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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4



 
 
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  #521  
Old March 5th, 2011, 1:58 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Something interesting I've noticed twice here is the idea that if Snape's motive is to educate Harry on something or other, that motive must be inherently good (of some synonym thereof). I tend to disagree. Some knowledge is not pleasant or appropriate to give at certain times. I think (in the toad scene especially [he literally tells his motive], but also to an extent in the cards detention as well) that Snape wants to convey something he considers important to the student he is dealing with without any regard for how they might feel on the subject-- and in the second case knowing full well that Harry will not react well.
In other words, you can genuinely want to let the five-year-old know that there's no Santa without really caring how that would make them feel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
Which is where something I've wanted to discuss for quite a while comes in - Snape loved Lily, yes. He loved her a lot. But over the years, how much of what he did was really dictated by his 'love' for her - and how much was just the person he'd grown up to be?

At some level, wasn't it just the 'idea' of loving Lily that anchored him to what were - in effect - his own beliefs and personality? Any thoughts?
Nice suggestion. Personally, I see his love for Lily as a catalyst, something that turned him toward the straight path. I don't believe he consciously thought, day in and day out, about her, but that in the back of his mind he knew what she'd died for and why he needed to uphold that...and from that knowledge sprang his own changing opinions.

Also, being in contact with DD, who knew all about his past, had to have been helpful in some respect. While I don't think Snape would really like talking about himself, I think DD did aid his growth by being someone to discuss the war with, complain to, etc. Sometimes hearing yourself talk about something is just as helpful as hearing someone else's view, IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal
I love the dynamics between these two boys a little too much
Same! It's one of my favorite character relationships in the series.


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Last edited by ignisia; March 5th, 2011 at 2:04 pm.
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  #522  
Old March 5th, 2011, 2:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I think (in the toad scene especially [he literally tells his motive], but also to an extent in the cards detention as well) that Snape wants to convey something he considers important to the student he is dealing with without any regard for how they might feel on the subject-- and in the second case knowing full well that Harry will not react well.
In other words, you can genuinely want to let the five-year-old know that there's no Santa without really caring how that would make them feel.
Atleast he wouldn't ever use an unforgivable on a student to 'teach' them!

Nor would he transfigure them into a ferret to make them learn. Or would he?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia
Personally, I see his love for Lily as a catalyst, something that turned him toward the straight path. I don't believe he consciously thought, day in and day out, about her, but that in the back of his mind he knew what she'd died for and why he needed to uphold that...and from that knowledge sprang his own changing opinions.

Also, being in contact with DD, who knew all about his past, had to have been helpful in some respect. While I don't think Snape would really like talking about himself, I think DD did aid his growth by being someone to discuss the war with, complain to, etc. Sometimes hearing yourself talk about something is just as helpful as hearing someone else's view, IMO.
I agree. His world-view since the first fall of Voldemort was a product of Lily's death. But I also think that, because of her death, and because he felt he was responsible for it, and because he promised Dumbledore he'll protect the child of the only person he ever loved - he denied himself even the smallest pleasures in life.

IMO, Sir was always the scared and awkward teenager at heart - he didn't want to get close to anyone else because he couldn't risk getting hurt anymore. For a person who looks and talks like Snape, it's really easy to make everyone around you hate you, and only grudgingly respect you for the work you do. It was his defence mechanism.

How I interpret Canon - Snape never really had a relationship with anyone at all, did he? Lily didn't work out, and so he wept for the rest of his life? IMO, that's really, really sad. Especially considering the number of fangirls ready to throw [STRIKE]our[/STRIKE]themselves at our tragic hero .

EDIT: And it sort of just struck me: What Dumbledore says in the first book applies to Snape SO much - "It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live."

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia
Same! It's one of my favorite character relationships in the series.


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Last edited by SoOriginal; March 5th, 2011 at 3:27 pm.
  #523  
Old March 5th, 2011, 6:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
Atleast he wouldn't ever use an unforgivable on a student to 'teach' them!

Nor would he transfigure them into a ferret to make them learn. Or would he?
Well I don't know about that, just like Fake Moody, he was a Death Eater quite a while. I don't about you, but I wouldn't put anything past an old Death Eater. I know that our boy Snape was supposed to leave that all behind him but he indulged quite a bit of his darker 'impulses', like when he bullied Neville and Harry. You can take the man out of the Death Eaters but you can't always take the Death Eater out of the man.

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I agree. His world-view since the first fall of Voldemort was a product of Lily's death. But I also think that, because of her death, and because he felt he was responsible for it, and because he promised Dumbledore he'll protect the child of the only person he ever loved - he denied himself even the smallest pleasures in life.
Well he was responsible for his part in the Potter's death. If he sentenced himself to a life of denial, I kind of think that was a bit arrogant. If Snape made himself that miserable that he shared the misery around that was not very healthy. Well IMO anyway, but the truth is that I dont think he was that way. I think that he took a whole lot of pleasure in his bullying of the kids in his class. It's one of the things I don't like about the character. Nobdy can sneer that much and not get pleasure from it. And Snape sneers a whole lot.

Quote:
IMO, Sir was always the scared and awkward teenager at heart - he didn't want to get close to anyone else because he couldn't risk getting hurt anymore. For a person who looks and talks like Snape, it's really easy to make everyone around you hate you, and only grudgingly respect you for the work you do. It was his defence mechanism.
But lets face it. His looks were in his own hands. He chose his own clothes and he could have washed his hair more often. Heck he could have even gone to get his teeth whitened and a nose job. I always got the drift that Snape just didn't give a hoot about the way he looked. Maybe he figured that beauty is only skin deep. His was buried a lot deeper than that. He did have some, deep, deep, deep down.

Quote:
How I interpret Canon - Snape never really had a relationship with anyone at all, did he? Lily didn't work out, and so he wept for the rest of his life? IMO, that's really, really sad. Especially considering the number of fangirls ready to throw [STRIKE]our[/STRIKE]themselves at our tragic hero .

