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Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5



 
 
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  #61  
Old July 2nd, 2011, 6:35 pm
Gwendolen  Undisclosed.gif Gwendolen is offline
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

I don't think Snape could have known the 'real Lily' at the time of her death. As far as we know he hadn't had any contact with her for several years, but I don't think he had a false picture of her. I don't think she would have changed in essentials. I think she was always the sort of person who could see the good in people, whether it was Petunia, arrogant toerags or wannabe Death Eaters.


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Old July 2nd, 2011, 7:02 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

I don't think it matters that he didn't have contact with her at the time of her death. I agree that she was essentially the same person at her core... I'm sure she grew up and of course her life changed, but I think fundamentally she was the same person. Also, I don't quite know how to put it, but I think he loved her regardless of the changes that were going on. I don't view this as a bad thing. How many people have loved ones that have moved away, don't have much contact with them, yet they still love them? It's the same thing to me. IMO, his love for Lily was presented as a positive thing and that's how I view it.


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Old July 2nd, 2011, 9:38 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by FutureAuthor13 View Post
This could be highlighted in the memory with Snape and Lily walking in the courtyard; he seems significantly more confident then and is actually questioning Lily about their friendship ("I thought we were supposed to be friends? Best friends?"). This could mean that Lily, in a way, brought Snape's social understanding and comprehension of the nature of friendship up to speed in a more sufficient and healthier way than what is known of Snape's parents, ever did.
I don't think Snape's understanding of friendship had evolved to a sufficient level - I think he did not recognise that a friend is not a sycophant. A best friend, especially no. A friend will tell someone when they're headed for trouble, rather than being a gormless yes-man or yes-woman. Warning Snape that his friends were trouble is what a friend would do. Disagreeing does not mean someone is being a bad friend. If a friend of mine was hanging out with drug dealers, to give a real world parallel, I would try to talk sense into him/her, not support him/her in his/her new endeavour.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MsJPotter View Post
Yeahup, that memory scene is definitely upsetting. If it's true tat Snape's father was abusive then it makes sense that Snape just doesn't' know how to relate to women. Abusiveness sad to say all too often inherited behaviour. I don't know if Snape would have gone all the way down that path but his;
'I won't let you.'
sure raised my hackles.
I don't think Snape knew how to relate to Lily as an equal. I think he put her on a pedestal, while at the same time trying to tell himself she was an exception to his blood prejudices. I don't think he was able to see Lily as an independent entity who made her own decisions. I think he only ever saw Lily in terms of what she meant to him, not in terms of who Lily was, or who she wanted to be. I think that lashing out and hurting Lily in SWM shows the possibility that Snape had developed behaviour that could have become abusive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecardina View Post
Lily was, in Snape's eyes, the 'woman'. He'd been with her since childhood and watched her flourish into a beautiful young woman. As well as being a close friend she probably took on more than one role, perhaps even sibling. He even went as far to call her his 'best friend', which I believe in Snape's eyes was a huge dedication and proposal not dissimilar to marriage. So, he would be jealous if anyone else spent time with her and perhaps even viewed it as a kind of betrayal to their friendship. I think he felt he was well within his rights as her 'best friend' to have some control over what she did and who she spoke to.
I don't think that was healthy or respectful, if that was the case. It was not a betrayal to their friendship if Lily dared to hang out with other people. I don't see how it could be. Lily's other friends were not, as far as we know, budding terrorists who sought to murder people of Snape's birth. If Snape felt he had a right to control Lily, I view that as disturbing, and certainly not any indication of love.

Quote:
As for him regretting what he said... perhaps but we must also remember he backtracked himself a lot then so as not to offend her. Example: He probably didn‘t want anything to do with her family because they were ‘lowly muggles‘ but he wasn‘t exactly going to say it to her face. Lily was very good at the dramatic, nose in air, 'I'm not speaking to you' act. I think he learned pretty quickly to try and please her otherwise he'd be deprived of her attention. Lily had that kind of power over him but sadly it wasn’t strong enough for him to try and change his attitude as a teen.
I am confused as to how disagreeing with Severus Snape is being dramatic with nose in the air.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
I don't think there's any indication that Snape didn't love Lily, or didn't accept her choices after their friendship broke up. As far as we know the last contact they had was the conversation in the book.
I think Snape's request to Dumbledore and his treatment of Harry shows how little he accepted Lily's choices. I think he resented the fact that she chose to have no involvement with a DE, that she chose not to watch her child be murdered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecardina View Post
'Fantasy' a little harsh... there is no question he wanted Lily but at no point did he ever reach out and try and reveal his feelings. As Gwendolen mentions, he was haunted by his actions, be that when he called her a 'mudblood' or revealed that tiny slip of information to the Dark Lord. He had to live with that and try and keep the promise he never was able to forfill during her life.
How is the prophecy a tiny slip of information? It was certainly a significant piece of information to Lord Voldemort - someone would be able to destroy him. It was significant enough that Lily seems to have been intended as Snape's "reward" for the prophecy.


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Originally Posted by horcrux4 View Post
I do agree that Lily was probably the only person who cared about him. I think for young Severus, finding someone who accepted him as he was, and who sympathised rather than made fun of him, must have been quite mind-blowing. However he seems to immediately get into the 'she's mine and I won't share her' mindset in my view, hence the 'greedy' expression. He doesn't want to share her with Petunia, or her school friends and especially not with James! (If he was in love with her then I can't blame him for that!) He seems to immediately feel an ownership of Lily which slips out occasionally ("I won't let you..") and which didn't appeal to her. When a young man who has great difficulty forming relationships falls for a girl who is immensely popular, he has problems.

