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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12



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

 
 
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  #1  
Old July 9th, 2009, 11:49 pm
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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Welcome to the 12th version of this thread!


For background reading and reference:
version one
version two
version three
version four
version five
version six
version seven
version eight
version nine
version ten
version eleven


A new quotation to get this thread started:

From PoA:    


  Shocking business... shocking... miracle none of them died... never heard the like... by thunder, it was lucky you were there, Snape...."

"Thank you, Minister."

"Order of Merlin, Second Class, I'd say. First Class, if I can wangle it!"

"Thank you very much indeed, Minister."

"Nasty cut you've got there.... Black's work, I suppose?"

"As a matter of fact, it was Potter, Weasley, and Granger, Minister...."

"No!"

"Black had bewitched them, I saw it immediately. A Confundus Charm, to judge by their behavior. They seemed to think there was a possibility he was innocent. They weren't responsible for their actions. On the other hand, their interference might have permitted Black to escape.... They obviously thought they were going to catch Black single-handed. They've got away with a great deal before now... I'm afraid it's given them a rather high opinion of themselves... and of course Potter has always been allowed an extraordinary amount of license by the headmaster --"

"Ah, well, Snape... Harry Potter, you know... we've all got a bit of a blind spot where he's concerned."

"And yet -- is it good for him to be given so much special treatment? Personally, I try and treat him like any other student. And any other student would be suspended -- at the very least -- for leading his friends into such danger. Consider, Minister -- against all school rules -- after all the precautions put in place for his protection -- out-of-bounds, at night, consorting with a werewolf and a murderer -- and I have reason to believe he has been visiting Hogsmeade illegally too --"

"Well, well... we shall see, Snape, we shall see.... The boy has undoubtedly been foolish...."
  

  • In how far do you interpret this scene differently after DH?
  • What do you think was Snape's main motivation in this scene?
  • Would you describe his behaviour as relatively objective or prejudiced?

Study questions:
  1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
  2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
  3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
  4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
  5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
  6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
  7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
  8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
  9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
  10. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
  11. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
  12. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
  13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
  14. What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?
  15. Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?
  16. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?

AS THIS IS STILL A HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL AND SENSITIVE TOPIC WE WOULD LIKE TO ASK EVERYONE TO PLEASE BE SENSITIVE TO OTHERS OPINIONS. THIS MEANS NO GLOATING AS WELL AS NO BASHING. CONSEQUENCES WILL BE SEVERE.

Additionally please read How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic and Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray BEFORE POSTING IN THIS THREAD


Now go on and have fun!



Last edited by Moriath; July 10th, 2009 at 7:12 pm.
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  #2  
Old July 10th, 2009, 7:50 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?

Maybe subconsciously. Given how much rhe regretted having caused his mother's death, and that he apparently couldn't forgive himself, since he spent the rest of his life trying to make amends, I'd say he would have appreciated someone's forgiveness.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?

Hmm... Since I imagine tht he finally found peace in death, I don't think he'd have any issues with the Potter clan anymore and would be able to assess him objectively. Or... is that too much to expect?

15. Do you think Snape should have been sorted in Slytherin? Would he have made the same choices if he had been sorted elsewhere?

Yes, I think Slytherin is where he belonged. I can't really say if he was going to do anything differently if he had ended up in Gryffindor. Perhaps his need to prove himself and be accepted would have found a different outlet, but who knows. We don't really know the extent of the influence his nastier Slytherin friends (Like Mulciber and Avery) had on him.


  #3  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:15 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

I knew this poll question was coming.

My choices:
I bet you loved this poll more than the last
Where is my favorite option?

I think Snape's inability to forgive mistakes contributed to many of his flaws and caused him a great deal of self loathing and loathing toward others. Whether it's his own membership in the DEs, James' tormenting of him, Harry sneaking off, or Neville placing the wrong ingredient in the cauldron, he doesn't seem to think there is room for error in anyone's case.

I think he's also not as good at dealing with his own feelings as he should be.

Some of the poll options I don't even see as part of his character at all. Definitely not irresponsibility, seeing as he vowed to keep Harry safe and beat himself up for years over reporting the prophecy to Voldemort. I'd say he was definitely aware of what he'd done and was attempting to atone for it.