EDIT: And it sort of just struck me: What Dumbledore says in the first book applies to Snape SO much - "It does not do to dwell on dreams, and forget to live."
Oh sweetie, Snape would be hell to live with. All that weeping, you'd be covered in mold and who would want to be with a man that would never want you and only spend his time mooning after a dead woman who didn't want him in the first place. Not that I blame her for that. Who'd want a man that called you a (insert racial insult of choice.)


  #524  
Old March 5th, 2011, 6:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
While it would be off-topic to get into an extended discussion of Harry's motive here, I never read it that Harry looked in the Pensieve because Snape was unpleasant to him, but because of natural curiosity.

Yes, he still shouldn't have done it. Yes, I expect Snape genuinely believes that Harry did it through malice, but I think it is still indicative of a part of Snape's personality that always wants to put the worst construction on what Harry does.
Yes, it was curiousity, but mainly because he thought Snape was hiding something from him about the Department of Mysteries.

I agree with SoOriginal that Snape was probably fearful of Harry seeing those thoughts and memories - and feelings. It could get him killed and lead to Harry being killed. A double whammy, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
The light was coming from the Pensieve sitting on Snape's desk. The silverwhite contents were ebbing and swirling within. Snape's thoughts… things he did not want Harry to see if he broke through Snape's defences accidentally…

Harry gazed at the Pensieve, curiosity welling inside him… what was it that Snape was so keen to hide from Harry?

The silvery lights shivered on the wall… Harry took two steps towards the desk, thinking hard. Could it possibly be information about the Department of Mysteries that Snape was determined to keep from him?
Quote:
But Harry also had things in his memories that he was frightened and embarrassed about Snape accessing (startlingly similar things to what Snape wishes to hide, actually - humiliating memories of having been bullied and intimate, romantic memories of his feelings for a girl which he desperately wishes to remain private), and yet Snape didn't give him the chance to hide them in a Pensieve.
Harry couldn't possibly have hidden all those memories in the Pensieve, and if he had, then what would have been the point of learning Occlumency in the first place? I don't really understand that point. Dumbledore or Snape could have obliviated Harry, too, and sent him to Australia, as Hermione did with her parents, but I don't think that would have helped them defeat Voldemort.

I personally feel that Occlumency is one of those things Snape has to do that is "right" but certainly not "easy."

I think Snape believed Harry could learn Occlumency. In my opinion, he never expected to spend weeks looking at those humiliating memories, and he never once taunted him about any of it except when Harry sees Lily in the Mirror of Erised and Sirius by the Lake. Those were the people Harry cared about the most and Snape lost it (eta: his temper) at him because he feared Voldemort would use those memories as "weapons" ~ which he did by using a decoy Sirius to get Harry to the Department of Mysteries.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; March 5th, 2011 at 10:04 pm.
  #525  
Old March 5th, 2011, 6:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
But lets face it. His looks were in his own hands. He chose his own clothes and he could have washed his hair more often. Heck he could have even gone to get his teeth whitened and a nose job. I always got the drift that Snape just didn't give a hoot about the way he looked.
IMHO, if he got a nose job, I'd respect him as much as I respect Lokhart. :P

But that aside - that's exactly the point I was trying to make actually. He didn't care about his looks, and to him - the worse he looked, the better. We see this in real life too - many people have a thing against those who don't look 'good' or 'decent' - and worse - are not apologetic about it! Snape, IMO, wanted to turn people away because he didn't want to really get hurt again. JMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver ink pot
I think Snape believed Harry could learn Occlumency. In my opinion, he never expected to spend weeks looking at those humiliating memories, and he never once taunted him about any of it except when Harry sees Lily in the Mirror of Erised and Sirius by the Lake. Those were the people Harry cared about the most and Snape lost it at him because he feared Voldemort would use those memories as "weapons" ~ which he did by using a decoy Sirius to get Harry to the Department of Mysteries.
True that. Plus, knowing both Sirius AND Harry, Snape could guess the multitude of things that could go wrong if Voldy used Sirius to get to Harry - which was what happened in the end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
I know that our boy Snape was supposed to leave that all behind him but he indulged quite a bit of his darker 'impulses', like when he bullied Neville and Harry.
Fred and George bullied Ron, James and Sirius bullied Snape, Sirius bullied Kreacher - are those 'darker impulses' too? IMHO, bullying and being nasty cannot be compared to being a death eater and follower of the dark path. And frankly - even if Snape had a clean slate and had never signed up with the DEs and had been part of the order from the start etc etc - he's still be a bit of a snarky git. JMO.


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  #526  
Old March 5th, 2011, 7:21 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
ETA: One more thing. I think it's a plausible theory that Snape was checking Trevor to see if he was an animagus ~ It's just a pity he didn't check Scabbers since Peter lived in Harry's Dorm Room for three years. Just a theory.
Why is that plausible? Just because Scabbers ends up being one? I don't think it's a common thing in the wizarding world for someone's pet to actually be an animagus so excuse me for not thinking that's what Snape is thinking.


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  #527  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by silver ink pot View Post
Harry couldn't possibly have hidden all those memories in the Pensieve, and if he had, then what would have been the point of learning Occlumency in the first place? I don't really understand that point. Dumbledore or Snape could have obliviated Harry, too, and sent him to Australia, as Hermione did with her parents, but I don't think that would have helped them defeat Voldemort.
Removing a few of his more personal memories would not defeat the purpose, IMO. Harry was fifteen, there would still have been years worth of memories to practise Occlumency with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
Fred and George bullied Ron, James and Sirius bullied Snape, Sirius bullied Kreacher - are those 'darker impulses' too? IMHO, bullying and being nasty cannot be compared to being a death eater and follower of the dark path. And frankly - even if Snape had a clean slate and had never signed up with the DEs and had been part of the order from the start etc etc - he's still be a bit of a snarky git. JMO.
If it's wrong for Fred and George, James and Sirius to bully others, it is also wrong for Snape to do so. Furthermore, I would personally expect a higher standard of behaviour from an adult than from teenagers. I totally agree that bullying cannot be compared to being a Death Eater, and yet, it so often is. However, DEs were certainly a very particular, twisted type of bullies, IMO.

