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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5



 
 
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  #721  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanT View Post
Well, just because he does not practice the Dark Arts does not mean that he is not still interested in them. The Dark Arts are only truly "dark" if a person uses it in a harmful way. I think Snape's passion for them has not vanished, but he does not pursue them because of Lily. His guilt about Lily's death and his dedication to bringing down Voldemort are his main driving forces, but this does not mean that his attraction to the dark side has completely vanished. I think the opposite actually, that it is still very much present. Snape will never be a "white" wizard, he will always be a "grey" one.
There's no objective evidence I know of in the text, though, to indicate that Snape retained an interest in the Dark Arts for their own sake. As far as I can tell from the text, his interest after turning to Dumbledore is in finding ways to defeat the Dark Arts - as he does, for example, when Dumbledore puts on the ring horcrux and Snape literally puts "a stopper on death" by temporarily confining the fatal curse to Dumbledore's hand.

Anyone who can Defend Against the Dark Arts at that high a level of expertise must, I think, also understand them deeply. But that does not mean that he has any desire to practice them. And it is practicing them, not studying them in order to defeat them, that makes a wizard Dark imo.


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  #722  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:11 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
There's no objective evidence I know of in the text, though, to indicate that Snape retained an interest in the Dark Arts for their own sake. As far as I can tell from the text, his interest after turning to Dumbledore is in finding ways to defeat the Dark Arts - as he does, for example, when Dumbledore puts on the ring horcrux and Snape literally puts "a stopper on death" by temporarily confining the fatal curse to Dumbledore's hand.

Anyone who can Defend Against the Dark Arts at that high a level of expertise must, I think, also understand them deeply. But that does not mean that he has any desire to practice them. And it is practicing them, not studying them in order to defeat them, that makes a wizard Dark imo.
I think it depends on the definition of a "Dark wizard" then. I did not say that Snape was a Dark wizard, though, merely that he still harbors interest in the Dark Arts. We don't truly have any proper proof, but I won't say that Snape despises them. I think the Dark Arts both intrigue and frighten him to some extent.


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  #723  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:16 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
i'll have to find that quote. I think it was Dumbledore's friend when Harry was talking to him at the wedding, but I can be sure. I do know that the quote is in the books. Maybe someone can recall the exact quote and the person who said it while I'm shuffling through my book.
I believe you are thinking of something Slughorn said to Tom after their conversation about Horcruxes.

HBP"Not at all, not at all, not offended," said Slughorn gruffly, "It is natural to feel some curiosity about these things. . . . Wizards of a certain caliber have always been drawn to that aspect of magic. . . ."


Bringing it back to Snape - the way the books are written, I don't think we really have any way to know whether Snape did or did not continue to have an attraction to the Dark Arts as an adult. The books never share with us what he is really thinking. It seems to me that if we want to classify whether he was a Dark Wizard as a mature adult, or not, however, that this is irrelevant. Do thoughts and feelings make someone a Dark Wizard? I would have supposed it would be the indiscriminate and wanton use of Dark Magic which hurt other people.

So it is possible that he was no longer attracted to them (if he had been). Or, it is possible he still very much was, in which case it would seem he restrained his inclination towards them to a remarkable degree.


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  #724  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:35 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

I added this to my previous post in hopes you would see it. But since you didn't see it before replying, I'm moving it down here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohanT
Practicing Dark Magic does not make someone a cruel person, it is merely how it is put to use that defines what sort of person you are. In Snape's case, I would say that he was just interested in it from the pure magical perspective. He wanted to learn and explore, but not necessarily to harm others.
Ahhh! I think I see what you're saying. Okay, I think the opinion of many posters on CoS is that practicing the Dark Arts is defined by using magic to harm others and that studying the Dark Arts is not the same thing as practicing them. So we may be getting into a bit of a semantic debate here.

If we take "cause magical harm" as a definition for a practitioner of the Dark Arts, then in my opinion, there is more canon evidence to suggest that Snape spends his post-windy-hilltop days trying to prevent magical harm than cause magical harm (and we know that he even tells Dumbledore that he saves all the lives that it is possible to save). At any rate, preventing magical harm would be my definition of a Defender Against the Dark Arts. If we want to discuss the nature of the Dark Arts further (i.e., practitioner vs. defender), there's got to be a thread for it somewhere on CoS.