As for the PoA scene, my opinion hasn't changed much. I've always thought Snape truly believed Sirius to be guilty and was glad to be getting recognition of some sort.

He also clears the trio of any illegal actions, while at the same time pointing out the school rules they have broken. I think he was very angry at Harry sneaking out at night with Sirius on the loose, but knew Dumbledore would not want to punish Harry at all, so he turns to the Minister to try and get him to punish Harry for the violation of school rules. But Fudge is just is indulgent as Dumbledore.

I don't believe he's really lying to the Minister at all when he says that he tries to treat Harry the same as the other students. I think he truly believes that Harry is an arrogant jerk like his father and that treating him in a harsh manner will reign him in. In his mind, there is no reason for him not to think so, and to think otherwise is dangerous both because he would be faced with uncomfortable feelings, and because Voldemort might be able to read these feelings.


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  #4  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Very nice poll. I clicked everything except the love for Lily and intellect vanity.

I would add though doubtful hygiene


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  #5  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:31 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

For me, Snape's greatest weaknesses are:

1. his inability to recognise when emotion is clouding his judgement (e.g. when he wants to throw Sirius to the Dementors in PoA, I think he genuinely thinks he's doing the right, sensible thing to protect Harry and avenge Lily, and is blind to the fact that his hatred for Sirius is warping his judgement)

2. his belief that he is always right (e.g. when he won't trust Dumbledore's character judgement re Harry/Sirius/Lupin). I don't think this is arrogance exactly - in many cases, I think he genuinely has the best intentions and gets angry and frustrated only because he fears that doing things other people's way could have terrible consequences. And in some ways I think he's similar to Harry in this respect. But, yes, he does need to trust others' judgement more. (Although, thinking about it, he trusted Dumbledore to save Lily, and look where that got him, so perhaps his lack of trust in others' plans is understandable)


  #6  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:37 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

His inability to wash his hair :P

Quote:
What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
I think it would make him Happy, because he would then know Harry understands and has forgiven him, because it is Albus Severus that got Lilys eyes as well.. and I think it would touch Snape emotionally to know that.

If you get me? I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well


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  #7  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
2. his belief that he is always right (e.g. when he won't trust Dumbledore's character judgement re Harry/Sirius/Lupin).
I've definitely noticed that in him. He gets an idea and he sticks with it, whether the evidence points to his conclusion or not. Thinking Harry stole his potions ingredients in GoF is a good example. Despite what Harry says, Snape is very sure of his conclusions, to the point where he tries to frighten Harry into owning up by showing him the Veritaserum. The same sort of thing happens in PoA when he thinks Lupin is letting Sirius into the castle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HollieWeasley View Post
I think it would make him Happy, because he would then know Harry understands and has forgiven him, because it is Albus Severus that got Lilys eyes as well.. and I think it would touch Snape emotionally to know that.

If you get me? I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well
I get it.
I don't think he'd show it-- in fact, he'd probably say something snarky about what a silly name it is-- but I too think he would be touched. Very deep down.


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  #8  
Old July 10th, 2009, 8:50 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Well yeh, very deep down.... even though technically he won't be able to say anything because..well... he is dead.

Quote:
I get it.
At least I'm not talking complete gibberish


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Last edited by HollieWeasley; July 10th, 2009 at 8:52 pm. Reason: I missed the 's' in because and it bugged me
  #9  
Old July 10th, 2009, 10:08 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

I think snape thought Harry would be better off in the muggle world. So tried to get him expelled, notice snape stops trying after voldemort returns


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  #10  
Old July 10th, 2009, 10:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
There is no end to the trail of darkness that lies in Jealousy's wake, imo.
I don't think all of Snape's actions can be dismissed as dark just because of his feelings towards James.

I guess I'll quote Dumbledore: "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."

There isn't a single character in these books that doesn't dislike someone, and some of the best "good" characters feel plenty of jealousy and anger towards people often with much fewer understandable reasons than Snape has. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Harry, etc. So in my opinion, Snape is just as human as the rest of the characters and shouldn't be held to a higher standard of purity.