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Why is that plausible? Just because Scabbers ends up being one? I don't think it's a common thing in the wizarding world for someone's pet to actually be an animagus so excuse me for not thinking that's what Snape is thinking.
I agree. Out of all of the students' pets at Hogwarts, why would Snape suspect that Trevor the Toad was secretly an Animagus? Plus, this was before Scabbers was revealed to be Pettigrew.


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  #528  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:04 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

I think the Occlumency lessons are one more example of Snape not being a good, effective teacher, at least not for Harry. He doesn't give Harry any pointers on how to actually block Legillimensy, he just demonstrates over and over again what will happen to Harry when someone uses it against him. The only thing Snape tells Harry to do is to empty himself of all emotions. Well, in sixth year Harry finds out that Snape doesn't think the Patronus Charm is the best way to ward off Dementors, but we never hear what Snape's way to do that is. We also learn that for Harry, a very strong emotion is the best way for him to fight off Legillimensy. But instead of adapting his teaching methods to Harry's strengths, Snape doggedly presses on with his ineffective "empty yourself of all emotion" method of Occlumency. He rarely revises his initial impressions and opinions, even when Dumbledore tries to tell him that with Harry, to speak of the soul is to speak of the mind. I think Dumbledore was trying to guide Snape in a better direction regarding Harry's Occlumency lessons, but Snape was having none of it, just as he would have none of Dumbledore's assertions that Harry was more like Lily than like James.

Far from caring about Harry and doing his best to help "the boy," I agree with those who have said that Snape carried his bitterness against James and Sirius toward Harry right up to the end: when he was screaming at Harry after killing Dumbledore, he was still taunting the boy he'd helped to make an orphan about his father being a terrible person. The only one who viewed James as a 100% terrible person was Snape. Everyone else had admirable things to say about him (except Voldemort, and I don't much value his opinion or his ability to judge character either).


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  #529  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:10 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
IMHO, if he got a nose job, I'd respect him as much as I respect Lokhart. :P

But that aside - that's exactly the point I was trying to make actually. He didn't care about his looks, and to him - the worse he looked, the better. We see this in real life too - many people have a thing against those who don't look 'good' or 'decent' - and worse - are not apologetic about it! Snape, IMO, wanted to turn people away because he didn't want to really get hurt again. JMO
.

Then I suppose it not so too surprising that it worked. People judged him by his looks and his looks were not that pleasing to the eye.



Quote:
True that. Plus, knowing both Sirius AND Harry, Snape could guess the multitude of things that could go wrong if Voldy used Sirius to get to Harry - which was what happened in the end.
Then why the heck did Snape throw in the towe?. If he knew things could get ugly, all the more reason not to throw a hissy fit because a kid acted like a stupid kid. There was bigger things at stake than Snape's feelings and Snape should have kept his eyes on the ball.

Quote:
Fred and George bullied Ron, James and Sirius bullied Snape, Sirius bullied Kreacher - are those 'darker impulses' too? IMHO, bullying and being nasty cannot be compared to being a death eater and follower of the dark path. And frankly - even if Snape had a clean slate and had never signed up with the DEs and had been part of the order from the start etc etc - he's still be a bit of a snarky git. JMO.
Yup, there's a lot of bullying around, Fred and George teased Ron, I don't class that as bullying, I come from a big family and it's pretty much how it is. James and Sirius bullied Snape in that one memory. Snape did his level best to get Remus thrown out of Hogwarts and Sirius,. Seriously, Sirius (?) acted just like Snape in a Potion classroom with Kreacher. Fred and George are just kids, they were moving past the bullying tendencies just like James and Sirius did. Snape is more of a problem. He was the one who became a proffessional bully when joined up with the 'Ultimate Bully Club', otherwise known as the Death Eaters.
You're right he was a snarky git , to put it mildly. But he is an extremely well written 'snarky git'.


  #530  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:13 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SadiraSnape View Post
Nope, Harry went into his first Potions class with a dislike for Snape, partly conscious, partly subconscious. He knew (or thought he did) that Snape made his scar hurt at the feast the night before; he had also had the nightmare in which Snape figured prominently. True, Snape jumped on him with both feet, but I personally don't feel he asked anything out of the ordinary -- plenty of classes I've been in, day one the instructor has picked out people and asked questions. It's generally to gauge the level of knowledge in the class.
Harry noticed his scar hurt when Snape looked at him. Seems like a coincidence he was just trying to make sense of.
As for his dream--I'm not going to fault him for that. People can't control what they dream about.

In my opinion, what happened in the classroom was nothing but Snape wanting to taunt and embarrass Harry, "the new celebrity." The boy sat in his class looking just like James Potter, and holding lots of people's respect--things that were in no way whatsoever Harry's fault. Snape simply couldn't stand it, and used the opportunity to be a bully. That's how I see it.

Quote:
Was Snape absolutely fair in asking all the questions of Harry? No. Was it fair to expect Harry to have at least cracked the book before school started? Absolutely. I still believe it was a mix between taking Harry down a peg or two (whether he actually needed it or not) and demonstrating to the other students that Mr. Potter was not the Repository of All Wizarding Knowledge and Ability some may have thought him. Given the level of adulation he had in the WW, I think it was a reasonable thing to do. Did Severus do it in a subtle, discreet manner? No. Was it a valid concern? I think so.
Differences in opinion then. I don't think it's a teacher's responsibility to take a student "down a peg or two" before knowing anything about the kid. I think a reasonable teacher should start off treating all student fairly. I just don't think Snape treated Harry fairly right from the jump. JMO.

Oh--and as for expecting Harry to have at least cracked the book before school--Nah. I bet the only one who did was Hermione. These were 1st year students, some of whom came from Muggle households and had no idea what to expect. How could any teacher expect them to know the material already? I'm not from the wizarding world (lol) but I know in my classes, no one was expected to have started studying the material already unless given summer instructions to do so. The first years weren't given any summer instructions. In later years, they were. But not in the 1st year.

