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Moriath October 26th, 2011 10:13 am

Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Welcome to the 6th version of this version of the Snape thread. :yuhup:


Introductory information: Snape is a very controversial character and a lot of fans have very passionate opinions about him, which they are ready to defend at all costs. Unfortunately, this often makes the discussion less than amiable and we had to close Snape threads in the past and turn Legilimency Studies into a HOT ZONE. So fair warning, post according to our guidelines and rules, or go on a very long holiday from the forum. Be advised, this is not an empty threat, this is being enforced!

There is no doubt Snape is a very complex character. He's an awful figure to many, a cruel and vindictive individual without a shred of decency or humanity. To others he's a tragic hero, complicated by a love he couldn't openly express and mourning the loss of his opportunities.

The focus of the reboot threads is going to be on making sure the Snape thread can stay open, as we deal with individuals in the way our new Hot Zone policy dictates & outlines below.



Study Questions
  1. After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
  2. Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?
  3. To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?
  4. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
  5. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?
  6. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?
  7. How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?
  8. 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?
  9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
  10. Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
  11. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
  12. Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
  13. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
  14. If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?
  15. What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?



Everyone who chooses to post in this thread should read these guidelines beforehand and be aware of the Hot Zone Policy:

How to have a pleasant conversation on any topic.

REVISED: Character Bashing/Worship: aka Shades of Gray

Snape vs. Marauders rule



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Typical length of ban:

Member with more than 30 days membership: 120 days
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MinervasCat October 26th, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
I have a question that's been buzzing around in my head since posting on the Pettigrew thread a few days ago (well, several questions, actually):

There only seem to be three students that Severus really seemed to single out for "attention," Harry, Hermione, and Neville.

We know why he bullied Harry -- because he physically looked like James and Severus couldn't put that past behind him and see Harry as a separate person (IMO). But, I keep wondering, why Neville and Hermione?

While posting on the Pettigrew thread we were discussing some parallels and differences in Wormtail and Neville. I've been wondering since then: Did Neville remind Severus of a young Pettigrew? Was Peter the same clumsy, inept student in his first year(s) at Hogwarts, until the Marauders took him under their wings and started tutoring him? Was Severus lashing out at Neville because of this reminder, or was he trying to "toughen him up" so that he wouldn't repeat Pettigrew's mistakes of blindly following someone he thought could protect him?

As for Hermione, she was brilliant. But she was "book smart" and afraid to take chances. Did Severus see in her the potential to be really good if she'd stop being an "insufferable know-it-all" and expand on her book knowledge -- relaxing her tendency to strictly adhere to that knowledge? Did he see a bit of himself in her, and recognizing her abilities, want her to be writing notes in the margins of her own Potions book rather than just following it along?

In CoS, he had to know that someone was mixing polyjuice potion, the stuff was missing and someone had to be using it. Did he suspect Hermione, and the reason he never confronted her or any of the trio was that he was glad to see her putting her talents to use? I'm sure he mixed the potion to change her back from part cat and there were no repercussions from that. I wonder if he just shut up about it and was pleased that she had tried something "out of bounds"?

LoonyLuna22 October 26th, 2011 2:53 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?


Partially. Voldemort would have found someone else to tell him the prophesy, so it wasn't as though Snape was the only way

Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?

No... there is so much more I would like tlearn about him. Who was he on his free time? What was he like with his colleagues? Did anything make him happy?

To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?

I think his parents and school bulllies are largley to blame. Having spent his life degraded and ridiculed, Snape sought a position of power and fear-based respect. It wasn't the right decision to make, but I believe his character was very much tarnished by his upbringing.

Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?

When we see the extent Voldemort goes to for dominance, I think Snape might have startd to pull back. IHe became a DE mostly out of anger and want of power and revenge, but I don't believe being a DE ran deep through his veins like Voldemort or Bella. I doubt, thoug, that he would have ever have moved on.

Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

I think, like any awkward pre-pubescent boy, Snape was reluctant to approach a confident, beautiful girl. I think he was already falling in love with someone who was a mudblood, so I don't see her being a muggle changing much. He fell in love with Lily, not her magic.


How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?

I'd like to think that Lily would see him in a different light, and perhaps fall in love with him. I believe he would have been a kinder teacher and not so dark and brooding. I'd be interested to see what a happy Snape was like...

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?

A true testimony of bravery. I don't know many men that would devote their lives to the cause and redemption as he did. His treatment of Sirius was what I expected, and vis versa. They hated eachother, and adulthood didn't change that.

How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

His treatment of Neville was pure frusteration and lack of ability to give constructive criticism. As for Harry, not only was he a constant reminder of James, he was also the product of Lily and Jame's love. Harry living is what Lily died for too, so I imagine there was alot of resentment there, even if Harry didn't deserve it.

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

Yes. I think he'd devoted his life to protecting Harry, and Snape wanted him to know this. I think he was sorry he had somehwat led Voldemort on the path to Harry's parents as well.

Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?

His extremes. We see him as a pretty cold, sometimes verbally cruel teacher, and we know he's had a dark past. Then we see his deep, eternal love for Lily, and the lengths he goes to to protect her son. He is the deepest shade of grey.

What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?

His bravery, capacity for love, self sacrafice and his friendship with Dumbledore. His weaknesses would be letting others treatment of him innfluence the decisions he made (the bad path he went down), and his treatment of some of his students.

What do you reckon Snape valued most in life

Love. He just wasn't on the recieving end of it.

OldMotherCrow October 26th, 2011 2:59 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5913930)
I have a question that's been buzzing around in my head since posting on the Pettigrew thread a few days ago (well, several questions, actually):

There only seem to be three students that Severus really seemed to single out for "attention," Harry, Hermione, and Neville.

We know why he bullied Harry -- because he physically looked like James and Severus couldn't put that past behind him and see Harry as a separate person (IMO). But, I keep wondering, why Neville and Hermione?

While posting on the Pettigrew thread we were discussing some parallels and differences in Wormtail and Neville. I've been wondering since then: Did Neville remind Severus of a young Pettigrew? Was Peter the same clumsy, inept student in his first year(s) at Hogwarts, until the Marauders took him under their wings and started tutoring him?

I find the speculative parallels between Neville and Peter to be dubious, at best. There is nothing I can see that relates Snape's treatment of Neville to some delusion that Neville might turn into Peter Pettigrew Mach II. We don't know if Peter was Pureblood, inept at Potions, or much of anything else that suggests that he is like Neville, in my opinion. Snape never referenced Peter or the Marauders when he bullied or belittled Neville, and I'm not even sure what he would be referencing. I think it more that Snape had no patience for students who weren't perfect, and was in a bad mood and wanted to take it out on someone.

Quote:

Was Severus lashing out at Neville because of this reminder, or was he trying to "toughen him up" so that he wouldn't repeat Pettigrew's mistakes of blindly following someone he thought could protect him?
Neither, I'd say. I'm not even sure how the second option makes sense :hmm:? Would he think that Neville-- who I don't think had any contact with Snape before school started-- would blindly follow him for protection and he needed to disuade him from trusting him? Or bullying neville would make him less likely to seek protection? I can't suss that one out.