But the Silver Doe seems to be figurative and symbolic proof that Snape has left the "trail of darkness." It seemed pretty bright to Harry:

DH"It was a silver white doe, moon-bright and dazzling, picking her way over the ground, still silent, and leaving no hoofprints in the fine powdering of snow"


I don't think a patronus like that could be formed just from jealousy or anger. But he wasn't a saint or perfect, and to expect him never to dislike someone is asking for more than any other character is able to do.


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  #11  
Old July 11th, 2009, 12:33 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Snape loved Lily for his entire life, bout how could he? I've never "loved" a girl in more than a year. How is he going to get children id he doesn't look around the market for another love object, since Lily gravely dismissed him? Not like anyone would want mini-Snapes running around, but still.
This disability to move on is a great weakness according to me.


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  #12  
Old July 11th, 2009, 12:42 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
Here we see Snape accepting praise and gratitude where none was due, imo. Snape knew that he had not been able to prevent any danger - indeed, the trio had together knocked him out. However, instead of relaying this information, he behaves as if his actions actually saved someone. He does not reveal the truth of what occurred at all - nothing about binding Lupin or having his wand at Sirius' throat with both men unarmed. Nothing about threatening to have them both kissed - nor about the trio doing him in.
Sure, he accepts the praise, but not in a boastful or extravagant fashion. His responses to the Minster are minimal. I wonder how much he is even listening to the Minister. I imagine him here as being so preoccupied with thoughts about dealing with the danger which he thinks Sirius and Lupin represent that he just sleepwalks through the conversation, trotting out the standard polite responses, until such a time as he can turn the conversation to getting Harry out of Hogwarts and establishing Sirius's and Lupin's guilt.

Quote:
Snape's non-disclosure here, together with his acceptance of undue praise leads me to believe his motivation was two fold: 1) to try and pursue some sort of reward
I think if that was his goal, he would be milking the moment far more than he does.

But in any case, I can see how from his perspective he might think he deserves a reward. He has been trying to tell Dumbledore all year that Lupin is dangerous and in league with Black, and now he feels he has evidence that he was right all along. He came into the Shack when Sirius and Lupin were alone with the Trio, a situation in which they had a golden opportunity to kill Harry, and the kids all ended up escaping with their lives. From his perspective it may seem that if he hadn't intervened and caused a kerfuffle, Black would have killed a trusting Harry there and then

Quote:
and 2) continued revenge.
I agree he wants revenge, but IMO it is on Sirius and Lupin for killing Lily.

If we assume that at this point Snape genuinely thinks Sirius was the one who betrayed James and Lily, (as I believe he must - again, a Snape who is prepared to knowingly let Lily's real murderer escape scot free, just so he can get revenge on an innocent man for a personal slight, seems to me so totally inconsistent with the canon Snape, utterly devoted to Lily, revealed in The Prince's Tale in DH that I would totally discard the possibility), then surely his main motivation is vengeance for Lily?

Quote:
And there is the reward - which Snape accepts with gratitude in advance for having done nothing at all - and in fact, played a role in enlongating matters to the point where Lupin turned into a werewolf
That's a bit harsh - Lupin would have turned into a werewolf before they got Pettigrew to the castle, in any case. And Snape came to the Shack with the express purpose of helping Lupin to stop turning into a werewolf.


Quote:
Now Snape sees that there is an advantage to disclosing at least a part of the truth - notwithstanding that when the trio wake up, they will spill the beans if he tried to lie. However, he figures he can use the truth his way:
I respect your opinion, but this is highly speculative. Why couldn't he just have used the "confunded" line again if their account contradicted his? The Minister is more likely to take the word of a respected teacher than three Year 3 students who were grossly breaking the rules, anyway.

And I can't see why he should be worried about the trio spilling the beans about this particular point, but not about the fact that he didn't save them or that Pettigrew and not Sirius was the villain. As I see it, the reason he tells the truth here is not because he is afraid of the Trio's account of events conflicting with his, but because he is in the general habit of telling the truth as he sees it. He says that Sirius is a traitor because that is what he genuinely believes. He says the Trio were confunded because that's what he genuinely believes.

And he doesn't play the hero and pretend Black attacked him, because he knows that that's not the truth.