I do think that Snape, circa 1996, most likely still found the Dark Arts fascinating, but probably in about the same way that a Mathematician would find an elusive Proof fascinating. In my opinion, it's his area of research.


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  #725  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

There is!

What are Dark Arts Really?


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  #726  
Old August 18th, 2011, 9:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Does it really matter whether or not Snape was interested in the Dark Arts? He invented at least one dark spell as a student, Sectum Sempra, which he claimed in his own words was dark and that he invented it. He became a Death Eater, which is not a club for Pacifists He was wearing the Dark Mark, which only those in Voldemort's inner circle wore. And he rose to a level of great trust in Voldemort's eyes.

I assume that he knows how to do the dark arts spells. If he didn't, he couldn't teach them. He admits to Bellatrix and to Umbridge that he has always desired to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. I believe that the books have enough canon evidence to support the idea that Snape was fascinated by the Dark Arts, as evidenced by his Advanced Potions book. And most of all, he understands that it is not easy to fight the dark arts, as evidenced by his statement in his first DADA class. So, whether he was fascinated or not, he knew how to use them, when to use them, what might be the limits of them, and how to teach them. And that is all in my own opinion. I know that other people will disagree with me.

Being good at the dark arts doesn't change the fact that Snape turned to the good side and used his knowledge to help defeat Voldemort. In fact, when you think about it, it was a darn good thing that he knew what he was doing.


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  #727  
Old August 18th, 2011, 10:06 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

In my opinion, Snape was never a full blown death eater. There is no indictation that he wanted to run around killing and torturing innocent people like Voldemort, Bella, the Carrows, etc. all seem to do. He was a young man that came from a household that didn't foster much love or understanding to him. He had an interest in the Dark Arts for he believed he could become stronger and satisfy his curiousity. It was something exiciting and interesting that he had found in life. He had no real chance of making friends with the Mauraders for they were bitter rivals and he wasn't going to be accepted by anyone else from the other houses considering he is seen as some kind of weird freak who like the dark arts and enjoy being by himself as told by the Mauraders themselves. The only people who actually tolerated his prescence were the death eaters while everybody else just didn't want anything to do with him from the very beginning that he got to Hogwarts. The fact that he was stored into Slytherin which is looked upon as an evil house as seen through James' view show that if not for the death eaters, nobody was trying to be his friends and get to know him.


  #728  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by SlytherinZolf20 View Post
In my opinion, Snape was never a full blown death eater. There is no indictation that he wanted to run around killing and torturing innocent people like Voldemort, Bella, the Carrows, etc. all seem to do. He was a young man that came from a household that didn't foster much love or understanding to him. He had an interest in the Dark Arts for he believed he could become stronger and satisfy his curiousity. It was something exiciting and interesting that he had found in life. He had no real chance of making friends with the Mauraders for they were bitter rivals and he wasn't going to be accepted by anyone else from the other houses considering he is seen as some kind of weird freak who like the dark arts and enjoy being by himself as told by the Mauraders themselves. The only people who actually tolerated his prescence were the death eaters while everybody else just didn't want anything to do with him from the very beginning that he got to Hogwarts. The fact that he was stored into Slytherin which is looked upon as an evil house as seen through James' view show that if not for the death eaters, nobody was trying to be his friends and get to know him.
Would you mind providing canon references for this theory? I would like to know how you came to this conclusion. This interpretation of the text would make the Death Eaters the most inclusive group in HP and joining them at a time when seeing the Dark Mark caused people to go into hysterics a socially understandable and somewhat tolerable step, no? If this was the case, I couldn't agree with it. Snape changed over the course of his life. A lot. He redeemed himself in Harry's eyes. For that, in my view, he had to have done things which needed redeeming. And I can't see how getting a Dark Mark tattoo, joining Voldemort's gang of Death Eaters - a telling name by the way - and betraying a prophecy that means death to a family to Voldemort himself means that Snape was not a full-blown Death Eater. But I am willing to be swayed by canon proof.