Quote:

As for Hermione, she was brilliant. But she was "book smart" and afraid to take chances. Did Severus see in her the potential to be really good if she'd stop being an "insufferable know-it-all" and expand on her book knowledge -- relaxing her tendency to strictly adhere to that knowledge? Did he see a bit of himself in her, and recognizing her abilities, want her to be writing notes in the margins of her own Potions book rather than just following it along?
Again, I don't think so. To me, Snape appears to have taught by rote. I don't see much difference between being expected to parrot the teacher's directions or parroting a book. It seems to me that Snape took a bitter view of anyone who deviated from the instructions he wrote down. I would not say that he was a teacher that encouraged exploration or experimentation. I don't think he cared if his students were brilliant, only that they could do the work exactly as he directed with minimal fuss. I think Hermione quoting books annoyed him because she wasn't quoting him. I think Snape knew that he was brilliant at potions, and wanted the respect and recognition he thought he deserved for that. I don't think he really thought about nurturing young minds.

Quote:

In CoS, he had to know that someone was mixing polyjuice potion, the stuff was missing and someone had to be using it. Did he suspect Hermione, and the reason he never confronted her or any of the trio was that he was glad to see her putting her talents to use? I'm sure he mixed the potion to change her back from part cat and there were no repercussions from that. I wonder if he just shut up about it and was pleased that she had tried something "out of bounds"?
No, I think Snape just liked to jump to the conclusion that Harry was the ringleader any time it appeared childish bad behavior was afoot. Snape did that with the flying car incident, even though Ron was actually the ringleader and Harry the follower for that escapade. I think Snape discounted Hermione, and her abilities.

Noleme October 26th, 2011 3:48 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5913930)
We know why he bullied Harry -- because he physically looked like James and Severus couldn't put that past behind him and see Harry as a separate person (IMO). But, I keep wondering, why Neville and Hermione?

And I'd add Ron, simply because he was hanging out with Harry and not a particularly studious type with a fondness for quidditch (which again might have been reminiscent of Sirius and James to Snape)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5913930)
I've been wondering since then: Did Neville remind Severus of a young Pettigrew?

As much as I like Snape, I don't believe he was trying to toughen up Neville or help him in any way. He really seems to be using him as a catalyst for his bad mood. My impression is that Neville's fear and clumsiness for potions was something he scorned and was irked by. It takes only little to set off a choleric person, which Snape definitely seems to be outside his spying life.
As for the Pettigrew reminiscence in Snape's eyes - I don't recall now if Pettigrew was particularly awkward/clumsy as student, but maybe there was the fact that both Gryffindors were 'ragtagging' the more popular ones (in his eyes). I don't think that the Peter reminiscence was the main reason why Snape singled Neville out, though.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5913930)
Did he see a bit of himself in her, and recognizing her abilities, want her to be writing notes in the margins of her own Potions book rather than just following it along?

I don't think Snape's intentions were nice in Hermione's case, either. My impression was that he disliked her know-it-all-ishness from the first lesson on. Truth be told, a teacher myself, I know how annoying this behaviour can be (count in the fact that the rest of the class will likely stop trying if they have such a person in their midst). So in a way, I understand why Hermione infuriates Snape so much; at the same time, that does not condone some of his conduct towards her (the 'no difference' scene, or taking points from Gryffindor whne she cannot contain herself and blurts out the answer)

Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5913930)
In CoS, he had to know that someone was mixing polyjuice potion, the stuff was missing and someone had to be using it. Did he suspect Hermione, and the reason he never confronted her or any of the trio was that he was glad to see her putting her talents to use?

Again I don't think so. I think he kept silent only because he didn't have enough evidence. He correctly suspected Harry (I guess his 'innocent' face would be easy to read for an experienced teacher, not to mention a legilimens). He'd be more or less sure of the Trio's intent after Hermione appeared in the Infirmary as a half-cat, and after he learned about Crabbe and Goyle's condition (if he ever did). But he never had direct evidence to support his claim.
I definitely don't think he acted out of any noble sentiments towards anyone in the Trio. I'd go as far as to say that my impression of Snape was that he wanted quiet, obedient and studious students, but not such brilliant ones who would present a challenge to himself or be better than him in a subject he excelled in (Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts). He doesn't seem to me to be the type to wish them success, and Hermione's endeavours seem to me to be triggering a need in him to show everyone who the best expert in the class is (himself). Even at the cost of bringing the person down with nasty remarks. Feeling 'threatened' by a (pre-)teenager is not a mature thing to do, but then, Snape is not a very mature person, mostly.

CathyWeasley October 26th, 2011 3:49 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow
Again, I don't think so. To me, Snape appears to have taught by rote. I don't see much difference between being expected to parrot the teacher's directions or parroting a book.

Firstly I don't think Snape taught by rote and I would be interested to know what brought you to this conclusion.

Secondly there is a vast difference between parrotting from a book and parrotting a teachers directions both in real life and in Harry Potter. We know that while he was still a student Snape was improving the potions recipes as they were in the book, and this highlights the difference. A teacher who expects children to parrot the book - as Umbridge did - does not put any effort into the preparation of the lesson nor expects the pupils to learn anything outside the text of the book concerned. In many ways a teacher who parrot from a book is nothing more than a glorified child minder. A teacher who expects the children to parrot his instructions is teaching the children to make potions accurately using the best recipe available. My son is currently doing Food tech and brings home a list of ingredients he needs each week from the recipe which the teacher has supplied rather than it being from a book and I see Snape's teaching of potins in a similar way. If the children try to do things there own way things are not going to turn out particularly well in both potions and food tech. though mistakes seem to be somewhat more dangerous in potions. So I do not see it as a bad thing that Snape insists that the students do things the way he dictates in his class. The homework that Snape set however shows that he wanted his pupils to understand the effect that different ingredients had in potions, and so have a wider knowledge of what was going on in the cauldron and why certain ingredients were used. As such I do not think that Snape taught by rote.

Quote:

It seems to me that Snape took a bitter view of anyone who deviated from the instructions he wrote down.
And rightly so! Any teacher would in a practical subject - particularly one where accidents can be dangerous. I can imagine a chemistry teacher getting very cross if students do not stick to the instructions when conducting experiments.

Quote:

I would not say that he was a teacher that encouraged exploration or experimentation.
Again I do not recall any chemistry teachers encouraging exploration or experimentation in practical sessions. You followed instructions. I would say that the same applies to transfiguration which is also a difficult and dangerous subject, and I don't recall any experimentation or exploration in McGonagall's classes either.

Quote:

I don't think he cared if his students were brilliant, only that they could do the work exactly as he directed with minimal fuss.
I don't see any evidence for this at all. I think he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students. He certainly wanted the children to learn and designed his lessons with that aim in mind. Indeed he was a far better teacher than many others we see such as Quirrel, Lockhart, Trelawney and Umbridge.