Quote:
This doesn't even make sense - but Snape has devolved into a fit of revenge and can't think straight for telling his story. He starts off saying that the trio was confunded (he saw it at once) - as if that was a bad thing - and yet, here he is saying that they were somehow confunded and still trying to do the right thing: 'catch Black single handed themselves' - and in the process took him out. It makes no sense that Black would confund them into capturing him.
It makes perfect sense to me. Surely Snape believes that when the Trio set out for the Shack they intended to catch Sirius single-handedly, but when they got there he confunded them and made them believe he was innocent? This is not, actually that far from what did happen (except that we know that Sirius and Lupin used non-magical means (good old fashioned persuasion) to make the Trio change their mind).

Quote:
And here is Snape once more speaking in terms of turning Harry out from Hogwarts, to the minister, going over Dumbledore's head in his attempt. On top of his lying via omission, and his confusing story of lies mixed with truth (where he inserts his opinion and characterizes it as truth in a very characteristically Snape way) - and even though it doesn't make sense if you stop and thing about it - well on top of all of that, he is attempting to get Lily's boy he promised to help protect, ejected from Hogwarts - the safest place Harry can be.
We know it's the safest place that he can be, but that doesn't mean Snape does. Like HollieWeasley, I believe that Snape genuinely believed that if Harry grew up as an ordinary Muggle boy with no ability to use advanced magic, Voldemort would not perceive him as a threat and would leave him alone. I think this is another example of Snape stubbornly believing that he knows better than Dumbledore what is the best way of doing things (when he so doesn't).

Of course, I can't prove this. But I don't see how a Snape who was prepared to put Harry in danger is at all consistent with the canon Snape we get in DH, who is portrayed as sincerely committed to protecting Harry, however much he may dislike him (we see him swear to DD that he will protect Harry and get very stressed when he finds out that DD intends to sacrifice Harry). Heck, it's even inconsistent with the canon we have been given by Quirrell in Book One that Snape didn't want Harry dead. I think we either have to accept that Snape's motives were pure here, however misguided his plan to get Harry expelled may be, or that JKR was lying to us in DH (which IMO is nonsensical - why would an author lie or mislead the reader at the end of a series when the need for red herrings is over? I think we have to accept that what we are told at the end of DH is the truth).

Quote:
There was no immediate threat - Black was captured, Lupin in the wild. But Lupin would be a man again, shortly, and on the loose - but that apparently didn't worry Snape during his tirade for vengeance against Harry. At this point, we know that it is also against James - and Sirius and Lupin and Snape has combined it all together into one big bundle of revenge, imo.
If Lupin were bent on killing Harry, surely Hogwarts would be the first place he'd look? It make sense to me that Snape (genuinely if wrongly believing Lupin to b a villain) would want Harry out of Hogwarts to protect him from Lupin, particularly given how close Sirius managed to get to Harry on the night he slashed the portrait.

Quote:
Notably, he does not request the suspension or expulsion of Hermione and Ron - who were every bit as involved as Harry and in on everything Harry was accused of by Snape. That is another factor to think about - and when I do, I feel it supports what I feel was Snape's great quest for vengeance.
It could also support the theory that Snape wants Harry out of the magical world for his own safety. Hermione and Ron are not the Chosen One, Voldemort does not view them as a threat, so from Snape's perspective, they are not putting themselves in danger by developing advanced magical powers.

And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.


  #13  
Old July 11th, 2009, 1:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
Quote:
Originally Posted by WWB
And there is the reward - which Snape accepts with gratitude in advance for having done nothing at all - and in fact, played a role in enlongating matters to the point where Lupin turned into a werewolf
That's a bit harsh - Lupin would have turned into a werewolf before they got Pettigrew to the castle, in any case. And Snape came to the Shack with the express purpose of helping Lupin to stop turning into a werewolf.
And Snape was in as much danger as anyone - perhaps more danger because he was knocked out when Lupin transformed.

Considering how insistant Snape was about Lupin taking his potion, and the fact that he was checking on Lupin when he realized he was heading for the shack, it only makes sense that he was trying to keep Lupin from hurting the kids that night. He orders Harry and the others to get out of the shack - why would he do that if he was waiting for Lupin to transform? What purpose would that serve other than to put all of them in chaos and danger. That is usually the opposite of what Snape is trying to do.