  #729  
Old August 18th, 2011, 11:40 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by SlytherinZolf20 View Post
In my opinion, Snape was never a full blown death eater. . .
Why, then, did he have the tattoo on his arm? In my opinion, you had to be a full blown death eater before you'd be marked with Voldemort's own Dark Mark.

Part of my evidence from canon for this would be that Fenrir Greyback lacked the tat.


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  #730  
Old August 19th, 2011, 12:27 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

What I mean by a full blown Death Eater is someone who is so far committed to voldemort and the cause of killing innocent people that nothing could ever bring them back. It would be death eaters like Bella who would willingly kill her own sister and family if Voldemort would have order her to or the Carrows who have distrubing sadist traits. If Snape was truly devoted like they were, his love for Lily and concern for her safety would have never pull him out of the group. Beside, if he did committ act of murders and horrific tortures like the most insane members of the death eaters did, then there is no way that his character could have ever been redeemed. A man with that kind of bloodshed on his hands could never truly be forgiven for his actions would be beyond redemption. Beside, if he was that evil, JKR would have given us some kind of hint or showed a flashback that Harry saw showing his actions for they would easily be the worst thing that he would have done in his life which including calling Lily a mudblood and joining the Death Eaters and causing the Potters death. A person who personally and with their own hands killed someone else in cold blood could never have a real tale of redemption. He needed to be redeem from his racial thoughts and believing that the Death Eaters could exactly help him in life and letting the Potters be killed. The death of the Potters through his actions was his gravest mistake.

The reason he got the tattoo was because Voldemort valued his skills as a wizard and his intelligence. Voldemort would be thrilled to have someone of Snape's power on his side. I might be wrong, but I don't believe there was any mention by Voldemort or the other Death Eaters about Snape personally torturing or killing muggleborn in brutal fashion. His job was to spy on Dumbledore and help Voldemort win his war.

Fenrir Greyback never got the tattoo was becuase Voldemort never truly trusted him. After all, Greyback just wanted to infect children and make them part of his bizzare pack of wolves. They worked together because Voldemort could have a henchman who could carry out his orders and Greyback got a chance to satsify his bloodthristy appetite for revenge. A wizard and a werewolf like these two guys would never have any kind of real respect or loyalty for one another.



Last edited by SlytherinZolf20; August 19th, 2011 at 12:30 am.
  #731  
Old August 19th, 2011, 12:47 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Do you mean fanatical Death Eater? No, Snape is certainly not this, but I believe that he did idolize Voldemort at some point in his life. No doubt Voldemort recognized his skills and intelligence as you say, but Snape chose Lily over Voldemort, so the Death Eaters were never his first choice. But I strongly believe that Snape would have continued to serve Voldemort had it not been for Lily's death. I believe this is canon, because J.K.R. said something of this sort. If anyone knows the quote, please post it.

But I don't believe someone who has blood on their hands is irredeemable... But that is going on to a different topic.


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  #732  
Old August 19th, 2011, 1:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
Why, then, did he have the tattoo on his arm? In my opinion, you had to be a full blown death eater before you'd be marked with Voldemort's own Dark Mark.

Part of my evidence from canon for this would be that Fenrir Greyback lacked the tat.
Fenrir is a good example of someone evil who isn't a Death Eater.

I think Snape is an example of someone who turned away from evil but he couldn't get rid of the Dark Mark.

I know JKR gave us the Ron School of Thought that says "poisonous mushrooms never change their spots," but taking Dumbledore as a source in GoF, Snape wasn't a Death Eater anymore once he "came back" to the Good Side before the fall of Voldemort.

And once Voldemort returned, Snape had no control over the return of the dark tattoo. Therefore, to my mind, the Dark Mark had nothing to do with the man that Snape had become, so it was just a painful reminder of the past. But it's a good thing that Snape still had the Mark and was willing to return to Voldemort, because he was the source of all their information in OotP and HBP.

It's interesting to me that Fake Moody/Barty Jr. taunts Snape for his Dark Mark and the fact that it won't ever come off. But once again, we are left with the fact that Snape did not equal Barty when it came to being the "most faithful." As he told Fake Moody, Dumbledore trusted him - with good reason.