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I don't think, though, that it's very profitable to the discussion to have a He Started It! No, He Did! argument -- it will bog down the thread and is ultimately unresolvable, IMO. Neither one of them should have hated the other based on the evidence they had to begin with -- there were errors in judgment all the way around.
Well, I apologize if you think my comment wasn't profitable to the discussion. I was just expressing an opinion based on someone's response that I read on here...I thought it was ok to do so...Everyone else here expresses their opinions and point out parts of the book they feel help support it. I just think Snape "started it" with the way he treated Harry in his first class with him, which says something about Snape's character to me. Everything about Snape's character is unresolvable, which is why these threads go on so long...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOrginal
See, that's where I can't bring myself to like Harry - or even excuse him for being a kid. He invaded a man's privacy - and why? Because he wasn't pleasant to him? From Snape's point of view - if THAT doesn't prove that young Mr Potter believes at some level that the world must go around him, then what would?

Even if you want to dismiss that as Snape acting out of angst and not behaving like an adult - IMO, Snape was scared that Harry saw his memories. He was obviously hiding a lot in that Pensieve in case Harry broke through the barriers in his mind. He was hiding all those memories with Lily in them. He was hiding his love for a 15-year-old student's mother in there.

And he didn't really know how much Harry Potter saw. He could only guess - may be hope that he didn't see much more than his 'worst' memory - that he didn't read too much into it. I think Snape wouldn't want to get too close to the boy after that. For 2 reasons:

1. Snape was emotionally battered. He doesn't want Lily's son to know he was in love with his mother. Too much explaining - especially when the boy in question has proved time and again that he can't really keep his nose out of anything that - he believes - concerns him.

2. He was teaching Occlumency to Harry because he had a connection to Voldemort. As a spy, there's only so much he can risk Harry knowing. Terrible as he was at shielding his mind, if Harry knew - and in turn Voldemort knew - that Snape still loved Lily, I don't see Snape spying, or for that matter even surviving, for much longer. And again, I don't think he was afraid to die. He was scared that the whole plan would be compromised by his dying or not being able to spy.
And I think everything you said is true and valid! Snape had reason to be mightily ticked off. But he also had reason to understand just how important the Occlumency lessons were and how strongly Dumbledore felt about Harry learning. Was this asking too much of Snape--Dumbledore came to think so.

This actually raises a new questions for me. Being as skilled at Occlumency and Legilimency as Snape was, couldn't he have checked to see how much Harry had seen? And upon realizing that Harry hadn't seen too much, he could have continued the lessons if he could have overcome his anger.
And even if Harry had seen too much, wouldn't that have been all the more reason for making sure Harry could successfully do Occlumency (so Voldemort wouldn't see)?

Plus, Snape well knows how curious and sneaky Harry can be. I've seen some people say Snape trusted Harry to not go in his pensieve. But I think Snape just got distracted (something going on with Umbridge), and he forgot he left it out in Harry's presense.
Was Harry wrong of looking? Of course--but that's Harry's character, isn't it? Curious.



Last edited by PotterGurl08; March 5th, 2011 at 8:18 pm.
  #531  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

Quote:
when he was screaming at Harry after killing Dumbledore, he was still taunting the boy he'd helped to make an orphan about his father being a terrible person.
The screaming was more focussed on telling Harry to keep his 'mouth shut and mind closed', IMHO. And, although I don't have the exact text on me right now - he only blocked Harry's curses at him until Harry called him a coward - right after he was forced to murder his friend, philosopher and guide for the cause! That's a bit too much to take for anyone. And even then he lost control only for a moment, before he got back on the advice track - although, knowing Harry, he only looked at it as another insult. JMO.

When I first read the tower scene - when Snape AK's Dumbledore after Dumbledore's 'Please Severus...' - I only interpreted it as Snape fulfilling an order. It was only later that I realised that many people interpreted it otherwise - that Snape had, as Harry and the other suspected - turned to Voldemort's side. So, to me, that Snape got ****** at Harry for calling him a coward was an acceptable reaction.

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Removing a few of his more personal memories would not defeat the purpose, IMO. Harry was fifteen, there would still have been years worth of memories to practise Occlumency with.
The Occlumency lessons were less of a 'class' and more 'real life training', IMO - and therefore to make it easier would not really help when what you're going to be facing is much tougher than the worst you'd practice on. Plus - if you ask Harry to hide away the memories that he doesn't want Snape to see, what's left would only be what Harry doesn't care about revealing anyway - defeating the whole purpose of the lessons, IMO.


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  #532  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:21 pm
PotterGurl08  Undisclosed.gif PotterGurl08 is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by leah49 View Post
Why is that plausible? Just because Scabbers ends up being one? I don't think it's a common thing in the wizarding world for someone's pet to actually be an animagus so excuse me for not thinking that's what Snape is thinking.
I agree. What reason would there be, at that point, for thinking Trevor was an animagus? If that were the case, Snape would have been 'threatening' everyone's pets. Why just Neville's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
I think the Occlumency lessons are one more example of Snape not being a good, effective teacher, at least not for Harry. He doesn't give Harry any pointers on how to actually block Legillimensy, he just demonstrates over and over again what will happen to Harry when someone uses it against him. The only thing Snape tells Harry to do is to empty himself of all emotions. Well, in sixth year Harry finds out that Snape doesn't think the Patronus Charm is the best way to ward off Dementors, but we never hear what Snape's way to do that is. We also learn that for Harry, a very strong emotion is the best way for him to fight off Legillimensy. But instead of adapting his teaching methods to Harry's strengths, Snape doggedly presses on with his ineffective "empty yourself of all emotion" method of Occlumency. He rarely revises his initial impressions and opinions, even when Dumbledore tries to tell him that with Harry, to speak of the soul is to speak of the mind. I think Dumbledore was trying to guide Snape in a better direction regarding Harry's Occlumency lessons, but Snape was having none of it, just as he would have none of Dumbledore's assertions that Harry was more like Lily than like James.
I completely agree.
Snape's style of teaching was always to taunt and make fun of Harry's weaknesses. I think an effective teacher has to play to their student's strengths; they have to be encouraging. Constantly being taunted and told that you are weak isn't motivating, especially when dealing with kids/teens. Snape may have been a smart and powerful wizard, but he wasn't the most effective teacher, imo.