If he really wanted Sirius and the Trio to die, he could have left them by the lake when he awakened so they could be a little snack for Lupin and the Dementors. Instead, he puts them all on stretchers and floats them to the castle. He even puts Ron on a stretcher first because he has a broken leg - yes, the blood traitor's kid, he helps him first! And Hermione gets a stretcher although she is a Mudblood. Snape treated them all the same way, even Sirius, and I don't think that is a negative scene for Snape, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka
And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.
Well-said! Hermione made better grades in Potions than Draco, and Lucius knew that in CoS. So much for the theory that Snape always favors the Slytherins and hates the Muggleborns.


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Last edited by silver ink pot; July 11th, 2009 at 1:06 am.
  #14  
Old July 11th, 2009, 1:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melaszka View Post
I respect your opinion, but this is highly speculative. Why couldn't he just have used the "confunded" line again if their account contradicted his? The Minister is more likely to take the word of a respected teacher than three Year 3 students who were grossly breaking the rules, anyway.
Indeed! Even Dumbledore says that they would not be believed, so I don't think Snape would have had any reason to think Fudge would believe them if they contradicted his story.

PoA,Hermione's Secret 'There is not a shred of proof to support Black's story, except your word - and the word of two thirteen-year-old wizards will not convince anybody.'


Quote:
And, incidently, his failure to push for Hermione's expulsion at any stage of the books, even when he's presented with a golden opportunity, seems to demonstrate that he has no anti-muggleborn sentiment at all. He is no Salazar Slytherin, leaping on any excuse to push for the removal of muggleborns from Hogwarts.


  #15  
Old July 11th, 2009, 3:01 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Hmmm...I'll have to go back and read that scene again. All interesting points, I remember feeling like Snape was acting earnestly on bad information and trying to protect the kids but just ended up bumbling around. It certainly didn't come across as him looking for undeserved glory. More like misplaced indignation.

But to the questions...
1. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
No. He would have had to forgive himself to want harry's forgiveness.

2. What do you think would Snape say about Albus Severus?
Something sarcastic? But if we're talking about what dead Snape would say, no longer working as Dumbledore's spy and with Voldemort gone? Hmmm....probably something sarcastic. Not so good with the interpersonal skills.

3. Based on how his character is supposed to end up: if you could change/improve one thing about Snape, what would it be?
I wish he'd had a chance to confront Voldemort and the DE before his death.

4. What do you think Snape would have done, if he had survived DH?
Killed himself, unless Harry could have talked him out of it.

5. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews? Don't know.

6. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
No. For Snape I saw Lily as representing his desire to be a better person than he was. That's also how I saw him as needing her to feel good about himself: he needed external validation of his own self worth because he saw himself as something bad/damaged. Lily was "the best of him" that he externalized and he hurt her. And she gave up on him which validated that he was a bad person...after that he didn't have the personal strength to find goodness within himself nor to resist the peer pressure of the other Death Eaters. I think Lily's death was definitely the catalyst to his movement to the good side.


7. Snape is revealed to have been acting throughout the series out of love for Lily, how does this effect your view of his actions in the series - his "murder" of Dumbledore, his treatment of Sirius.
Well, I think the "murder" of Dumbledore was very brave...he killed the only person who cared about him at all and who was giving him direction in life. But I think his actions were in line with his motives and character. His treatment of Sirius? Sirius had been cruel to him, and in his mind, tried to kill him...I can see why he didn't like him. I saw them both as fairly depressed and miserable people and they had a longstanding history of disliking each other. However, I also think he thought that Sirius was going to do something reckless and put Harry in danger. I think a number of the characters walk the line between bravery/masochism/self destruction and Snape falls into this category (along with Sirius and Harry).


8. Why do you think Snape chose to become a Death Eater?
I think being a DE was partially peer pressure/need for acceptance and an attempt to gain power when he had been powerless his entire life: poor, misfit, hated by his father. I think he was a very sad and angry child and was tempted by the Dark Arts. I imagine he experienced a lot of cruelty at the hands of his father and saw cruelty to others as a means of protecting oneself from harm. I think he also saw caring about others as a weakness and vulnerability which is why he had Dumbledore swear not to reveal "the best of himself."