And not all Death Eaters are exactly the same. Draco wasn't a killer, for instance, while Peter was. Regulus was willing to die defending an old House Elf, while Snape was willing to die defending Harry. Neither of them was out for himself anymore, unlike the typical DE.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; August 19th, 2011 at 1:04 am.
  #733  
Old August 19th, 2011, 1:40 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by Moriath View Post
Would you mind providing canon references for this theory? I would like to know how you came to this conclusion. This interpretation of the text would make the Death Eaters the most inclusive group in HP and joining them at a time when seeing the Dark Mark caused people to go into hysterics a socially understandable and somewhat tolerable step, no? If this was the case, I couldn't agree with it. Snape changed over the course of his life. A lot. He redeemed himself in Harry's eyes. For that, in my view, he had to have done things which needed redeeming. And I can't see how getting a Dark Mark tattoo, joining Voldemort's gang of Death Eaters - a telling name by the way - and betraying a prophecy that means death to a family to Voldemort himself means that Snape was not a full-blown Death Eater. But I am willing to be swayed by canon proof.
Many of us look to the canon of Bellatrix Lestrange’s comments to Severus at Spinner’s End about his always being missing when the action started and her implication that he would more or less cut and run if things got nasty while he was protecting Draco, as showing that he was NOT one of the more “active“ of the group‘s members..

We know that Severus was a “participating” DE. He had a Dark Mark, and he thoughtlessly carried the prophecy back to Voldemort, having no regard for the fate of it’s target.

But, I think where the opinions differ is: to what level did Severus actually buy into the philosophy of Voldemort and the DEs? When I use the term "full blown," I’m referring to the likes of Bella, Barty Crouch, Jr., and such. They not only wanted to kill and torture to help achieve Voldemort’s goal of domination of the Wizarding World, they seemed to revel in it. I think they would have joined any group that gave them the free rein to carry on their favorite "sport" of using the Unforgivable Curses.

But, my opinion is that Severus never fully bought into the "kill the Mudbloods and Muggles" philosophy that some of the DEs did. The overall idea of the blood purists/DEs, was that Mudbloods had stolen their magic somehow and that they should be put back in their place along with the rest of the Muggles (which even the some of the "good guys" spoke derisively about and used the term "Muggle" as an insult).

Yet, I, and I think several others, do not believe, other than his carrying of the prophecy to Voldemort, that Severus never was a full-tilt participant in the DE's actions. He can be accused of "guilt by association" or even be criticized for not taking action to stop what the DEs were doing -- although, I don't know how he would have done that without dying, like Regulus Black, who tried to destroy a Horcrux, not having any idea what he was up against -- such a sad thing.

But, I've never seen any canon that states Severus committed atrocities himself. I'm not sure, had he never heard the prophecy, but had secured the position at Hogwarts and been there for a while, having Dumbledore's protection and seeing the DEs from the "outside in" that he would not have turned against Voldemort even if Lily hadn't been threatened. Of course, that is pure speculation. But, I base it on my feelings that his DE involvement was skin deep and that, given a safe out, he would have taken it to get away. JMHO.

While I do feel that he had many prejudices against Muggles, more than likely fed by his negative interactions with at least the two we see (and possibly more that we don’t see) I don’t believe the prejudices went as far as absolute hatred…more just a feeling of superiority, which wasn't unusual in the WW. (His hatred was reserved for several pureblood wizards, instead.) And, he wasn't even a pure-blood, so he did not have that upbringing in his background to fuel his prejudices. They seem based mostly on his feelings for his father and, possibly, Petunia.

As we see from his interactions with Lily, he must not have totally bought into the DE philosophy or he would have cut the bonds of the friendship himself just because she was a Mudblood, not her cutting them because he was a potential DE. Even though he must have known as a child that, to some, being a Muggleborn is not acceptable, he tells her it won't make a difference because she's got "loads of magic." That says to me that he, personally, didn't see any difference, but knew that others did.

We are not shown the pressures put on Lily or Severus in their own Houses, but Lily refers to her "friends" not understanding why she even talks to him. I would venture to guess that Severus faced much of the same derision, if not worse, in his own House. But, he continued his friendship with Lily in spite of it.