Last edited by PotterGurl08; March 5th, 2011 at 8:28 pm.
  #533  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:35 pm
SoOriginal  Female.gif SoOriginal is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by PotterGurl08
This actually raises a new questions for me. Being as skilled at Occlumency and Legilimency as Snape was, couldn't he have checked to see how much Harry had seen? And upon realizing that Harry hadn't seen too much, he could have continued the lessons if he could have overcome his anger.
And even if Harry had seen too much, wouldn't that have been all the more reason for making sure Harry could successfully do Occlumency (so Voldemort wouldn't see)?
I don't think 'overcoming anger' is a trait Snape possessed in large quantities. Maybe because he is - like Harry - very stubborn.

Could Harry not have made the first move to go over and apologise - and if he did, would Snape have gotten over the fact that he looked into his Pensieve? I don't know. With all that going on with Umbridge and Dumbledore not being in the castle, I think Snape would have had enough on his mind, and the anger would have just fed his frustration even more.


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  #534  
Old March 5th, 2011, 8:48 pm
PotterGurl08  Undisclosed.gif PotterGurl08 is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
I don't think 'overcoming anger' is a trait Snape possessed in large quantities. Maybe because he is - like Harry - very stubborn.

Could Harry not have made the first move to go over and apologise - and if he did, would Snape have gotten over the fact that he looked into his Pensieve? I don't know. With all that going on with Umbridge and Dumbledore not being in the castle, I think Snape would have had enough on his mind, and the anger would have just fed his frustration even more.
Good point.
Maybe Snape would have stayed angry regardless.
Harry apologizing--I don't know. For any other teacher, he probably would. But for Snape, is it stubbornness? Or is Harry scared by just how angry Snape is, that he knows an apology would be useless anyhow.

Either way, yet--they are both stubborn.


  #535  
Old March 5th, 2011, 9:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by PotterGurl08 View Post
Harry noticed his scar hurt when Snape looked at him. Seems like a coincidence he was just trying to make sense of.
As for his dream--I'm not going to fault him for that. People can't control what they dream about.
I'm not going to fault Harry for that either. He didn't even remember the dream when he awoke again in the morning.

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In my opinion, what happened in the classroom was nothing but Snape wanting to taunt and embarrass Harry, "the new celebrity." The boy sat in his class looking just like James Potter, and holding lots of people's respect--things that were in no way whatsoever Harry's fault. Snape simply couldn't stand it, and used the opportunity to be a bully. That's how I see it.
I agree, there was no justification for singling out a student on his first day. And considering Snape's role in Harry's "celebrity", I think it was particularly malicious of him to bring that up.

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Oh--and as for expecting Harry to have at least cracked the book before school--Nah. I bet the only one who did was Hermione. These were 1st year students, some of whom came from Muggle households and had no idea what to expect. How could any teacher expect them to know the material already? I'm not from the wizarding world (lol) but I know in my classes, no one was expected to have started studying the material already unless given summer instructions to do so. The first years weren't given any summer instructions. In later years, they were. But not in the 1st year.
I agree, it was a subject they had never studied before. And as for expecting them to know something on the first day - we never again see Snape springing questions on students on their first day of class. It would make more sense to spring such a challenge on a 2nd year or higher student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoOriginal View Post
And even then he lost control only for a moment, before he got back on the advice track - although, knowing Harry, he only looked at it as another insult. JMO.
Under the circumstances, how else was Harry to interpret it? Harry had just witnessed Snape firing the Killing Curse at Dumbledore.

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When I first read the tower scene - when Snape AK's Dumbledore after Dumbledore's 'Please Severus...' - I only interpreted it as Snape fulfilling an order. It was only later that I realised that many people interpreted it otherwise - that Snape had, as Harry and the other suspected - turned to Voldemort's side. So, to me, that Snape got ****** at Harry for calling him a coward was an acceptable reaction.
Many readers interpreted it as such. Harry can't possibly be expected to do so, IMO. I believe his anger at Snape in that situation was fully understandable and justified - he had no reason to think anything other than the obvious.

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The Occlumency lessons were less of a 'class' and more 'real life training', IMO - and therefore to make it easier would not really help when what you're going to be facing is much tougher than the worst you'd practice on. Plus - if you ask Harry to hide away the memories that he doesn't want Snape to see, what's left would only be what Harry doesn't care about revealing anyway - defeating the whole purpose of the lessons, IMO.
There would still have been memories to hide using Occlumency. I'm not suggesting Harry should be allowed to hide everything, but some things are completely too personal to want another to see them. Snape realised that for his own situation, but didn't recognise that someone else might have the same concerns, IMO.

And yes, it was real-life training, but IMO, there is still such a thing as taking things in stages, walking before you run, etc. Defending less personal memories could have come before defending memories of the graveyard and of kissing Cho.
Snape allowed Harry to keep his wand in Occlumency lessons, and use it as a defence. Would Voldemort do the same? One example of things being simpler in the lessons than in a real life situation, of taking it in stages.


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Last edited by FurryDice; March 5th, 2011 at 9:22 pm.
  #536  
Old March 5th, 2011, 9:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by ReelBigFish View Post
In the pensieve scenes he gave Harry we consistently see SNape describe Harry in a negative context - mediocre arrogant etc and at the end of HBP when Harry is doing detention Snape sneers at Harry about James and Sirius "It must be such a great comfort to think that though they are gone a record of their great achievements remain.
Harry isn't even mentioned until the ninth memory, then only because it is Harry who Voldemort is targeting and Severus, IMO, knows Lily will die trying to save him. He doesn't describe him, he just dismisses him...but, I think we need to remember that this is the 20-something DE Severus who has litltle concern for human life at this time.

In the Memory #10, Dumbledore makes it clear that he is sure the Dark Lord will return and he tells Severus that Harry will be in "terrible danger when he does." Severus agrees to protect Harry, but asks that Dumbledore not tell him...he does not want "Potter's son" to know that he is protecting him.

Memory #11 is the first time Severus mentions Harry's "faults." "--mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent --" Dumbledore tells Severus that he sees what he wants to see -- IMO, meaning he is looking at Harry and seeing James. While none of the descriptions were overly flattering, a couple of them were true: determined rule-breaker" and "impertinent." Harry was both of those.

I find it telling that Dumbledore is not the least bit ruffled by Severus comments or demeanour during their discussion and continues to leaf through his Transfiguration book while talking to him. So, he wasn't all that concerned about what Severus was saying.