Quote:

I think Snape discounted Hermione, and her abilities.
I think he was rather inclined to believe that Hermione was unlikely to break school rules.

OldMotherCrow October 26th, 2011 4:49 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CathyWeasley (Post 5913955)
Firstly I don't think Snape taught by rote and I would be interested to know what brought you to this conclusion.

Because Snape writes things out and wants them copied exactly, or else. I don't see much exploration or explanation there. I think it is perfectly possibly to learn to make a potion by rote, so that part works for students good at following directions, but I don't think rote is a way to learn the theory or explore improvements.

Quote:

Secondly there is a vast difference between parrotting from a book and parrotting a teachers directions both in real life and in Harry Potter. We know that while he was still a student Snape was improving the potions recipes as they were in the book, and this highlights the difference.
Slughorn was Severus's teacher. I don't think Slughorn taught by rote. He seemed very open to creativity. Snape seems to done his experimenting and improvements under Slughorn.

Quote:

A teacher who expects children to parrot the book - as Umbridge did - does not put any effort into the preparation of the lesson nor expects the pupils to learn anything outside the text of the book concerned. In many ways a teacher who parrot from a book is nothing more than a glorified child minder. A teacher who expects the children to parrot his instructions is teaching the children to make potions accurately using the best recipe available.
Snape is still teaching by rote-- he's just using his information instead of the official book's. Yes, his recipes are better than the official books. That doesn't stop his method from being rote, though. Unless one direction is proven bette than the other, how is a child to know? The only way would be for a child to experiment, in my opinion--which is something that Snape did not allow in his class as far as I can see. I think testing different recipes to see differnt results would be a great learning experience.

Quote:

And rightly so! Any teacher would in a practical subject - particularly one where accidents can be dangerous. I can imagine a chemistry teacher getting very cross if students do not stick to the instructions when conducting experiments.

Again I do not recall any chemistry teachers encouraging exploration or experimentation in practical sessions. You followed instructions. I would say that the same applies to transfiguration which is also a difficult and dangerous subject, and I don't recall any experimentation or exploration in McGonagall's classes either.
Heh, I guess I know of very different chemistry teachers.

But my point wasn't Follow Directions Bad! Break Directions Good! Or even Rote Bad! Experiment Good! Just that I don't see him encouraging exploration or experimentation, thus the idea that he was trying to break Hermione of rigidityas as put forth by MinervasCat seems out there to me when it appears to me that what he wanted was rigidity from his students, as long as it was adhering to his way of doing things. Hermione may have sounded like she swallowed the textbook, but I think she also demonstrated that she understood what she read. I think she just wasn't good at rewriting the information into another form like some teachers like students to do to prove that they understood. Instead, I think she could prove she understood what she was spouting by her ability to practically apply her book knowledge. I think Snape was irritated when people he didn't like knew things, and irritated when they didn't know things. I think that if he had taken a dislike to Hermione, it really didn't matter what kind of student she was, he was going to treat her however he wanted.

Quote:

I don't see any evidence for this at all. I think he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students. He certainly wanted the children to learn and designed his lessons with that aim in mind. Indeed he was a far better teacher than many others we see such as Quirrel, Lockhart, Trelawney and Umbridge.
I see evidence for it, but to each there own. :) I think that if "he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students" then he really wasn't expecting much other than irritation from his students.

I certainly hope he was better than the likes of Umbridge! I do not set the bar for acceptable teacher behavior or competence so low.

Quote:

I think he was rather inclined to believe that Hermione was unlikely to break school rules.
:rotfl: I guess she learned him a lesson! (repeatedly)

I rather think that Snape "decided" what some child was like, and then treated them that way without regard to evidence in support or contrary. I see it with Harry, and Snape's belief that Harry was always the ringleader for troublemaking whether or not he really was. So I can see Snape deciding that Hermione was some unsufferable know-it-all for daring to try to answer his questions in the first class and interfering with his singling out of Harry, and deciding to forevermore treat her accordingly to get back at here. I think that's one thing about Snape, once he decides on a path, it is hard to shake him from his intended goal.

MinervasCat October 26th, 2011 5:31 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Noleme (Post 5913951)
And I'd add Ron, simply because he was hanging out with Harry and not a particularly studious type with a fondness for quidditch (which again might have been reminiscent of Sirius and James to Snape)

Severus didn't seem to single out Ron in the books, more in the movies. It was Harry, Hermione, and Neville who usually got the brunt of his snark.


Quote:

As much as I like Snape, I don't believe he was trying to toughen up Neville or help him in any way. He really seems to be using him as a catalyst for his bad mood. My impression is that Neville's fear and clumsiness for potions was something he scorned and was irked by. It takes only little to set off a choleric person, which Snape definitely seems to be outside his spying life.
As for the Pettigrew reminiscence in Snape's eyes - I don't recall now if Pettigrew was particularly awkward/clumsy as student, but maybe there was the fact that both Gryffindors were 'ragtagging' the more popular ones (in his eyes). I don't think that the Peter reminiscence was the main reason why Snape singled Neville out, though.
I really don't think that all of his jibes at Neville can be blamed on his being in a bad mood most of the time. I'm sure he got frustrated with Neville because he was so inept at potions, and Severus didn't seem to be able to understand that the more he went at him the more nervous and inept Neville seemed to become.

We do know that Pettigrew was not the most talented of students as it took Sirius and James sometime to teach him Animagus transformation even though he was in his Fifth Year. This is what leads me to believe he is way below average in his abilities, not just average or a bit below it, as he would have caught on quicker. Neville learned to cast a corporeal Patronus in his Fifth Year, which was very advanced magic, as well. I see this as another parallel/comparison by Ms. Rowling.

As a class member, Severus saw Pettigrew throw his lot in with the Marauders, who offered him protection. (Then, later he turned on them and joined Voldemort, IMO, for the same reason, IMO, -- protection. (But, Severus wouldn't have known that until after PoA.) I just wondered if he saw Neville becoming part of the Harry/Ron/(and a bit later) Hermione group and would just become a follower, as Pettigrew seems to have done. Did he want Neville to succeed on his own, which is why he discouraged Hermione from helping him?

Quote:

I don't think Snape's intentions were nice in Hermione's case, either. My impression was that he disliked her know-it-all-ishness from the first lesson on. Truth be told, a teacher myself, I know how annoying this behaviour can be (count in the fact that the rest of the class will likely stop trying if they have such a person in their midst). So in a way, I understand why Hermione infuriates Snape so much; at the same time, that does not condone some of his conduct towards her (the 'no difference' scene, or taking points from Gryffindor whne she cannot contain herself and blurts out the answer)
Having also taught for several years, I can second that. But, I don't think Severus had anything personal against Hermione. I think he wanted her to stop interrupting and shouting out answers, but, I also think he admired her amount of knowledge and was frustrated that she did not take it to another level as he'd done himself (as we see in HBP).

