that love means loving someone for who they really are?

Now, if that were always so, there'd be no love poems or romantic fiction or doomed tragic love stories - because many, many, many of them are based uopn the transformation people see in the loved one, in the initial stages of love ; they create new characterisitics for that person, they feel "supernatural sympathy" with the loved one (to quote Auden), they have an image in their head and heart which isn't always borne out in reality....ever heard the Motown song "When a man loves a woman?"

With knowledge, familiarity and time comes a deeper understanding of the other person and a different, less heady (deeper?) love.

Snape was still in that first stage of obsession, poor boy....

I do agree with you, Wicked, that Snape's love was concentrated on one point, Lily and that it certainly didn't extend to being caring towards Harry...but it did save his life, in effect. So without Snape having the intent of caring for Harry, his actions helped achieved the vital thing - Harry's life being preserved.

Anywaaaay.......

As for him being a flawed hero...I don't think I know of a "perfect" hero in all literature....even Hamlet (my favourite literary character of all time) fails in the perfection states...and thank goodness, because as Pearl said, who wants perfection?

I'd like to talk about Snape's sense of humour, if I may. I've always found him hysterically funny....that's because I happen to love sarcasm and rather sharp humour.....and what's more, I think Snape is self-consciously funny, in a bitter, mordant way...he's the funniest character in the book, alongside Ron IMO.....

I just love his language - the eloquence of it, the wit.....I'm trying to think of some examples but they're there, they're definitely there!

Do you guys find him funny or do you think his humour goes overboard in cruelty and so spills over the edge into something unpleasant?

PS Someone has just sent me funny "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke based on the responses of different US politicians and it just popped into my head to wonder what Snape would reply, chortle....sorry, wrong thread,will go and knock my head against a wall....


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Last edited by Yewberryblu; August 18th, 2008 at 8:12 pm.
  #1370  
Old August 18th, 2008, 9:23 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Yewberryblu View Post
I do agree with you, Wicked, that Snape's love was concentrated on one point, Lily and that it certainly didn't extend to being caring towards Harry...but it did save his life, in effect. So without Snape having the intent of caring for Harry, his actions helped achieved the vital thing - Harry's life being preserved.
How?

Quote:
I'd like to talk about Snape's sense of humour, if I may. I've always found him hysterically funny....that's because I happen to love sarcasm and rather sharp humour.....and what's more, I think Snape is self-consciously funny, in a bitter, mordant way...he's the funniest character in the book, alongside Ron IMO.....

I just love his language - the eloquence of it, the wit.....I'm trying to think of some examples but they're there, they're definitely there!

Do you guys find him funny or do you think his humour goes overboard in cruelty and so spills over the edge into something unpleasant?

PS Someone has just sent me funny "Why did the chicken cross the road?" joke based on the responses of different US politicians and it just popped into my head to wonder what Snape would reply, chortle....sorry, wrong thread,will go and knock my head against a wall....
I think JKR is an extremely humorous person - and she infused many of her characters with wit. Snape's sarcastic wit was very funny for me as a reader - but if I were "in story" - say in Hermione's shoes, then it would not be funny. So it depends on how you are looking at it. Lockheart was hilarious; James cracked me up; Sirius' turns of phrases caused me to burst out laughing as well - as did Ron's, Fudge's, twins, occassionally Harry and many others. Did these people always mean to be funny 'in story'? No. Did others in the story find them funny? No. But yeah, they all cracked me up as a reader looking in and so what I think it comes down to is the author's knack for dark humor.

[OT: for all that JKR says Hermione was most like her in the story, she seemed to lack the knack for dark humor ]


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 18th, 2008 at 9:27 pm.
  #1371  
Old August 18th, 2008, 9:33 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu View Post
I'd like to talk about Snape's sense of humour, if I may. I've always found him hysterically funny....that's because I happen to love sarcasm and rather sharp humour.....and what's more, I think Snape is self-consciously funny, in a bitter, mordant way...he's the funniest character in the book, alongside Ron IMO.....