Harry is not mentioned again until Memory #14 when Severus asks about all of the evenings Dumbledore has been spending with Harry. The only thing Severus says Harry is "his father over again," that his magic is "mediocre," and that he is incapable of Occlumency and has a direct mental connection with the Dark Lord. The first two are almost word-for-word what he said in Memory #11 and the last two are true. So, IMO, Severus is basically parroting something he said before -- to me meaning that he really isn't giving it a lot of thought -- and he is expressing concern to Dumbledore about Harry's ability to block out Voldemort's invasion of his thoughts, and through Harry, access to other information.

Memory #15, Dumbledore tells Severus all of the information about why Voldemort has a connection to Harry and that in order to kill Voldemort the part of him that latched itself onto Harry must also be killed -- that Harry must die.

There are five memories after this one and Severus says nothing negative about Harry in any of them. So, as I see it, the worst thing Severus said about Harry was that he was an arrogant, rule breaker who enjoyed his fame, was impertinent, was like his father, his magic was mediocre and that he couldn't do Occlumency.

With the physical resemblance, IMO, it would have been difficult not to compare Harry to James, especially since he was very adept at rule-breaking and was impertinent (it can be argued that he was just taling back to Severus because of the way Severus talked to him, but, disrespect for a person in a positon of authority is impertanence).

It was James and Sirius (and Remus and Pettigrew) who racked up boxes and boxes and boxes of detention cards. Severus' snark at Harry about that was nasty, but, I think we've already agreed that he was a nasty person. IMO, copying the cards also gave Harry a bit of insight into exactly what the Marauders were up to during their years at Hogwarts. Was this necessary? Probably not. But, there were a lot worse things that could have happened to Harry for nearly killing another student.

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I must diagree with you here - Snape most definitely IMO bears some responsibility for the Potters death and Harry being an orphan. He did not just carry part of an ambiguous prophecy to Voldemort - the prophecy clearly stated that a child to be born to those who thrice defied Voldemort and he would be the one to vanquish the Dark Lord - how is that ambigous? The interpretation and actions may be on Voldemort but he would never have known that the prophecy existed if Snape had not told him about it so to me that makes Snape totally culpable here. Snape may have gone to Dumbledore but he only cared about saving Lilys life not Harry or James. Peter betrayed Lily and James yes but Snape was the one who got the ball rolling reporting the phrophecy so he is also partly responsible.
Here is the Prophecy, word for word:

"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ..."

It was ambiguous because it did not give specific information. We know there were at least two couples in the Wizarding World, possibly more, who "thrice defied the Dark Lord." How many of them were expecting in July? (The information about the Potters and Longbottoms was evidenatally carried by Mr. Pettigrew, as he was supposedly already spying on the Order for Voldemort.) The Prophecy also says that the Dark Lord would be the one to mark his vanquisher and would give him the power to do it. There is some question as to how much Severus actually heard before Aberforth caught him at the keyhole. My guess is that he did not hear it all or Voldemort wouldn't have needed to get hold of it so badly.

To carry that information was wrong, but, so was being a DE in the first place. Severus was doing his job. But, the carrying of the Prophecy does not, IMO opinion, make Severus responsible for Voldemort's interpretation of it anymore than a person who builds a sports car that goes 200 miles an hour is responsible when someone wraps that car around a tree.

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we also see Snape during Harrys sixth year calling Harry a mediocre magician and incapable of occlumency. To me it does not matter if he knew Harry would not be expelled he still suggested it. In POA he tells Harry he is a nasty attention seeker just like his father who strutted around School. In Chamber of Secrets he tried to get Harry thrown off the Quidditch team. In HBP when Harry is late to the School because Draco has immobilised him and broken his nose Snape takes great delight in "I suppose you wanted to make an entrance Potter and with no flying car you decided thar bursting into the Great Hall halfway through the feast ought to create a dramatic effect.
no cloak you can walk in so that everyone sees you which is what you wanted I'm sure.
He mentioned the expulsion in PoA, but also mentioned that he thought the trio had been Confunded. IMO, not a real effort to get Harry expelled. In HBP he told him he would have expelled him for what he did to Draco, and McGonagall implies to Harry that he was very lucky he wasn't.

Severus wanted to get Harry kicked off to help his House Win the Quidditch Cup. McGonagall gave Harry a broom to help her House win the Quidditch Cup. I don't think either was right, but evidentally in the Wizarding World, "all's fair in love and Quidditch."

As for what happened to Harry on the train, IMO, Draco should have at least been suspended if not expelled for attacking Harry and leaving him like that. As a matter of fact, I was surprised when he and the other proven DE's children were allowed back at school after the arrests at the Ministry. Really odd, IMO, to have the enemy's children in your school during a war.

Snape's comments were his usual snark. IMO, no more, no less. Just part of his nasty personality.

We know Harry was much better than "mediocre," which means "average," but, we also know he was incapable of Occlumency because he could not control his hatred for Severus.

If he could not control his hatred for Severus, under fairly well-controlled conditions, how would he have controlled his hatred for Voldemort (who, at that time he hated more than Severus) under less that controlled conditions? That was why Severus kept taunting him and trying to keep him off guard. He kept telling him that the Dark Lord wasn't going to cut him any slack, and that Harry had to try to control his emotions in order to protect the ones that Voldemort could use against him. Harry did not practice, did not try because of his hatred for Severus, and, in the end, Voldemort projected the thought of Sirius Black being held captive to lure Harry to the MoM to help retrieve the Prophecy. And, Sirius Black went to help save Harry and was killed.

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I have no problem with Harry getting detention for what he did but it was what Snape said to him during that time about james and Sirius that bothered me. I think Snape was also covering his onw rear there because if Harry had been expelled he would have told them where he got the Spell and we all know that Snape invented it.
I'm not sure what difference that would have made. They weren't going to fire or expell Severus for inventing Sectum Sempra. I don't see that he ws covering anything. IMO, Severus taunted Harry because that's what he did, especially when the subject of the Marauders came up.