As for the "no difference" scene: there is debate as to whether he meant Hermione's teeth or that she and Crabbe or Goyle (they're almost interchangable) had both cast hexes at each other an both had suffered from the others' hex.

Quote:

Again I don't think so. I think he kept silent only because he didn't have enough evidence. He correctly suspected Harry (I guess his 'innocent' face would be easy to read for an experienced teacher, not to mention a legilimens). He'd be more or less sure of the Trio's intent after Hermione appeared in the Infirmary as a half-cat, and after he learned about Crabbe and Goyle's condition (if he ever did). But he never had direct evidence to support his claim.
I'd say Hermione turning herself into a part-cat was pretty good evidence she'd been fooling around with something, and Severus knew enough, I'm sure, to realize it was polyjuice potion. He could have turned her, alone, in and she'd have been in trouble for stealing supplies at the very least. But, I think he held back on purpose.

Quote:

I definitely don't think he acted out of any noble sentiments towards anyone in the Trio. I'd go as far as to say that my impression of Snape was that he wanted quiet, obedient and studious students, but not such brilliant ones who would present a challenge to himself or be better than him in a subject he excelled in (Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts). He doesn't seem to me to be the type to wish them success, and Hermione's endeavours seem to me to be triggering a need in him to show everyone who the best expert in the class is (himself). Even at the cost of bringing the person down with nasty remarks. Feeling 'threatened' by a (pre-)teenager is not a mature thing to do, but then, Snape is not a very mature person, mostly.
I have to disagree with this. Any good teacher -- which I think Severus was, discounting his personal grudge against Harry and his shortcomings with Neville, only two of hundreds of students he'd taught over the years -- any good teacher not only wants their students to succeed, but wants them to exceed their own accomplishments. That is the mark of a really good teacher: to be able to impart your own knowledge to a student and have them take that and make something even better of it. If teachers only wanted their students to remain at the same level that they (the teachers) are at, then there is no hope for progress or improvement.

Severus did not teach from the book, but from his own lessons. As we see in HBP, he'd taken the book and improved on procedures and instructions. This is what he was handing down to his students, not just "book learning." I think he expected them to move on with that. Look at what the Weasley twins did. All of their jokes and "skivving snack boxes" and such were mostly things they'd learned in Potions and elaborated on.

And, as far as being pains in the neck in class, I'd think if anyone would have had Severus' wrath come down on them or would have had anything bad to say about him it would have been them. I can just imagine what some of their Potions lessons were like.

slytherin001 October 26th, 2011 8:25 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
In regards to why Snape treated Neville in the awful manner he did, maybe Snape just resented Neville for having not been the child LV intended to kill. I truly think it is a plausible possibility. And we all know Snape wasn't above disliking and acting spitefully toward people, and through no fault of their own. Did Neville's performance in Potions only add fuel to the fire? Sure. But from what we see in canon, we don't really see Snape acting in any different manner towards Neville. He never seems to give the poor kid a chance! So, yeah, I don't think Snape intended his maltreatment of Neville to be some form of guidance to make certain that Neville didn't turn out like Pettigrew. I find that theory to be a bit far-fetched and contrived, just as I feel the notion that Snape didn't have cruel intentions when he made his little comment of, "I see no difference," to Hermione to also be far-fetched. I don't know, but I just don't think Snape was that much of a nice guy. Nor do I think he really cared what kind of person his students generally grew up to be. That's just me though.

FutureAuthor13 October 26th, 2011 9:54 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Woo, new thread! :clap:

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After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?
I'd say to a certain extent. Snape gave Voldemort the crucial information that sent him after Harry and endangered the Potters even more in the first place, but Peter Pettigrew made it possible for Voldemort to enter their home with ease. At least, that's how I see it. :)

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Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?
Definately. :agree: He sinks into the lowest position morally etc and manages to break out of that damaging mould and do his best to make up for all previous decisions that first lead him to such a position. Of course, he hasn't- and no character can, I feel- redeemed himself in absolutely every aspect but I think his redemption and character arc is completely developed.

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To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?
I think Snape's parents caused Snape's social development to be, to an extent, stunted; that was why, after being relatively isolated as a child, he sought to be in a position of power or be surrounded by powerful people. That could explain a slight part of his attraction to the Dark Arts and Death Eaters. However, I think the decisions Snape made when he was a student at Hogwarts and onwards were entirely his own and he alone was responsible for them.

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Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?
Overall, I believe yes, he would've moved on, perhaps more for her sake than his in his mind, but there may have been some bitterness and resentment remaining although not nearly as strong as what I think was displayed in canon. Snape had turned to the 'good side' before Lily had died- I think this would remain true if her death did not occur, too. :)

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Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?
I believe he took so long to approach Lily because he was incredibly withdrawn as a child and not fully developed socially. The memories shown in The Prince's Tale suggest to me that, apart from Lily, he really didn't have much of an experience of interacting with others as his own age.

Initially, I feel that Lily's magical ability made her stand out, in Snape's eyes. That was why I think he approached her; he saw they both had something special in common and he could find a friend in her whom he could talk to about practically anything. His treatment of young Petunia shows he had prejudices towards Muggles but he hardly gives these a moment's thought after he has formed a friendship with Lily.

For me, it's difficult to say about what might've happened if Lily had been a Muggle. I don't think he would have approached her, both due to them no longer having something unique in common and his prejudices towards Muggles but, at the same time, Snape and Lily's friendship would not have survived as long as it did if they both did not like each other as individuals; sharing magical ability alone would not be enough. I think Snape liked and was attracted to Lily's nature very much; if she had approached him as a Muggle, perhaps, over time, he would've dropped his untrue views on Muggles and formed a friendship with her just the same.

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How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?
Before the lead up to Snape's Worst Memory began, I think they did both work to maintain their friendship. The friendship meant an awful lot to both of them, in my opinion, and they did not want it to be thrown away be something so, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant as House differences. I believe their friendship would have continued despite Lily being in Gryffindor and Snape being in Slytherin had he not chosen to follow the paths of future Death Eaters and call Lily a Mudblood. Of course, that's why, I think, Snape's Worst Memory is what it is- an older Snape, looking back, recognises that the action and mistake he made in that moment was the straw that broke the camel's back regarding his and Lily's friendship.

Just my opinion. :)

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How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?
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?
I think his life would've been a lot happier, certainly. Personally, I don't see Snape's love for Lily directly affecting his decision to kill Dumbledore- maybe that, among other things, gave him the inner strength to carry it out but, apart from that, Snape's love for Lily doesn't make me see Dumbledore's 'murder' in a different light; it was him secretly working for the Order and Dumbledore that did. :) In my opinion, Snape's treatment of Sirius would've been relatively the same even if Snape hadn't loved Lily.