9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
I think I really need to read the books again to remember all that happened. I don't think he understood Harry at all and was overwhelmed with trying to protect him. When Dumbledore asked him to protect Lily's child, he was really asking Snape to be Harry's godfather and I think being "fatherly" was something he was *really* horrible at. There was a lot of yelling and berating and shaming and DH made me feel like that was what his home life had been like.

10. What do you think of Snape's actions after learning who Voldemort had targeted with the prophecy?
He was pretty pathetic.

11. What do you think of Snape's actions after Lily's death. How do you think this death has affected his character?
I think her death gave him the strength to work against Voldemort.

12. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
Strengths: bravery, single-mindedness, magical skill/creativity, intelligence
Weaknesses: some kind of major personality disorder.
13. Do you believe Snape came to care about Harry?
Not really....like I said, he didn't understand Harry at all.

uh oh, I'll have to finish the rest later!


  #16  
Old July 11th, 2009, 7:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by Unrepentant View Post
Snape loved Lily for his entire life, bout how could he? I've never "loved" a girl in more than a year. How is he going to get children id he doesn't look around the market for another love object, since Lily gravely dismissed him? Not like anyone would want mini-Snapes running around, but still.
This disability to move on is a great weakness according to me.
I don't quite understand your never having loved a girl in more than a year. Did you mean for more than a year? If so, hopefully in time you'll meet someone with whom you'll want to spend the rest of your life.

Why do you assume that Snape wanted any children, or for that matter, needed to have children? (Not everybody does, y'know!) There's certainly nothing in canon about him wanting children with Lily, after all they were only 16 when Lily dumped him.


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  #17  
Old July 11th, 2009, 8:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Quote:
16. There are all kinds of bravery in this series, what characteristics of Snape's make him brave? In what sense is he a hero?
Snape was so brave to be a spy for both sides. The fact that if he had said one wrong thing would've been the last thing he'd ever said, didn't stop him from helping Dumbledore. He devoted his life to spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore without even realizing how much that will cost. Snape could've died more times than I could count - but he just let himself go. He's so brave.


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  #18  
Old July 11th, 2009, 10:50 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I agree - his response was almost humble for Snape. In the way a man who earned no right to a reward would accept one, imo.
I can see that it can be interpreted this way, but that's still not how I read it.

Quote:
But we are on to the next day now. Snape knows very well that after he was knocked out there was ample opportunity for Black to act and kill the kids if he wanted, imo.
As he was unconscious the whole time, how can he know that Black had ample opportunity?

Quote:
What was Black waiting for in Snape's opinion? What had he been doing sitting listening while Lupin told their life story to the trio and contributing a bit to that? Why hadn't he just murdered Harry when he had the wand to confund them all? It makes no logical sense from Snape's point of view, imo.
I agree that Snape is somewhat illogical in his reasoning. But I think he is so certain in his own mind that Sirius is a dangerous killer, because the Whomping Willow incident when he was a teenager convinced him (not entirely unreasonably, IMO) that Sirius would have killed him if he had the chance and used a smooth tongue to get away scot free with attempted murder then, and because (like pretty much everyone else, including for most of the book Dumbledore) he has completely bought the story that Sirius betrayed James and Lily, that desire for revenge (for Lily's death, I mean) and concern for Harry's safety blinker his judgement.

Indeed, even Harry picks up on the fact that Snape isn't thinking straight in the Shrieking Shack ("he seemed beyond all reason"). IMO, then, his admittedly garbled story is that of an emotionally overwrought man who is so fixated on the idea of Sirius being a villain that he can't recognise the truth, not that of a dishonest man, who is deliberately trying to use lies and spin to big himself up.

Besides which, in a literary context, Sirius not killing Harry immediately when he gets the chance makes perfect sense - it would put him on a par with the Bond villain who wastes time explaining his dastardly plot to the hero when he's trapped in his lair, instead of just shooting him on the spot, or *cough* the fantasy novel villain who concocts an elaborate plot to capture his nemesis, involving a year-long inter-school wizarding contest with a Portkey at the end, instead of just turning the nemesis's toothbrush into a Portkey.