I just love his language - the eloquence of it, the wit.....I'm trying to think of some examples but they're there, they're definitely there!
I adore his humor. My favorite line might be "Would you like me to do it now?Or would you like a moment to compose an epitaph?" I remember having to reread the line, the first time I read the book. "He didn't really just say that, did he?" being my internal dialogue.

And what's not to love in his handling of Bella? The line about information being more useful than reminiscences of Azkaban, or the line about whether she is suggesting he, Snape, fooled the world's greatest Legilimens...

I found him funny, in a good way, from the get-go. That poetic speech about the power of Potions, capped by "if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."


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  #1372  
Old August 18th, 2008, 10:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

I never cared for Snape's sense of humor, because almost every joke he made was a mean one that intentionally insulted someone, usually one of his students. That's just wrong. "I'm glad to see that six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. 'Ghosts are transparent.'"
Quote:
Do you guys find him funny or do you think his humour goes overboard in cruelty and so spills over the edge into something unpleasant?
I think it goes overboard in cruelty, because whenever he says something like that, he always means it. It's just mean and unnecessary.


  #1373  
Old August 18th, 2008, 10:41 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
Sure! That's what loving someone in spite of their faults is. You realize they are not desirable traits, but you still love her. Perhaps I worded it incorrectly. LOL that happens a lot. But if you mean that you have to love the not so good trait itself in order to show that the love is pure or unconditional, I respectfully disagree.
I messed up. I meant to say. They are not "desirable" traits, but they are the traits that make her what she is. The desirable was supposed to be in quotations because I was implaying while they might be undesirable to society, they fine with me because they are the traits that make my friend who she is.

I don't believe in unconditional love. And my idea of "pure" love doesn't match with yours. All I am trying to say is, if you truly loved someone, you love the person on a whole. Even if you don't like a certain trait, you find some kind concurrence with it. If you changed everything you didn't like in a person, would they still be the same person? I wouldn't say so.

Quote:
Love is not liking habits, love is loving a person; something that goes beyond habits, looks and the like IMO. I am sure Snape hated Lily marrying James; I am also sure he never stopped loving her because she did. Those were the things I meant by despite and in spite of BTW.

This is exactly why I think Snape's love was unconditional. He respected her wishes to marry James; he never tries to break that up; but he does not have to like it in order to love her is what I mean.
I'm sorry, but love is loving a person doesn't explain what is love to me. Can you explain what you mean?

If love isn't be okay with someone looks, beliefs, habits, actions, relationships, personality (and anything else makes someone an individual), them what do you love of that person?

He respected her wish to marry James? I think his bitter and resentment he held to his dying day negates that statement. IMO, if he did respect Lily marrying James, he would find some kind of concurrence with it. By the sheer amount of bitterness this man had, I don't think he did. Let me put this another way. If Snape had the chance to go back and time and prevent Lily from falling in love with James, Snape shouldn't take it, because Snape should be okay with Lily loving/dating/marrying James for all universes, IMO.

Snape doesn't have to like the fact Lily married James, but does he have to be so pissy about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu
Now, if that were always so, there'd be no love poems or romantic fiction or doomed tragic love stories - because many, many, many of them are based uopn the transformation people see in the loved one, in the initial stages of love ; they create new characterisitics for that person, they feel "supernatural sympathy" with the loved one (to quote Auden), they have an image in their head and heart which isn't always borne out in reality....ever heard the Motown song "When a man loves a woman?"

With knowledge, familiarity and time comes a deeper understanding of the other person and a different, less heady (deeper?) love.
That's a change in perception, not the actual change of someone's trait.

Ever hear of the No Doubt song "Ex-girlfriend"?
I find myself trying to change you
If you were meant to be my lover I wouldn’t have to


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewberryblu
Do you guys find him funny or do you think his humour goes overboard in cruelty and so spills over the edge into something unpleasant?
I don't find Snape funny and I don't think anything he said packs heat.


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Last edited by PerfectDystopia; August 18th, 2008 at 10:53 pm.
  #1374  
Old August 18th, 2008, 10:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathlyH View Post
I never cared for Snape's sense of humor, because almost every joke he made was a mean one that intentionally insulted someone, usually one of his students. That's just wrong. "I'm glad to see that six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. 'Ghosts are transparent.'".
See... I love that quote! The withering nature of that put down is brilliant and very English (do other languages share that kind of sarcastic nastiness or is it just us Brits?)