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How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?
What we discover in Deathly Hallows makes me see that Snape often had incredibly conflicting emotions regarding Harry and that could'ver caued (partly) his sometimes explosive reactions when it came to him. It doesn't make me view his treatment of Neville any differently, however. :)

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Do you think he wanted or needed Harry's forgiveness on some level?
I'm sure that previously I have answered this question before with a straightforward 'yes' or 'now' but now, I honestly can't say for certain. I do think he wanted Harry to know his true motives and past etc ("Yes, Potter. That is my job.") and the memories he gives Harry, to me show that he wanted Harry to know him as he was- flaws and all. Perhaps with that come a private want of some form of forgiveness from Harry but I don't really know at this point in time. :)

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Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?
I haven't really read any of them in detail so I can't comment on this properly. :)

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Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?
I feel it his because his character, as a whole, is made up of layers upon layers of contradictions. He treats Harry arguably cruelly for most of the series yet goes out of his way to save him, he tells a young Lily being a Muggle born makes no differences yet, when older, he calls her a Mudblood...the examples are quite endless, in my opinion and that is what makes Snape's character so intriguing and fascinating to me. :)

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What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?
I think his major strength was to keep on working for what was right, even when that came to, as Dumbledore says 'a great personal risk to himself'. Also, in spite of trauma, Voldemort etc, to have a love for someone remain so strong for years. His most major flaw is, in my opinion, is inablity to hold onto often wholly unnecessary grudges. Just my opinion. :)

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If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?
He's...quite a character. :lol:

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What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?
Ooh, I love this new question. I think this changed as Snape moved into different 'sections' of his life. As a child, probably magical ability in general- it drew him and Lily together at first and seperated him from his father whom I believe he extremely disliked. The adolescent/young adult (Death Eater) Snape I think valued the idea of power and the ability to command fear and respect from people instantly. The adult Snape, for me, most likely valued determination- a trait I believe he grudgingly found and admired in Harry.

All answers are just my own opinion and interpretation. :)

CathyWeasley October 26th, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
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Because Snape writes things out and wants them copied exactly, or else. I don't see much exploration or explanation there. I think it is perfectly possibly to learn to make a potion by rote, so that part works for students good at following directions, but I don't think rote is a way to learn the theory or explore improvements.
THe only time we see him write something out and want it copied exactly is when he writes out the instructions for potions. As I have said this would have been a necessity in much the same way as when in real life pupils are writing out the insructions for a science experiment. He doesn't teach the theory in this way. His classes usually involve the teaching of the theory and explanations first followed by the instructions being put on the board. I'd say this compares with a science lesson and see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

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Slughorn was Severus's teacher. I don't think Slughorn taught by rote. He seemed very open to creativity. Snape seems to done his experimenting and improvements under Slughorn.
Slughorn was using the same text book for Harry as he did for Severus and told his pupils to work straight from the book - a book which Snape as a pupil sought to improve. I don't think this shows that Slughorn was the better teacher. On the contrary it shows that he was unaware that there were better ways to make the potions than those given in the books, and was apparently sufficiently unaware of what his students were doing in class not to notice when one of them did something in a different way. Severus however did notice when his students did something differently and was often able to tell exactly what they had done, which implies me that he had a very wide knowledge and understanding of the subject.

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Snape is still teaching by rote-- he's just using his information instead of the official book's. Yes, his recipes are better than the official books. That doesn't stop his method from being rote, though.
Teaching by rote is getting pupils to learn something off by heart, for example as Umbridge did when she was getting the class to copy out chapters from a book. We never see Snape do this. Putting instructions on a board does not equate to teaching by rote.

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Heh, I guess I know of very different chemistry teachers.
I remember getting screamed at by a chemistry teacher in A level chemistry practical for not taking sufficient care with an extremely strong alkali solution. :scared:


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Just that I don't see him encouraging exploration or experimentation, thus the idea that he was trying to break Hermione of rigidityas as put forth by MinervasCat seems out there to me when it appears to me that what he wanted was rigidity from his students, as long as it was adhering to his way of doing things.
Well like I said exploration and experimentation can be dangerous in practical classes and certainly Snape didn't encourage it then. However I do think that he encouraged the students to think around the subject so that they understood the principals involved in potion making.

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I think that if "he was constantly disappointed by the ineptitude of so many students and the lack of application of most students" then he really wasn't expecting much other than irritation from his students.
Exactly! IMO Snape hated teaching, and hated the students - some more than others. But he said he would do "anything"...

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I certainly hope he was better than the likes of Umbridge! I do not set the bar for acceptable teacher behavior or competence so low.
Quite!

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I rather think that Snape "decided" what some child was like, and then treated them that way without regard to evidence in support or contrary. I see it with Harry, and Snape's belief that Harry was always the ringleader for troublemaking whether or not he really was. So I can see Snape deciding that Hermione was some unsufferable know-it-all for daring to try to answer his questions in the first class and interfering with his singling out of Harry, and deciding to forevermore treat her accordingly to get back at here. I think that's one thing about Snape, once he decides on a path, it is hard to shake him from his intended goal.
Yes I am inclined to agree with you - especially as regarding Hermione. It is ironic that someone who changed so radically does not recogniose change in others.

mirrormere October 26th, 2011 10:48 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
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Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow (Post 5913971)
Slughorn was Severus's teacher. I don't think Slughorn taught by rote. He seemed very open to creativity. Snape seems to done his experimenting and improvements under Slughorn.

I get the feeling that Slughorn taught more by rote than Severus did. Mainly because, on the first day of class, the students are pretty much just left with their textbooks to whip up a Draught of Living Death. He doesn't mention any improvements on the potion such as those noted by Snape in Harry's potion book. Why is that? In Snape's class the students follow instructions he's put on the board-a vast improvement over the books apparently.

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Originally Posted by Noleme (Post 5913951)
I'd go as far as to say that my impression of Snape was that he wanted quiet, obedient and studious students,

Definitely!

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Originally Posted by Noleme (Post 5913951)
. . .but not such brilliant ones who would present a challenge to himself or be better than him in a subject he excelled in (Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts). He doesn't seem to me to be the type to wish them success, and Hermione's endeavours seem to me to be triggering a need in him to show everyone who the best expert in the class is (himself). Even at the cost of bringing the person down with nasty remarks. Feeling 'threatened' by a (pre-)teenager is not a mature thing to do, but then, Snape is not a very mature person, mostly.

I think if he felt threatened or didn't want his students to succeed, he would have just let them struggle with the textbooks (and the included errors) on their own. The fact that he gets angry with them when they mess up shows that he does care on some level or all he would have to do is sit at his desk and ignore them. I'm sure most of us have had a "teacher" like that at some point.

One of Snape's biggest flaws is impatience. That, coupled with his penchant for sarcasm, and he comes off as a bully.

I think the reason he goes after Neville is because the boy is a scatterbrain and puts others in danger because he doesn't concentrate on what he's doing. I believe Severus has difficulty understanding this trait in Neville for two reasons: 1) because Snape himself has a prodigious, natural talent for focusing and 2) because of his family background and subsequent low self-esteem, he doesn't realize how talented he really is and therefore thinks everyone has that capability to the same degree he does, if they would only apply themselves. Hence his impatience with Neville.