So, while I do understand that Severus was a DE, did participate as a DE in some capacity, and had a Dark Mark, I , personally do not think he hated Muggle Borns or Muggles or wanted them murdered. Maybe I should start defining the DEs as “radical” and “nominal.”

As for Severus "redemption." I don't think that is what he was seeking. He was seeking atonement. He was looking to set right, as best he could, the wrongs that he had done and to make up for the actions he had taken during the time he was a DE. (Only those he could not save.) The worst of these, of course, was carrying information that eventually set into motion events that would lead to the death of the only person he truly loved. I feel that it was a terrible blow to him to know that he was in even the slightest way involved in that. But, he takes the steps to do what he can without concern for himself and without worrying about what "Brownie points" it's going to earn him. The only time he even shows any concern is when he asks Dumbledore about his soul when he's told he has to kill the Headmaster. This is quite a ways along from the young man on the hilltop, though, who I don't think was worried about his life or his soul -- only that the life of Lily be saved. So, I see his redemption being the result of his actions not the initial goal of them.


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  #734  
Old August 19th, 2011, 4:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
As for Severus "redemption." I don't think that is what he was seeking. He was seeking atonement. He was looking to set right, as best he could, the wrongs that he had done and to make up for the actions he had taken during the time he was a DE. (Only those he could not save.) The worst of these, of course, was carrying information that eventually set into motion events that would lead to the death of the only person he truly loved. I feel that it was a terrible blow to him to know that he was in even the slightest way involved in that. But, he takes the steps to do what he can without concern for himself and without worrying about what "Brownie points" it's going to earn him. The only time he even shows any concern is when he asks Dumbledore about his soul when he's told he has to kill the Headmaster. This is quite a ways along from the young man on the hilltop, though, who I don't think was worried about his life or his soul -- only that the life of Lily be saved. So, I see his redemption being the result of his actions not the initial goal of them.
I think the distinction between atonement and redemption is important for understanding the character and story line of Snape. His big turning point comes with Lily's death, when he goes all, "Oh my god! What have I done [to Lily and with my life]?! What can I do?! How can I try to make up for it!?" Snape's goal in turning against Voldemort is for him to atone or do penance for the evil he has done and been a part of, and also to distance himself from the hideousness he now understands it to be. But his efforts of atonement are not the same thing as--nor necessarily result in--atonement. People trying to atone for great wrongs rarely, in their own eyes, ever achieve atonement. Severus could never make up for what he did as a Death Eater, including his role in Lily's death, and no one else could atone for it either.

Redemption, as I view it, is not something that cannot be rightfully earned. Snape's downfall was shaped largely by his choices but also by his circumstances--his childhood, his treatment at the hands of others, etc. So too was his redemption a result of the choices and sacrifices he made but also of grace. The grace of Lily, who showed him what goodness was what evil destroys. The grace of Dumbledore, who offered him compassionate acceptance and trust and the chance to serve the cause of good. The grace of Harry who came to his side as his task of atonement was about to die with him, even while Harry thought him a traitor and murderer.

So, no, as a defender of Snape, I do not see him as a misunderstood soul who was wrongly accused of evil and yet was able to overcome prejudices and mistreatment to prove himself to be the wonderful hero he always was. That Snape would not be as important, nor worth defending as the one I see. Snape is as much more a recipient of grace than he is a minister of outcast virtue.


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  #735  
Old August 19th, 2011, 4:48 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by MCDahB View Post
I think the distinction between atonement and redemption is important for understanding the character and story line of Snape. His big turning point comes with Lily's death, when he goes all, "Oh my god! What have I done [to Lily and with my life]?! What can I do?! How can I try to make up for it!?" Snape's goal in turning against Voldemort is for him to atone or do penance for the evil he has done and been a part of, and also to distance himself from the hideousness he now understands it to be. But his efforts of atonement are not the same thing as--nor necessarily result in--atonement. People trying to atone for great wrongs rarely, in their own eyes, ever achieve atonement. Severus could never make up for what he did as a Death Eater, including his role in Lily's death, and no one else could atone for it either.