Oh, and the comment about Harry's head appearing in Hogsmeade...that always has me in fits!

And what, pray, is wrong with insulting his students? Didn't it at least get them to be wary of his cutting tongue and provoking an insult?

Heh...I'm being facetious...some of his comments would, in RL, be dreadful - particularly the comment about Hermione's teeth and his persistent bullying of Neville. Examples of where he does spill over into cruelty indeed....and which make we wonder about his childhood (the old adage about the abused turning into abusers)...but nevertheless, cruel, whatever the reasons....

Still, he makes me cackle...and I love the fact that Harry can eventually answer him with similar sarcasm...."No need to call me sir, Professor...." cackle

zgirnius, couldn't agree more about that wonderful first speech...he's clearly in love with Potions, and it is poetic - a lovely cadence (even better when Alan Rickman intones it! yum yum)...

PerfectD (d' you mind the abbreviation? saves typing ! ) - you asked if Snape had to be so pissy about Lily and James....my view is - it's his nature to be so. I think he's stuck in adolescence, emotionally speaking ; if he was a mature man, able to become resigned to the fact that she wasn't going to choose him (and perhaps able to see that they wouldn't be suited anyway) then he'd be a different character altogether than the one we have. What we have is someone who is intellectually far better developed than he is emotionally.....at least, that's how I see him. Although now I've said that, I'm going to go away and think about it some more ; it occurs to me that just because he acts like a moron sometimes doesn't mean he doesn't have his own insight into it. People can become stuck in how they exhibit their feelings, even when they know that they are behaving like morons...

And no, I've never heard of "Ex-Girlfriend" by No Doubt, sorry. But then again, I am 105 years old....


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May fortune smile
Upon the True
And Liars come
To Grief



It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be (a) Simon Cowell or (b) scared or (c) just hasn't met me yet

Last edited by Yewberryblu; August 18th, 2008 at 11:06 pm.
  #1375  
Old August 19th, 2008, 12:25 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Hello, I'm, just de-lurking for second while trying to catch up on the rest of the posts today, and plan on posting more later but until then...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I could agree that Snape's dislike of know it alls might have been his competitiveness. However, I was thinking that since his enemies back at Hogwarts had been #1 and #2 in their year and were likely answering a lot of questions in class, he might have associated Hermione with his own past experience and been disgruntled and negative with her as a result. But it could be either reason or something else.
I was just wondering if you could post the cannon evidence that we have that states that James and Sirius were #1 and #2 in their class. I have searched high and low for the information but can not seem to find it anywhere, nor do I seem to recall it. I'm not saying that you are wrong, but I just enjoy seeing facts that I might have missed.


  #1376  
Old August 19th, 2008, 9:25 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I feel that the whole idea of "love" was put through the ringer in Snape's tale. It is not unrequited love that is bothersome to me (although I am not a fan of it, I can accept it.) It is Snape's behavior in light of that love - for me it fatally taints the love. I once said that "love", the emotion, is in and of itself positive. I still believe that, just to clarify. But the character of one's love is much more important to me and I think characters like Snape, Merope, and others, displayed the negative character love can take on when it is selfish, possessive, and/or obsessive in nature. JKR's quote aptly describes Merope as well: she loved, was loyal to her love, and indeed laid down her life for it. Do these factors make it praiseworthy considering all of the circumstances? Not in my opinion ~ not in the least; same with Snape. So I respect Jo's opinion that this could be seen as heroic in nature, but I would have to respectfully, but fervently, disagree.
Merope does nothing but excite my deep pity. She is horribly abused by her father and brother and has no concept of what a healthy relationship is. She is even more damaged than Severus ... so I don't despise her, I deeply pity her. Some people just can't love well ... they are too damaged (and the damage happens, invariably, in early childhood). That is my observation from real life and such people only have my pity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Green_Woods View Post
I think he hated Harry for what he was more than for who he was (I am sure this doesn't make any sense ).
Actually, that does make sense. I'm not entirely sure it is really what we see in canon though, allowing of course for our varying interpretations.