As for Hermione, I think he recognizes her quick intelligence and grasp of his instruction (her grades in his class prove that), he just can't tolerate her desire to flaunt her knowledge and her interruptions in class. Which is why I think he lets her finish the one class with those hexed, overgrown teeth. Bet she didn't say a word the rest of that period because she couldn't! Ah-peace at last!

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Originally Posted by CathyWeasley (Post 5914357)
THe only time we see him write something out and want it copied exactly is when he writes out the instructions for potions. As I have said this would have been a necessity in much the same way as when in real life pupils are writing out the insructions for a science experiment. He doesn't teach the theory in this way. His classes usually involve the teaching of the theory and explanations first followed by the instructions being put on the board. I'd say this compares with a science lesson and see absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Completely agree! I don't recall any other class "doubling" up, but we hear the students having Double Potions quite often. I think this is probably a lecture section followed by a practical lab. Chemistry instructors (and I've had several) display nearly a Jekyll and Hyde personality when going from the lecture classroom to the lab. This is dangerous stuff. Even more so than Transfiguration where students work on individual, inanimate objects, at least to start with. Messing up in Potions can take out the entire class which Neville nearly accomplished.

BrianTung October 26th, 2011 11:42 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
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Originally Posted by Moriath (Post 5913867)
Welcome to the 6th version of this version of the Snape thread. :yuhup:

Stunning. :)
  1. After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?

    Substantially, but certainly not exclusively. The Potters were known resisters and would have been targets nonetheless, but after Snape told Voldemort what he had heard of the prophecy, the risk was elevated for both the Potters and the Longbottoms. I suppose it's possible that Voldemort could have heard the prophecy through some other channel, but I'm not sure I see how: Trelawney doesn't seem to hear her own prophecies, and Dumbledore wasn't telling. Would Voldemort have even known there was a prophecy to hear at all?

    Of course, Voldemort had to actually kill the Potters, but Snape knew he was capable of that, and told him anyway.

  2. Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?

    Essentially, yes. We've lost no plot because of Snape's death; his redemption was a fitting capstone on his arc. We feel saddened by his death, but I think that's because he died just as we were really learning about him, not because we were really left hanging, as readers.

  3. To what extent are Snape's parents to blame for his later choices and to what extent are they his own responsibility?

    We don't really get a good sense of that. We see snippets of a mistreated youth, but we don't really know how much of that is his perception, and at any rate, we only get his side of things. Maybe he was prone to feeling persecuted as a youth. I think it's a bit dangerous to speculate too actively on something we see so little of.

  4. Do you think Snape would have moved on if Lily had not died? Would he have turned to the good side in that case?

    It's conceivable. A lot depends on the manner in which she avoided dying. We might imagine that if Lily had meekly stepped aside after Voldemort told her to, Snape would have gone to the Potter house to look for her. He'd find her devastated and probably guilt-ridden (for not having saved Harry), and that might have turned him to the good side.

    On the other hand, if the Potters had fled the country and were living a life on the run, Snape might well have continued merrily with the Death Eaters for some time.

  5. Why do you think Snape was so reluctant to approach Lily? Would he have been interested in her if she had not been magical?

    I doubt it. His own sense of value was tightly wound up in his magical abilities, and I don't think he would have been fascinated for very long with a Muggle girl, even a particularly pretty one. Harry had the sense that Snape had been planning the first encounter for some time, and I think that's likely; he seemed to view personal interactions as chemical reactions and often appeared baffled when the initial conditions failed to produce the expected results. I think he planned in secret for that long only because she was magical.

    As for his reluctance, I think it's because he had put her on some kind of pedestal from nearly the moment he saw her, and it is certainly difficult for a boy to approach a girl when he does that. (I speak from no personal experience, to be sure.) I suspect there's a subconscious recognition and fear that something won't turn out right--whether it's rejection, or just the girl turning out not to be as wonderful as he had imagined. In Snape's case, it wasn't outright rejection, but it wasn't much better, so I think his fears were largely realized.

  6. How did Hogwarts effect the friendship between Snape and Lily? We see that up until fifth year they consider themselves to be "best friends", despite the house system. Do you think they both worked to maintain the friendship?

    Snape and Lily's friendship was effected before they even left for Hogwarts.

    Oh, you mean affected. :p Well, it was certainly affected by the presence of a bunch of teenage boy wizards. Back at home, Snape had Lily, essentially, all to himself. There was no competition to speak of, as far as we can tell. Once on the train for Hogwarts, and certainly at Hogwarts itself, there were dozens or hundreds of other boys to compete for Lily's attention. (Numbers were never Rowling's strong point.) That would have threatened Snape. What's more, because Snape had put Lily up on this pedestal, there was never any question of any competition for him. Even if by some chance he loosened up enough to attract anyone else, they could never have held any interest for him.

    We get very little about Snape and Lily's years at Hogwarts, but I think it's likely that he spent the first few years scrupulously careful not to make any explicit confession of affection (for rejection might mean losing her friendship, and infatuation never dares that, whereas true love would recognize that the friendship wouldn't end just because the love wasn't reciprocated). He might be dismissive of practically anyone else, especially those who were weak, magically, but didn't do the same to Lily. For a while, she might be flattered, and OK with that, but eventually, she did seem to question it, and when it did come out ("Snape's Worst Memory"), her response was swift and decisive.

  7. How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?

    I don't know. Again, it would have depended a lot on how he managed to do so. If he had cast his lot with the Order, that would, I think, have mattered a lot. It would have signified a rejection of the Death Eaters and their anti-Muggle prejudices, and that would have made him more socially digestible. It would not have exactly made him a man about town, exactly, because he seems to have eschewed that sort of thing, but he could have ended up--after the War, if Voldemort were defeated--as a respected, if somewhat stern, academic. In other words, we readers would have been robbed of a lot of drama and biting wit!

    On the other hand, it's possible he could have repaired their friendship without actually joining the Order. He could simply have left them (I think at a minimum, that was necessary for reparation) without fighting against them, but actually, I think that would have left him rather on his own. "No one, no one, stops being a Death Eater." There would always be that spectre of relapse hanging over him.

  8. 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?

    Even as I was reading Half-Blood Prince, I got the sense that there was more to the killing of Dumbledore than met the reader's eye. I couldn't possibly have predicted the exact way it turned out, but since I was convinced that Snape wasn't evil (for what were essentially external reasons--from a plot perspective, it made him redundant), it stood to reason that there were sound, non-evil reasons for Dumbledore to die. So the revelations in "The Prince's Tale" didn't greatly affect my perception of that killing.