So I don't it's that odd that Snape might genuinely believe that Sirius intended to kill Harry and that his own intervention and Lupin's transformation into a werewolf were the only things that prevented this happening.

Quote:
Lupin? For killing Lily? How?
Gosh, you're such a lawyer! Lupin, for abetting Lily's betrayer to evade justice and helping him in his attempts against Harry's life. (We know that he wasn't helping Sirius break into the castle and that Sirius wasn't trying to kill Harry, but it seems to me not unreasonable - given Lupin's and Sirius's previous close relationship and the coincidence that they both return to Hogwarts in the same year after a 15ish year absence - to suppose that Snape genuinely thinks he was.)

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Snape's purpose in going to the shack was to capture Sirius and Lupin - not to give Lupin potion - he didn't bring any with him.
True. Point to you. But he was trying to give Lupin potion when he discovered he was heading for the Shack.

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Plus, no one could stop Lupin turning into a werewolf
I'm a bit hazy on the details, but if he had taken the wolfsbane, wouldn't he have turned into a wolf, not a werewolf?

Besides which, you know what I mean - even after Snape has forced his resignation, Lupin himself admits that Snape has done everything in his power to alleviate his symptoms. So it still seems to me a bit harsh to blame Snape (even partially) for the fact that Lupin turned into a werewolf before the business could be cleared up.

Quote:
I feel Snape's general habit was lying. Usually he lied via omission, imo, but sometimes he lied outright (seeing no different between Hermione's tusks and her teeth; Harry and his father have a little quidditch talent). So his honesty is deeply in question at all times in the series, imo, and an argument that he is truthful cannot work for me. But I respect your interpretation.
The "lies" which you cite seem to me insults and matters of opinion rather than real lies. He is not trying to deceive anyone when he says that Harry has little Quidditch talent or Hermione's teeth are no different to her tusks - because he knows perfectly well that the people he is talking to/in front of have seen her teeth/Harry's playing for themselves and are quite capable of drawing their own conclusions. I agree that his remarks are mean-spirited and cruel, but it still seems to me to be a big, big leap to use them as evidence that he would deliberately deceive the Minister. It seems to me a bit like trying to use Ron's hyperbolic comments about Crabbe and Goyle as "proof" that he is a habitual liar whose word can't be trusted in any other context.

Quote:
It could reasonably be understood that way based on my recollection of the canon. I simply don't feel Snape believed the kids were confunded. Lupin and Black were not acting guilty - Black even told him he'd go to the castle without a fight as long as the rat came along. That was Snape's opportunity to do the right thing - carry them all up to the castle. He could have kept the trio safe, not been attacked, gotten them to the castle prior to Lupin transforming and the entire incident would have turned out distinctly. But Snape became vindictive, wouldn't listen, shouted cruel accusations, imo, and was determined to have Lupin and Sirius kissed per his own words
Snape knows that Sirius managed to evade punishment for his attempt on his own life when they were teenagers. I think he wants to take the law into his own hands because he is scared that Sirius will convince Dumbledore of his innocence and sweet talk him into letting him go scot free again.

I think Snape is seriously at fault here - he is so convinced in his own mind of Sirius's guilt (and he is probably unduly influenced in this by his own resentment at the Whomping Willow incident) that he just won't listen to counterarguments or agree to the proper process of justice. But I still believe that his prime motivation here is justice for Lily. He is so scared that her betrayer will escape punishment -again - that he won't listen to anyone trying to persuade him to go through the due processes.

Quote:
Well I feel that Snape would have suggested this - or someone would have suggested he maybe meant this on his behalf - if JKR meant us to even think about it. It is out of the clear blue sky reasoning, imo. There was never a suggestion that Harry should grow up a muggle - never in all of canon to my memory, but certainly none including Snape iirc.
I respect your view and I can see your point, but I still feel that if we accept Quirrell's assertion in PS/SS that Snape didn't want Harry dead and Snape's vow to protect Harry in DH at face value, him vindictively wanting Harry expelled from Dumbledore's protection with no thought to its impact on Harry's safety makes no sense.