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But Harry himself as a person; I am sure he did not; perhaps I may not be able to give you more than the memories he gave Harry and the way he never talks of the memories he saw in their Occlumency lessons, but I am sure that Snape cared for Harry.
If he did ever come to care for Harry, it is something he would never be able to admit, even to himself. Look at his angry denial when Albus asks him precisely that: "for him?"

So, I just don't know. I'd like to believe it, but Rowling stacks up the odds against such a belief. I do think it possible that Snape respected Harry ... in the end. I for one don't believe the gubbins he told Bella and Cissy at Spinner's End about Potter being 'mediocre' ... that was pure gubbins, surely, put on for the benefit of a senior Death Eater and her sister. And even if Snape really did believe that Harry was so very mediocre (I don't believe he did, although he still has to needle Harry in classes) it was a mighty convenient thing for him to believe, in his position as Voldemort's right-hand man.

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He never punishes Harry if he could avoid it IMO. Yes he was harsh at times; probably seeing the James Potter look alike, when he was awfully stressed out did it LOL, but Snape, I think never hated Harry; I think he hated what Harry represented, which was all that he lost, and his own wrong choices and his foolishness, but I don;t think he hated Harry IMO.
It's a persuasive theory. I do agree that Snape restrains himself on occasion from punishing Harry more severely. But it's hard to ignore the times when his words and behaviour to Harry seem genuinely vicious ... I honestly don't believe it was always for show in front of the Death Eaters' kids.

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And that is why I don't agree with her about her other statements on Snape as well.
I understand. She presents him as a hero at the end but seems to have a problem with some of her readers liking the character, despite (or perhaps because of ) his flaws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathlyH View Post
I never cared for Snape's sense of humor, because almost every joke he made was a mean one that intentionally insulted someone, usually one of his students. That's just wrong. "I'm glad to see that six years of magical education have not been wasted on you, Potter. 'Ghosts are transparent.'".
Ah, c'mon, that's one of his best lines! (Harry's later riposte is pretty funny too. )

I can't believe that those of you who dislike Snape never find him funny.

It is true that sometimes he puts his dark and mordant sense of humour to inappropriate use ... I am with those who don't find his treatment of Harry, Hermione and Neville funny. But, heck, at other times the man can be hilarious. Like Yewberryblu, I'm English, and I love sarcastic wit and clever plays on words ... which Snape has in abundance.

Les12321, I'm interested in the answer to that question too.


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  #1377  
Old August 19th, 2008, 9:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
However, I was thinking that since his enemies back at Hogwarts had been #1 and #2 in their year and were likely answering a lot of questions in class,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Les12321 View Post
I was just wondering if you could post the cannon evidence that we have that states that James and Sirius were #1 and #2 in their class. I have searched high and low for the information but can not seem to find it anywhere, nor do I seem to recall it. I'm not saying that you are wrong, but I just enjoy seeing facts that I might have missed.
You are searching for nothing - that is not in the canon anywhere.

I think that's an idea from fan fiction.

We have to remember all the other people in that class - including Snape, who was no slouch on the old books.

Hagrid says that James and Lily were fine wizards and Head Boy and Girl, but he doesn't say anything about their grades - probably because he doesn't know.

Lupin was a Prefect, and obviously he was studious, so his grades might have been better. Slughorn thought Sirius was bright, but he compares Snape to Lily as far as potions grades.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HBP, The Unbreakable Vow
"But I don't think I've ever known such a natural at Potions!" said Slughorn, regarding Harry with a fond, if bloodshot, eye. "Instinctive, you know -- like his mother! I've only ever taught a few with this kind of ability, I can tell you that, Sybill -- why even Severus --"

And to Harry's horror, Slughorn threw out an arm and seemed to scoop Snape out of thin air toward them.

"Stop skulking and come and join us, Severus!" hiccuped Slughorn happily. "I was just talking about Harry's exceptional potion-making! Some credit must go to you, of course, you taught him for five years!'

Trapped, with Slughorn's arm around his shoulders, Snape looked down his hooked nose at Harry, his black eyes narrowed.