    His treatment of Sirius is not much different. I'm not sure it has a lot directly to do with Lily; I think it had more to do with the interactions between him and the Marauders. (I suppose I'm going to have to step rather gingerly here...) I think it does add a bit of extra pungency to the way I imagine his perception of Sirius, who was (I think?) best man at the wedding. But it's just that--added flavor, rather than a completely different entree.

  9. How do the revelations of DH impact your view of Snape's treatment of Harry and Neville throughout the series?

    Neville, hardly at all. I don't see how Neville warranted anything like the rather brusque way he was treated by Snape.

    For that matter, Harry didn't warrant it either, but one can at least see in his case how it might be natural for someone with Snape's disposition. He looked like his father, and as many other people might in his situation, Snape saw what he expected to see, and that's all. We knew that Snape didn't like James; all Deathly Hallows provides, really, is the background story on why.

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

    Not forgiveness, I don't think. He probably wanted Harry's understanding, because I think he recognized Harry despised him, and it likely did bother him that much of that despisal was predicated on a faulty understanding of Snape (which was dictated by Snape's role as protector) and of James (which came about because James's friends were enormously loyal to the memory of a murdered friend). I think, now that I've had some time to reflect on it, it's fairly telling that of the memories that Snape provides Harry in "The Prince's Tale," not one really shows James in a particularly bad light. He teases Snape on the Express, but that's certainly no worse than what he knows Harry had already seen in the Pensieve.

  11. Do you agree with the author's take on Snape's character as revealed in interviews?

    More or less. It's evident that she views Snape as deeply flawed but sympathetic, and I tend to agree with that. It's certainly a more nuanced perspective than many I see elsewhere (Snape's a pretty divisive guy, after all), and I'd expect that from the character's creator.

  12. Which elements do you think make Snape the most controversial character of the series?

    Mostly that we don't see his true motivations until the very end. We see very little in the story itself that demands that he turn out essentially on the side of the good; as I said, I think that's dictated only by external considerations. And people do tend to pick sides. So it's only natural that someone who was ambiguous for so long would have become a lightning rod for controversial discussion.

  13. What do you think are Snape's major strengths? What are his major flaws?

    Actually, I prefer to think of his major characteristics; whether we view them as strengths or flaws says more about us than it does about him. For instance, he could clearly love exclusively--some would say too exclusively. But rather than make value judgments about whether it's good to love that exclusively, I think it's better to point out what that exclusiveness led to. It led to, among other things, his hatred of James, his consequent treatment of Harry, his defection from Voldemort, his protection of Harry, etc. How one sees all of these different things has a lot to do with whether we see that as a strength or a flaw, so I think that discussion doesn't particularly illuminate Snape.

    Snape was also an extraordinary tactician. He was an exceptionally skilled wizard--possibly second to Dumbledore at Hogwarts. Together, all this permitted him to act as a redoubled agent in a way that no other character in the story could, in my opinion. On the other hand, it also meant that he had trouble working his way out of petty skirmishes. If you're a good verbal fencer (and I don't think there's anyone out there who doubts that Snape was one of those), you're less likely to try to stop fencing with someone, even if in the long run, you're better off doing so.

  14. If you had to summarize Snape's character to someone who had never read the books what would you tell them?

    I'd tell them Snape's unpleasantness to you, and at the same time his dedication to you, were in direct proportion to his obligation to you.

  15. What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?

    In the concrete, Lily. In the abstract, responsibility.

ignisia October 26th, 2011 11:46 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
*SQUEEEE* New thread! :love:

I want a pony too

1. After reading DH, to what extent do you think is Snape responsible for what happened to the Potters?

I think he's responsible for what he did: telling Voldemort of the prophecy, knowing the risk to the person it referred to.

2. Do you think Snape's character development arc is complete?

Well, there's a lot that remains unanswered, but all in all, there isn't much else he can do, since he's dead.
(Or, as I like to imagine, took healing potions and escaped to a remote island, where he soaks up the sun's rays, vegges out in a nice lovely seaside villa, and lives happily ever after.)

7. How would Snape's life have been different if he had managed to save their friendship?

Who knows? I think that if their friendship had survived beyond Hogwarts, I think he'd have eventually told her how he felt. No longer running the risk of being attacked would probably have allowed him to feel he could risk that vulnerability. But there are those additional issues of how, why, and when Lily fell in love with James and whether or not Severus and Lily remaining friends would have had any impact on his decision to join the DEs.

This last question I can see many different outcomes for: Severus would no longer be bunking with Mulciber et al., but would likely continue to be welcomed within their circle. Would this distance affect how those friendships played out? Would Lily's continued presence change things? I see Severus walking a very thin line between the two friendships, hoping that he could balance both. The problem is, he couldn't do this forever. Whether it was in 5th year or sometime after graduation, he had to give someone up. I would bet that in whatever hypothetical post-graduation scenario could be cooked up, the side he would eventually fall into would be the one he spent the most time with.

Lily's feelings for James have a lot to do with her character, but are also an important in that they could influence Severus as well. I see Lily as being slightly attracted to/interested in James in 5th year, possibly as a result of the Werewolf Incident. This could only amount to a crush and fade, or it could develop into something deeper and be irreparable. I think the dividing factor would be what exactly caused this possible change in James Sirius was talking about, and was it dependent on Lily and Severus' friendship? We have no information on this, so I don't think I can make a call on it.
However, I would say that if Lily did marry James and remained Severus' friend, I think he would distrust and severely dislike James, but put up with it. His reaction to James in canon I, to an extent, attribute to the SK switch and its consequences. If Lily hadn't married James, then (as I said earlier) Severus would probably have revealed his feelings. Whether or not Lily would return them is a whole 'nother essay. :rotfl:

15. What do you reckon Snape valued most in life?

Interesting question. I think there are two ways to look at this. There are the things that he desired but rarely expressed or chose to acknowledge, like the need for acceptance, love, and acknowledgment, and there are the things he overtly valued, like intelligence, practicality, efficiency, and straightforwardness. I think he valued all these things, but labeled some as weaknesses because, while they're necessary to all human beings, his own experiences with them were often painful, disappointing, or just plain not there. Not to mention they were very dangerous things for a spy in his position.

mirrormere October 26th, 2011 11:58 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
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Originally Posted by ignisia (Post 5914453)
(Or, as I like to imagine, took healing potions and escaped to a remote island, where he soaks up the sun's rays, vegges out in a nice lovely seaside villa, and lives happily ever after.)

That would explain why his portrait doesn't show up in the Headmaster's office! I like it. Hope he developed a potion with an SPF of 50!

Melaszka October 27th, 2011 12:50 am

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
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Originally Posted by slytherin001 (Post 5914170)
In regards to why Snape treated Neville in the awful manner he did, maybe Snape just resented Neville for having not been the child LV intended to kill.

I've often wondered that, too - perhaps he resents Neville's existence because he knows that if Voldemort had gone after Neville, then Lily would still be alive. (Although, in fairness, he does try to stop Crabbe or Goyle from hurting Neville too much in Umbridge's office at the end of OotP, so - as with Harry - despite his resentment of him, he "doesn't want him dead" or seriously hurt).