Redemption, as I view it, is not something that cannot be rightfully earned. Snape's downfall was shaped largely by his choices but also by his circumstances--his childhood, his treatment at the hands of others, etc. So too was his redemption a result of the choices and sacrifices he made but also of grace. The grace of Lily, who showed him what goodness was what evil destroys. The grace of Dumbledore, who offered him compassionate acceptance and trust and the chance to serve the cause of good. The grace of Harry who came to his side as his task of atonement was about to die with him, even while Harry thought him a traitor and murderer.

So, no, as a defender of Snape, I do not see him as a misunderstood soul who was wrongly accused of evil and yet was able to overcome prejudices and mistreatment to prove himself to be the wonderful hero he always was. That Snape would not be as important, nor worth defending as the one I see. Snape is as much more a recipient of grace than he is a minister of outcast virtue.
I agree that Severus could never do anything that would atone, in his own eyes, for what he felt he'd caused. We can stand back and say he was in a great way responsible for Lily's death by carrying the Prophecy, or that it was something he in no way anticipated would set things on the path that it did. He was just trying to get in good with his boss (and, if what Bella says about him being a DE slacker was true, he might have really needed those points). Either way, the result was the same: Lily was dead and he felt he'd had a part in it, intentional or not. So, Severus would never forgive himself, no matter how much good he did or how many lives he saved after that.

But, by doing the things he did to try to set what he could right i.e., protecting Harry and carrying out the job as a spy -- both life-threatening jobs -- I feel he earned redemption because he put others' welfare above his own and worked to save many and not just one, but that redemption was not his primary goal. I see this, also as part of his growth, from the young man who was worried only about his love...not her family or anyone else, to a man who could look Dumbledore in the eye and tell him the only people he'd watched die lately were the ones he couldn't save. I think that was also part of his redemption arc. From caring for only one to caring for many.

But, as I said previously, I don't think, when he set out as a young man that he was seeking redemption. He was seeking a way to do something to try to help "fix" what he had "broken." It was brilliant of Dumbledore to steer him in that direction.

I think the way you worded it about the "graces" he received is very good. Love, kindness, compassion.


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  #736  
Old August 20th, 2011, 12:19 am
Flamentine  Undisclosed.gif Flamentine is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Today I came to conclusion that Snape’s interest in Voldemort and DE is a lot like Dumblerdore’s fascination with Grindewald .
- Both , DD and Snape were young, smart and also somewhat naïve. They wanted to be a part of something greater so much that they didn’t see or didn’t want to see how wrong it really was;
- Both put a lot of time and work in their new ventures they forgot what was really important, DD neglected his sister, Snape ruined his friendship with Lily;
- Both came to their senses when they lost someone important (or in Snape’s case, when he realized he may lose someone important to him - I noticed that many of you refer to Lily’s death was a turning point for Snape. I think it wasn’t really her death but awareness that nothing will stop LV from killing Lily if he have to do this. After all, he came to DD, promising anything for protection of Potters before that eventful night, and I think that this meeting on the hill was his turning point and personally believe that even if Potters didn’t die he’d remain on a good side .
Of course, there were many differences, for example Grindewald found DD as smart as he was, whereas LV he was too self-absorbed to treat anyone as equal although he valued Snape’s skills and knowledge.
Maybe that’s why DD took Snape under his wings and always trusted him. He saw himself in Snape and knew that everyone makes mistakes when they’re young.


  #737  
Old August 20th, 2011, 12:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

We do have to take into consideration the dominant ideology of the time in the wizard world which was very prejudiced and biased against muggle-borns and muggles in general. These are exceptional people with a special talent who are forced to live in hiding and conserve their powers because muggles can't accept them. There is a great degree of bitterness and anger historically directed towards muggles and by extension muggle-borns. Voldemort simply tapped into that. The dark arts fascination is different but the pureblood ideology was very tempting to so many witches and wizards, especially when the alternative was your whole family being murdered by the dark lord. To be cynical and realistic, not every witch and wizard would have the values and courage to see those values through. They had to rebel against the dominant ideology of their forebearers and soceity. Snape was simply consumed by it. If you wanted to, you could say Snape was a victim of his time and place.