"Funny, I never had the impression that I managed to teach Potter anything."

"Well, then it's natural ability!" shouted Slughorn. "You should have seen what he gave me, first lesson, Draught of Living Death -- never had a student produce finer on a first attempt, I don't think even you, Severus --"

"Really?" said Snape quietly, his eyes still boring into Harry, who felt a certain disquiet. The last thing he wanted was for Snape to start investigating the source of his newfound brilliance at Potions.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; August 19th, 2008 at 10:28 am.
  #1378  
Old August 19th, 2008, 2:45 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

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Originally Posted by Les12321 View Post
Hello, I'm, just de-lurking for second while trying to catch up on the rest of the posts today, and plan on posting more later but until then... I was just wondering if you could post the cannon evidence that we have that states that James and Sirius were #1 and #2 in their class. I have searched high and low for the information but can not seem to find it anywhere, nor do I seem to recall it. I'm not saying that you are wrong, but I just enjoy seeing facts that I might have missed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
You are searching for nothing - that is not in the canon anywhere.

I think that's an idea from fan fiction.
Well no, it is an idea from Prisoner of Azkaban. I don't read fan fiction. .

The actual comment does not say that these two were number one and two in their class - but rather, the cleverest students in the school (2). The statement was never shown to be untrue and indeed back up by McGonagall's statement that James and Sirius were "very bright - exceptionally bright" (1) and further supported by Dumbledore later expressing his amazement at their achievement of becoming Animagi without his knowledge and called their efforts an extraordinary achievement. That we are told is the case because the transformation can go horribly wrong and for that reason the ministry keeps a close watch on those attempting to do it. (3)

Slughorn's comment to Snape was about producing a fine potion on one's first attempt; I feel that indicates that he did well in potions (albeit there was no mention of grades or placement in the class or school or his overall ability as a student whatsoever). However, that is all we know about Snape. No one ever said he was the cleverest in his year, let alone in the enitre school. No one ever called him an exceptionally bright student or called any of the spells he created 'extraordinary achievements.' In my judgment, that is because he wasn't an exceptionally bright student and his spells were not extraordinary in nature. If JKR wanted us to know this about Snape, she would have placed it in canon somewhere as he was in all seven of the books and there was more than ample opportunity for her to have done so. This is similar to the Twins, who invented far more spells and magical whatnots than Snape; but like Snape, they never received any accolades of this type because while the spells and such were novel, they did not rise to the level of extraordinary - nor were either lauded as exceptional students. (Although they were lauded as trouble makers who could give the Marauders a run for their money, which I place a higher mark of greatness on...but I digress )

Hermionie was also called the cleverest girl in her year and a near genius by JKR in interview (6) - and a know it all by Snape (5). This did not mean she got the absolute best marks all the time (recall Harry beat her out in DADA - HBP) - but it does mean that overall, she was an exceptional student and at the top in all of her classes. Dumbledore too was shown to have been exceptional; during the OWL exams a witch remarked that he had been an extraordinary student, having done magic they had not seen before or something similar (4). That is how JKR presented this idea in the canon and why having someone calling James and Sirius the cleverest students in the school (similar to what was said of Hermione), can be understood to mean that they were similarly brilliant (note if it had merely said clever boys, I would not associate it with academics as that I would take to mean clever as in common sense.) The notion was never discounted in canon. Snape's behavior toward all three smacked of acute jealousy in that regard in my opinion, a further indication that he had come up short as a student and had disdain for those who showed academic excellence. Snape's treatment of Hermione is also evidence that Snape was not behaving in a negative manner toward Neville solely to get him to improve his performance, imo. I believe what Snape wished for was a room full of mediocre students as he himself had been - although naturally he could not say this outright. In my view, he was no more happy inside about Draco's excellence than Hermione's - however, he could take some pride in Draco due to his being a member of Slytherin and bask in the glory of whatever reflection that had upoon him as head of house. To clarify, when I say Snape was a mediocre student in my view, I mean mediocre with a knack for potions and a studied knack for the dark arts, allowing him to excel in those areas - I feel that is what the canon provides. And keep in mind, I am speaking only about these characters as students.