Quote:
When Snape gets riled up, he forgets about protecting Harry and his vindictiveness takes over, imo.
I respect your view, but disagree. As I see it, when Snape gets riled up, he does not listen to people or think things through, but I don't believe his commitment to protecting Harry ever wavers. In fact, I think he gets most riled up when Harry makes his job difficult by deliberately putting himself in danger time and time again.

Quote:
He is consistent in that way, imo, like when escaping in HBP - his stint whipping a defenseless Harry isn't consistent with protection either, imo. Snape loses it and Harry's safety becomes second to Snape's selfish desires, imo.
He may have caused Harry physical pain, but he did not at any point put Harry in danger of death or serious physical injury, as I see it.

Quote:
Snape had no interaction with Harry in DH, there was no 'losing it' about Harry for him. How can we accept Snape's motives were pure when he whipped Harry in the face in HBP? How is that possibly construed as protection? Or when he dumped the Occlumency lessons? Or when he shoved Harry to the ground with all of his might in OOTP? Harry required protection it is true, only in these cases, he required protection from Snape, imo.
I go back to Quirrell's words. He hated Harry, but didn't want him dead. His causing Harry minor injuries and psychological pain is not, IMO, inconsistent with a deeply held commitment to do all in his power to protect Harry from death or serious physical injury.

The dumping Occlumency lessons is more serious, I agree, as that could have exposed Harry to danger from Voldemort. However, he clearly told Dumbledore what happened, giving him the chance to take over Occlumency lessons himself or put in place some alternative means of protection, as Dumbledore knows at the beginning of HBP about the occlumency lessons being a "fiasco".

And, let's face it, for a number of reasons, the Occlumency lessons weren't really helping any, anyway, as I think Snape realised by that point.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that Snape's shock in the DH memories was because Harry had to die?
Yes.

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Do you feel that Dumbledore revealing his machiavellian nature to Snape had no impact?
It had an impact, but it seems clear to me that for Snape "keeping Lily Potter's son safe" is paramount.

Quote:
Which does not explain why Lupin, who was alone with Harry a multitude of times during the school year, didn't kill him. Snape's answer to that: "Don't ask me to fathom the mind of a werewolf". That is simply not a satisfactory answer to me. Snape didn't address why Black and Lupin didn't immediately kill Harry in the shack either. Nor why they didn't kill him upon Snape being conked out. These are questions without answers, imo, which is why we got none from Snape, imo.
I think I covered that above.

Quote:
Snape, admittedly, was on a vengeance run, and he didn't care who went down in his path - including the trio, imo.
I agree he was on a vengeance run, but on Lily's behalf, not his own. I totally disagree that he would have let the trio go down in his path.

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He was not on any rescue mission when he went to the shack - he just wanted to bring down Sirius and Lupin, imo.
I think we may have to agree to disagree here.

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This wasn't an argument I presented.
No, I know it wasn't - sorry if it came across like I was putting words in your mouth you never said. But it is an argument that has been put by others on these forums. And I was generally just trying to demonstrate that the evidence that you have cited in Snape's prosecution could, in another argument, work in his favour.



Last edited by Melaszka; July 11th, 2009 at 11:59 am.
  #19  
Old July 11th, 2009, 11:17 am
HollieWeasley  Female.gif HollieWeasley is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

Call me crazy if you must, but I think Snape was a good person, he just made the wrong choices at a young age- like dumbledore.

He had- what he thought were- the right intentions at heart.

I think his life would of been a lot better if he didn't have such a horrid upbringing. For that I blame his mother: Eileen Prince.

When he was horrid to tuney (:P) he didn't know any better....he was used to being treated that way all his life by his parents... it rubbed off on him I guess.

But seriously..I think he was a good person..


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  #20  
Old July 11th, 2009, 12:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.12

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Originally Posted by dchristen03 View Post
Snape was so brave to be a spy for both sides. The fact that if he had said one wrong thing would've been the last thing he'd ever said, didn't stop him from helping Dumbledore. He devoted his life to spying on Voldemort for Dumbledore without even realizing how much that will cost. Snape could've died more times than I could count - but he just let himself go. He's so brave.
Well said!


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