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Could you please direct me to the Canon that states Snape stayed behind in the Forest after he sent the doe??
Yes. After Ron saves Harry from the pool of icy water and Ron tells him about watching Harry follow the Patronus:

"You didn't see anyone else?"
"No." said Ron. "I --"
But he hesitated, glancing at two trees growing close together some yards away.
"I did think I saw something move over there, but I was running to the pool at the time, because you'd gone in and you hadn't come up, so I wasn't going to make a detour to -- hey!"
Harry was already hurrying to the place Ron had indicated. The two oaks grew close together; there was a gap of only a few inches between the trunks at eye level, and ideal place to see but not be seen. (Deathly Hallows, US Edition p 372.)

It goes on to say there's no snow and Harry saw no footprints, but, to me, this was a lot of information for the author to put in and mean nothing. This to me, indicates the person who cast the Patronus was there watching from that space. We later find out that person was Severus. IMO, he was certainly a good enough wizard to literally "cover his tracks" after leaving.

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Belltatrixs comments to me could mean anything - as in he did not get his hands dirty after Voldemorts return. To me it is fairly easy to see Snape getting his hands dirty he was after all a fully fledged Death Eater dark mark and all.
As I said in a previous post, we each come away with our own perceptions, and ours are obiviously different on this. But, that's what keeps life interesting. I see Severus as a young man who is a product of a very negative childhood who got into an organization that he really didn't know was as bad as it was. He was wrong to do that. He was guilty by association and he made himself useful by doing things like spying and carrying information, which were also wrong. He was guilty by complacancy, to the point that he did nothing to stop what was going on -- but, he was finally compelled to do something when he realized that Lily was in danger. Sometimes it takes an incident like this for impetus to change. IMO, he wanted out but it wasn't worth risking his life to get out until Lily's life depended on it. No, he didn't seem to care about Harry or James. He was focused on Lily. But, in order to keep Lily safe he agreed that they should all be safe...not perfect, but a step in the right direction.

I don't believe that Severus actually murdered or tortured anyone himself, and I feel he used this to salve his guilt while he hunkered down and did what he had to do to survive what he'd gotten into. I think he'd have eventually left the DEs, once he became a practiced enough wizard to feel he could do so and survive (after all, he was just out of school when he joined). But, similar to Regulus' situation, he was driven by his love for another to risk his life and leave the DEs. What was the best he could have hoped for going to Dumbledore with the information about the Potters? A stint in Azkaban? Not something very pleasant. I don't think he had any idea Dumbledore would do anything but arrest him or kill him.

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Saying Peter betrayed the Potters is true but it does not mean Snape has no responsibility here - not to mention the fact that he had no problem with the prophecy meaning that a child would be killed until he realised who was targeted.
As I said, the 20-something Severus did not have the same concern and value for human life that the Severus we see later on did:

Dumbledore: How many men and women have you watched die?"
Severus: "Lately, only those whom I could not save..."


Quote:
Bottom line for me is that Snape was in the wrong from the start in how he treated Harry and his other students. For all the people who insist Harry was primed to hate Snape right from the start - well I see it a bit differently and that it was Snape who hated Harry from the start - from birth until death because of who he was and what he represented. Snape hated Harry before he even walked into The Great Hall on Harrys first night and hated him until the day Snape died.
Again, IMO, a matter of interpretation. That's what keeps us here.


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  #537  
Old March 5th, 2011, 10:05 pm
LyraLovegood  Female.gif LyraLovegood is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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But, the carrying of the Prophecy does not, IMO opinion, make Severus responsible for Voldemort's interpretation of it anymore than a person who builds a sports car that goes 200 miles an hour is responsible when someone wraps that car around a tree.
Okay, but it does make that person responsible for the car going 200 miles per hour, and if he gives the car to a speed demon, there's no other possible expectation than that said speed demon would drive 200 miles per hour. And what other interpretation is a homicidal, power-hungry Dark Lord going to make of those words? What other possible conclusion could there be other than that "The one who could stop me is about to be born. I'll have to kill that one before he stops me." Seriously, how could there be any other interpretation? How could Snape be brilliant, subtle, brainy, intelligent, and not see that the only possible outcome of bringing those words to Lord Voldemort would be that Voldemort would look for the pregnant witch whose circumstances matched the words of the prophecy and kill her child at his earliest opportunity?

When I first read the Lightning Struck Tower scene, I most certainly did not interpret Dumbledore's last words as "Severus -- please (kill me so that one of these others, especially innocent young Draco, won't.)" I interpreted it as "Severus -- please (help! Do something to save Draco, Harry, and me from these Death Eaters; I've lost my wand and can't do anything."

Obviously after reading The Prince's Tale I've revised my understanding of Dumbledore's last words. But I haven't revised my opinion of Snape's capslock rage at Harry when the subject of James and Sirius comes up in moments of high emotion. I still think that Severus loses control to an extent in those moments. And I think that what Severus would have done if Buckbeak hadn't shown up and attacked him is open to speculation. Readers who think that everything Severus did from the moment Lily died was good can see it as a teaching moment, and as Severus trying one last time to get Harry to learn to control his own emotions. Those who think that Severus was thoroughly warped by his difficult childhood, troubled teen years, and DE young adulthood might see it differently: that Snape was completely out of control there. That Snape might have gone over the edge and totally might have lost it enough to do to Harry all the things he'd ever wished he could do to James in revenge for the bullying and the humiliation and for marrying the girl Severus always wanted as his own. Upon my first reading of HBP, I thought that if Buckbeak hadn't intervened, Snape would either have AK'ed Harry or at least incapacitated him to the point where he could drag him unresisting to lay at Voldemort's feet. And I rather think that Harry thought so, too, up until the moment he viewed the Prince's Tale in the Pensieve.


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Last edited by LyraLovegood; March 5th, 2011 at 10:16 pm.
  #538  
Old March 5th, 2011, 10:09 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by PotterGurl08 View Post
I think Snape saw "playing the good guy" as the only way to get redemption from his past actions that ultimately got the love of his life killed.
Snape was working for the Order and Dumbledore and "playing the bad guy" in order to fool Voldemort.

As for his motives, I agree at first Lily was the motivation that initially drove him. However, during that last year, I think he was doing it for "the greater good".