The other possibility which has occurred to me is that deep down he feels guilty because he knows that by passing the prophecy to Voldemort he betrayed Neville, as well as Harry, and he can't cope with the guilt, so he gets angry with the person he knows he has wronged, because hatred is easier to deal with than guilt. Resenting people that make him feel guilty does seem to me to be one of Snape's characteristics.

MinervasCat October 27th, 2011 1:43 am

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Melaszka (Post 5914518)
I've often wondered that, too - perhaps he resents Neville's existence because he knows that if Voldemort had gone after Neville, then Lily would still be alive. (Although, in fairness, he does try to stop Crabbe or Goyle from hurting Neville too much in Umbridge's office at the end of OotP, so - as with Harry - despite his resentment of him, he "doesn't want him dead" or seriously hurt).

The other possibility which has occurred to me is that deep down he feels guilty because he knows that by passing the prophecy to Voldemort he betrayed Neville, as well as Harry, and he can't cope with the guilt, so he gets angry with the person he knows he has wronged, because hatred is easier to deal with than guilt. Resenting people that make him feel guilty does seem to me to be one of Snape's characteristics.


Maybe it's just as simple as Neville being a totally inept potions student, blowing up or melting several cauldrons, and trying Professor Snape's patience much the same as he tried Professor McGonagall's. It could be any number of reasons.

I really don't see Severus resenting Neville for not being "The Chosen One." Unless Severus looked up his date of birth, in particular, he wouldn't even have known when Neville was born. I don't think many teachers actually look that deeply into their students' personal information without a specific reason.

ccollinsmith October 27th, 2011 4:56 am

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Melaszka (Post 5914518)
I've often wondered that, too - perhaps he resents Neville's existence because he knows that if Voldemort had gone after Neville, then Lily would still be alive. (Although, in fairness, he does try to stop Crabbe or Goyle from hurting Neville too much in Umbridge's office at the end of OotP, so - as with Harry - despite his resentment of him, he "doesn't want him dead" or seriously hurt).

The other possibility which has occurred to me is that deep down he feels guilty because he knows that by passing the prophecy to Voldemort he betrayed Neville, as well as Harry, and he can't cope with the guilt, so he gets angry with the person he knows he has wronged, because hatred is easier to deal with than guilt. Resenting people that make him feel guilty does seem to me to be one of Snape's characteristics.

I have always thought that Snape's frustration and impatience with Neville resulted from the reason Snape stated - i.e., that (from Snape's perspective) nothing seemed to "penetrate" Neville's "thick skull." And speaking as someone who melted more than my fair share of cauldrons when I first started potions :lol:, I fully expect that Snape would have treated me in exactly the same way that he treated Neville. :elaugh:

At any rate, so far as I can recall from the text, neither Snape nor any other character ever mentions - or hints at - the prophecy as a motivation for Snape's reaction to Neville. So I'm going with Neville's blowing up cauldrons and causing toxic hazards as the motivation. ;)

And lest my comment be understood as "blaming Neville," let me add that expressing impatience and frustration as intensely and irritably as Snape does in front of the student is not warranted.

Melaszka October 27th, 2011 1:19 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MinervasCat (Post 5914564)
Maybe it's just as simple as Neville being a totally inept potions student, blowing up or melting several cauldrons, and trying Professor Snape's patience much the same as he tried Professor McGonagall's. It could be any number of reasons.

I really don't see Severus resenting Neville for not being "The Chosen One." Unless Severus looked up his date of birth, in particular, he wouldn't even have known when Neville was born. I don't think many teachers actually look that deeply into their students' personal information without a specific reason.

Maybe not, but I'm assuming that, during his time in the DEs, the Longbottom family would have been well on his radar and I'm also guessing that, around the time that he learnt that Voldemort was convinced the Prophecy referred to Lily's child, he may have desperately cast about for other Order members who had had a child around the same time, in the hope of persuading Voldemort that the Prophecy actually referred to someone else. I get the impression that Snape would have tried any tactic he could to try to save Lily at that time. My assumption is that he learnt of Neville's birth back then, not later when Neville showed up at Hogwarts. I know this is highly speculative, though.

As to my other theory - that Snape's anger towards Neville is displaced guilt - that doesn't even have to relate to the Prophecy. As a former DE who deeply regrets his past (as I firmly believe he does - I think his reform is total), Snape would have had reason to feel guilty about any victims of the DEs, even those whose suffering he wasn't personally responsible for. I'm assuming that all Neville's teachers would have been told about his tragic family background, even if Snape didn't already know about the Longbottoms' fate through his DE contacts back at the time it happened. IMO Snape must have known that the organisation he was once a member of had tortured Neville's parents to madness and left him effectively an orphan with a deeply traumatic past.

It seems to me more than a coincidence that most of the people Snape most resents are the people he has most reason to feel guilty towards. I've often wondered if his hatred of James and Harry is as much informed by his guilt for his part in James's death as it is by the history between him and James as schoolboys and his jealousy over Lily.

We also know that Snape hated James even more after he saved his life, so there is some evidence that Snape can't cope with being in other people's debt, and I think this suggests he would not be good at handling guilt. (He wouldn't be the only one, either - at the end of OotP Harry tries to cope with his own guilt over Sirius's death by blaming and hating Snape. What I am suggesting is Snape doing a similar thing re Neville)

That's why I think that Snape's resentment and clinging to grudges may be a defence mechanism, a way of holding back the guilt which would overwhelm him and make it impossible to function effectively in the war against Voldemort if he ever confronted it. It's just a nebulous theory, though - I know that any evidence for it is circumstantial, at best.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ccollinsmith (Post 5914661)
I have always thought that Snape's frustration and impatience with Neville resulted from the reason Snape stated - i.e., that (from Snape's perspective) nothing seemed to "penetrate" Neville's "thick skull." And speaking as someone who melted more than my fair share of cauldrons when I first started potions :lol:, I fully expect that Snape would have treated me in exactly the same way that he treated Neville. :elaugh:

At any rate, so far as I can recall from the text, neither Snape nor any other character ever mentions - or hints at - the prophecy as a motivation for Snape's reaction to Neville. So I'm going with Neville's blowing up cauldrons and causing toxic hazards as the motivation. ;)

And lest my comment be understood as "blaming Neville," let me add that expressing impatience and frustration as intensely and irritably as Snape does in front of the student is not warranted.

No, I accept that it could simply be the reason he states - his frustration at Neville's clumsiness. He does strike me as being the kind of teacher who loves his subject more than teaching his subject and would not have a lot of patience with those who don't get it.

LoonyLuna22 October 27th, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.6
 
Nothing would surprise me about Snape anymore. He is a deep, complex character and a few years ago if someone told me Dumbledore wanted Snape to kill him I would have told them they were loonier than Luna. His cold treatment of Neville could very well stem from guilt or resentment.


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