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Last edited by MasterOfDeath; August 20th, 2011 at 2:47 am.
  #738  
Old August 20th, 2011, 1:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterOfDeath View Post
We do have to take into consideration the dominant ideology of the time in the wizard world which was very prejudiced and biased against muggle-borns and muggles in general. These are exceptional people with a special talent who are forced to live in hiding and conserve their powers because muggles can't accept them. There is a great degree of bitterness and anger historically directed towards muggles and by extension muggle-borns. Voldemort simply tapped into that. The dark arts fascination is different but the pureblood ideology was very tempting to so many witches and wizards, especially when the alternative was your whole family being murdered by the dark lord. To be cynical and realistic, not every witch and wizard would have the values and courage to see those values through like James and Sirius did. They had to rebel (especially Sirius) against the dominant ideology of their forebearers and soceity. Snape was simply consumed by it. If you wanted to, you could say Snape was a victim of his time and place.
I think this is a valid consideration, but, I don't see Severus as "consumed" by the DE philosophy. If he had been, even love could not have dragged him away from it. He would have been wiling to sacrifice Lily to make sure the Dark Lord was not harmed.

Bella and Barty, Jr. are two examples of "consumed." They were willing to sacrifice family members for the Dark Lord. Bella was ashamed that Narcissa became upset at the thought of Draco becoming a DE, and stated that she would gladly give her son up to the Dark Lord's service. Barty, Jr. killed his own father to protect his stolen identity as Moody. That is my idea of "consumed."

I think Severus joined the DEs as a way to "feel important" and to belong. IMO, he was a run of the mill, look down your nose at Muggles, stay in the Dark Lord's good graces or he'll zap you, DE. I don't think, based on Bella's statements, that he participated in the torture/killing that some of them seemed to enjoy so much, but was more of a listening at keyholes type, as we see when he obtained part of the Prophecy.

This doesn't excuse him for joining the DEs. He made his choice to do that freely. But, it does give us some food for thought as to how immersed he actually was in the philosophy, which, other than not liking Muggles a lot, I don't think he was very deep into it.


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I held you in my arms, although I knew that death
Had already taken you. I held you close, hoping for a faint heartbeat or breath
To prove me wrong.
But, you were still, and could not hear or see
My grief, my tears, my heartbreak knowing that the rest of my life would be
Spent without you.
  #739  
Old August 20th, 2011, 1:47 am
ScarletDream  Female.gif ScarletDream is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
I think Severus joined the DEs as a way to "feel important" and to belong. IMO, he was a run of the mill, look down your nose at Muggles, stay in the Dark Lord's good graces or he'll zap you, DE. I don't think, based on Bella's statements, that he participated in the torture/killing that some of them seemed to enjoy so much, but was more of a listening at keyholes type, as we see when he obtained part of the Prophecy.
I agree with this.
From the brief glimpses of Snape's childhood (In SWM and TPT) we see that he never truly fit in with his peers until he met the budding DE in Slytherin House at Hogwarts. From then he began to find himself as an accepted, even useful, part of the group- which is something that someone who has been isolated for most of his life would be longing for.
I also agree with what you say about being altogether consumed by the DE 'way'. If you think it through, he risked his new friends and new found feeling of belonging to persist in being friends with Lily Evans- someone who, if he followed his DE friends, Snape should have avoided being associated with.
I'm sure that, if things had turned out differently in Snape and Lily's friendship, Snape would have followed Lily onto the side of good, and fought against Voldemort and the DE, if it gave him the chance to be with who he loved.
I think that because of Snape's inability to fit in during his child hood, its even more amazing that he would risk his feeling of belonging to the DE and Voldemort for Lily, whom he should- if he was completely 'consumed'- hate.


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  #740  
Old August 20th, 2011, 3:48 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamentine View Post
Maybe that’s why DD took Snape under his wings and always trusted him. He saw himself in Snape and knew that everyone makes mistakes when they’re young.
Didn't Dumbledore trust Snape because his patronus (apparently the only death-eater that could produce one from what I've heard) was a doe like Lily's? This can't be faked.

And how did Snape produce a patronus anyway? Don't you have to have a very happy memory? Not quite his forte.


 
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