In the Pensieve scene we see, Snape saying that all these years his mission has been to keep Harry alive for Lily. However, he eventually agrees to Dumbledore's request that he tell, Harry that he must die at the hand of Voldemort. Now, I am sure Snape would realise that Lily wouldn't want her son to die, so in agreeing to this I think Snape stopped doing it for Lily, and started to do it because it was the right thing to do. Just like saving people he could was the right thing, even though he could have turned his back and walked away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraLovegood View Post
But instead of adapting his teaching methods to Harry's strengths, Snape doggedly presses on with his ineffective "empty yourself of all emotion" method of Occlumency. He rarely revises his initial impressions and opinions, even when Dumbledore tries to tell him that with Harry, to speak of the soul is to speak of the mind. I think Dumbledore was trying to guide Snape in a better direction regarding Harry's Occlumency lessons, but Snape was having none of it, just as he would have none of Dumbledore's assertions that Harry was more like Lily than like James.
"Souls? we were talking of minds!"
"In the case of Harry and Lord Voledmort, to speak of one is to speak of the other."


This conversation takes place during Harry's 6th yrear, a year after the Occlumency lessons.


  #539  
Old March 5th, 2011, 10:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by Melaszka
But lets face it. His looks were in his own hands. He chose his own clothes and he could have washed his hair more often. Heck he could have even gone to get his teeth whitened and a nose job. I always got the drift that Snape just didn't give a hoot about the way he looked.
I'm not really sure what difference it makes what Snape looked like. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and we don't have a single scene with Lily recoiling in horror from Young Snape. And some people lucky enough to be "attractive" physically, such as Lockhart, Bellatrix, and even Young Tom Riddle are either deceitful sociopaths or merely insane.

I would think seeing the hideous appearance of The Dark Lord made Snape even more thankful to keep the natural proboscis that God gave him, LOL.

As a reader, I simply can't judge Snape his clothes and nose and hair alone, especially since most of the razzing he gets for that (in the books) comes from children under the age of seventeen.

I don't think we should take their juvenile and shallow opinions as the last word, and I notice that Harry in his late thirties doesn't say a word about Snape's "look" but only his character.

What was it Martin Luther King said about longing for the day when people are judged by the "content of their character"?


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Old March 5th, 2011, 10:42 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.4

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Originally Posted by MinervasCat View Post
Harry isn't even mentioned until the ninth memory, then only because it is Harry who Voldemort is targeting and Severus, IMO, knows Lily will die trying to save him. He doesn't describe him, he just dismisses him...but, I think we need to remember that this is the 20-something DE Severus who has litltle concern for human life at this time.
How does Snape know that Lily will die saving her child? I think he is also dismissive of what Lily wants, when he only asks Dumbledore to protect Lily. If he believes that Lily would die to save her child, surely he's aware that Lily's family mean so much to her. And that she would be devastated if anything happened to them.

Quote:
Memory #11 is the first time Severus mentions Harry's "faults." "--mediocre, arrogant as his father, a determined rule-breaker, delighted to find himself famous, attention-seeking and impertinent --" Dumbledore tells Severus that he sees what he wants to see -- IMO, meaning he is looking at Harry and seeing James.
IMO, Snape's comments that Harry enjoys fame are quite malicious. Snape knows that Harry is only famous because of the night his parents were murdered, and he himself survived. Does he genuinely think that Harry likes that? DOes he genuinely think that he's the only one hurt by Lily's murder? I, for one, am uncomfortable with Snape's idea that Harry enjoys fame.

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With the physical resemblance, IMO, it would have been difficult not to compare Harry to James, especially since he was very adept at rule-breaking and was impertinent (it can be argued that he was just taling back to Severus because of the way Severus talked to him, but, disrespect for a person in a positon of authority is impertanence).
And yet, oddly enough, Slughorn recalls a couple of times that Lily was cheeky, and ready to give smart answers. Perhaps Harry's cheekiness comes from Lily?

Quote:
It was James and Sirius (and Remus and Pettigrew) who racked up boxes and boxes and boxes of detention cards. Severus' snark at Harry about that was nasty, but, I think we've already agreed that he was a nasty person. IMO, copying the cards also gave Harry a bit of insight into exactly what the Marauders were up to during their years at Hogwarts. Was this necessary? Probably not. But, there were a lot worse things that could have happened to Harry for nearly killing another student.
Harry noticed that Fred and George had a whole box to themselves in Filch's office in CoS. I very much doubt that means they were the only students punsihed by Filch in the first four years of their Hogwarts education. It simply means that they had a lot of detentions, and their cards needed more space. IMO, the same probably applies to the Marauders' detention cards. I can't imagine by any stretch of the imagination that for seven years they were the only students getting detention.

And the irony was, that it was Snape's spell that Harry used to nearly kill Malfoy. Pointing out James' and Sirius' faults is hardly an appropriate punishment when that is taken into account, IMO.

Quote:
To carry that information was wrong, but, so was being a DE in the first place. Severus was doing his job. But, the carrying of the Prophecy does not, IMO opinion, make Severus responsible for Voldemort's interpretation of it anymore than a person who builds a sports car that goes 200 miles an hour is responsible when someone wraps that car around a tree.
No, but a person who hands a bomb over to a terrorist is partially responsible when that terrorist uses it to cause an explosion somewhere. People can drive cars without going at the maximum possible speed, a twisted megalomaniac like Voldemort is not going to shrug off a prophecy about a threat to his safety. Snape knew exactly what kind of person he was delivering that prophecy to.
Spying for an evil, twisted megalomaniac was a low, horrific thing to do, IMO, and "doing his job" is IMO, downplaying the seriousness of what he did. The prophecy mentioned someone who could vanquish Voldemort. Snape was not an idiot, it's canon that he was quite intelligent, he knew perfectly well what Voldemort did to those who opposed him.

Quote:
We know Harry was much better than "mediocre," which means "average," but, we also know he was incapable of Occlumency because he could not control his hatred for Severus.
In the text, Snape does not explain how to do Occlumency - all he says is "Close your mind". He doesn't give any information on how to achieve this, or reference any books Harry should read on using Occlumency.


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