(POA - the Marauders Map (1); Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs (2); Owl Post Again (3); OOTP - OWLS (4); PS/SS - The Potions Master.(5) Interview: Brody, Leslie. "Students Meet the Real Wizard Behind the Harry Potter Craze," The Record (Bergen-Hackensack, NJ), October 14, 1999 (6))


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Last edited by wickedwickedboy; August 19th, 2008 at 3:15 pm.
  #1379  
Old August 19th, 2008, 3:27 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Slughorn's comment to Snape was about producing a fine potion on one's first attempt; I feel that indicates that he did well in potions (albeit there was no mention of grades or placement in the class or in the school whatsoever). However, that is all we know about Snape. No one ever said he was the cleverest in his year, let alone in the enitre school. No one ever called him an exceptionally bright student or called any of the spells he created 'extraordinary achievements.' In my judgment, that is because he wasn't an exceptionally bright student and his spells were not extraordinary in nature. If JKR wanted us to know this about Snape, she would have placed it in canon somewhere as he was in all seven of the books and there was more than ample opportunity for her to have done so.
With all due respect, Wick, this is an argument conducted purely from silence. All we know about Lily's academic record is that she was brilliant at Potions ... are we to assume, then, that she was a mediocre student? I would say that was unfair to Lily's character and I certainly think it is unfair to Snape's.

Quote:
Hermionie was also called the cleverest girl in her year and a near genius by JKR in interview - and a know it all by Snape.
I disagree with Rowling about Hermione being a genius, actually. Hermione is extremely bright and extremely hard-working but that does not make anyone a genius. Geniuses are very rare people indeed. And I don't think Hermione is one, based on what we see in canon. But I digress.

Quote:
Snape's behavior toward all three smacked of acute jealousy in that regard in my opinion, a further indication that he had come up short as a student and had disdain for those who showed academic excellence. Snape's treatment of Hermione is also evidence that Snape was not behaving in a negative manner toward Neville solely to get him to improve his performance, imo. I believe what Snape wished for was a room full of mediocre students as he himself had been - although naturally he could not say this outright.
The guy who invented the logics puzzle in PS/SS had been a mediocre student? Sorry, Wick, but I don't buy it. The evidence points to a brilliant Potions Master showing impatience (unfairly, to be sure) with a nervous and apparently incompetent student (Neville). Snape has high standards as a teacher and he wastes no time in letting his students know it.

Quote:
In my view, he was no more happy inside about Draco's excellence than Hermione's - however, he could take some pride in Draco due to his being a member of Slytherin and bask in the glory of whatever reflection that had upoon him as head of house.
With all due respect, I just don't think we see any evidence from canon to prove this is how Snape felt about Draco's academic achievements, let alone anybody else's. Just being really honest here.


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Last edited by Pearl_Took; August 19th, 2008 at 3:30 pm.
  #1380  
Old August 19th, 2008, 3:34 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.8

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Slughorn's comment to Snape was about producing a fine potion on one's first attempt; I feel that indicates that he did well in potions (albeit there was no mention of grades or placement in the class or school or his overall ability as a student whatsoever). However, that is all we know about Snape. No one ever said he was the cleverest in his year, let alone in the enitre school. No one ever called him an exceptionally bright student or called any of the spells he created 'extraordinary achievements.' In my judgment, that is because he wasn't an exceptionally bright student and his spells were not extraordinary in nature. If JKR wanted us to know this about Snape, she would have placed it in canon somewhere as he was in all seven of the books and there was more than ample opportunity for her to have done so.
We also have the OWL exams in OotP, Snape's Worst Memory, where he had written twice as much as all his neighbours (or something), which was a clear indication that he knew more than others.

His spells were definitely extraordinary.

Also, we have ample actual evidence to make a judgment whether he was brilliant or not - the entire Potions textbook (done while he was still a student), his duelling abilities (against Minerva and the duelling champion Flitwick), his truly exceptional ability - he can fly; his ability to fool Voldemort and all the Death Eaters for all those years; his Potions expertise, etc. He was definitely very clever. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?



Last edited by Yoana; August 19th, 2008 at 3:37 pm.
 
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