What does popularity have to do with it? Popular or not, Lily did not belong to Snape, and she was not a piece of property for him to refuse to share. I think that's a disturbing attitude to have towards another human being. I do not consider possessiveness a sign of love.

Quote:
I agree with that. I think that being the instrument which led to your best friend's death, even if you and that person had become estranged, would have been a perpetual pain. He did love Lily; I don't think there's any doubt about that. My only query is whether his enduring love was for the Lily she had become when she died, or for the Lily he remembered who had befriended him when everyone thought of him as 'that Snape boy'.
I think Snape's love was for an ideal, his image of Lily, rather than Lily herself. He did not know the young woman who fought against his fellow DEs, he did not know the young woman who was happy in the life she had chosen. He did not truly know the teenage Lily, or he would not have expected her to accept his path to being a terrorist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I wouldn't say that's exactly what he is doing, in reality. I took it that he was too practical to go on moping after her death and so very quickly grasped the tangible request DD laid out for him (that is, protecting Harry). So basically, what I'm saying is that because he abhors wasting his time, he does not do so, but translates his grief and guilt into protecting Harry (as he was what Lily died to protect). A much better outcome, from his point of view, than to "wallow in sad memories," IMO.
(Being a spy also makes the dating scene rather impossible. )
I think Snape only did something other than self-pity because Dumbledore gave him a tangible responsibility. I don't think he ever moved beyond wallowing about Lily's death, and I have to wonder if he recognised that Harry had lost so much more than Severus Snape because of Snape carrying the prophecy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwendolen View Post
I don't think Snape could have known the 'real Lily' at the time of her death. As far as we know he hadn't had any contact with her for several years, but I don't think he had a false picture of her. I don't think she would have changed in essentials. I think she was always the sort of person who could see the good in people, whether it was Petunia, arrogant toerags or wannabe Death Eaters.
I don't think Snape had a true picture of Lily even when he knew her. He couldn't see why she couldn't accept his friendship with budding DEs. He couldn't see why she might have the slightest problem with people who wanted to murder Muggleborns.


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  #64  
Old July 2nd, 2011, 9:59 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by FurryDice View Post
I don't think Snape's understanding of friendship had evolved to a sufficient level - I think he did not recognise that a friend is not a sycophant. A best friend, especially no. A friend will tell someone when they're headed for trouble, rather than being a gormless yes-man or yes-woman. Warning Snape that his friends were trouble is what a friend would do. Disagreeing does not mean someone is being a bad friend. If a friend of mine was hanging out with drug dealers, to give a real world parallel, I would try to talk sense into him/her, not support him/her in his/her new endeavour.
Good point, I understand what you're saying. But, I think that Lily did make Snape understand friendship in some aspects- but, what you've mentioned was sadly certainly not one of them. It was definitely not Lily's responsibility to teach Snape all of this, of course, but as it's hinted at in the text that Snape did not have the healthiest of homelives, Lily, I think, being his only true friend, was the only person that taught him anything about friendship. I do think he learnt some things regarding friendship from Lily, as I don't think someone could be friends with someone for that length of time without learning something along the way. I think up until they were 13/14 or so (which was when I think their friendship was under signficant strain), before Snape became completely involved in the Dark Arts etc, they did have a relatively normal relationship, otherwise the question asked by Snape in TPT ("I thought we were supposed to be friends? Best friends?") and Lily's immediate response ("We are, Sev"), would not have happened. It's not shown to be a sufficient amount of friendship understanding on Snape's part when he makes the "Mudblood" mistake in SWM, but I'd say, the form of understanding did exist and was important in comparison to the extremely negative 'lesson' of how to sociliase he would have and did learn from his parents, alone.

Just my opinion and how I interpret the text, of course.


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Old July 2nd, 2011, 10:18 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Do you believe that Snape's soul was still intact after he had killed Dumbledore?

Yes I do. I guess on a very basic level, I think that we would have noticed if his soul had been split. I don't think it's something that happens without your knowledge or some sort of physical representation. I think you need to intentionally split your soul. I don't think it's something that just happens. (unless you had already split it seven times before.)

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

I do believe that the way his parents treated him was entirely the reason that he grew up into what he became. I know that Harry went through the same thing, but the thing is that people handle things differently. Harry was a wonderful person, who didn't let the hate he grew up with define him. Snape was born a different man. He just didn't have what it takes to overcome something like that. I don't think that it was ever his "responsibility". I think he was born the way he was, and the only thing that changed him was the indirect murder of his true love.

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

He never would have turned to the good side. Never if she had not died. That death was what shocked him to change. If she hadn't died, he would have lived the rest of his life pinning for her, masking his loneliness by rising the ranks in Voldemort's army.

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

Well, initially no I don't think he would have gone to talk to her if she had not been magical. I think the thing with Lily is though, that she's just a beautiful, kind person. I think if he had talked to her for some other reason, yes he still would have fallen for her, even if she wasn't magical.

Why was he so reluctant to approach her? Well look at where he came from. All he knows is anger and pain. He loves her, but he's afraid of what she'll do to him. He's shy.

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?

Lily must have gotten a lot of weird looks for hanging out with Snape. Snape would have gotten looks too, for hanging out with a 'mudblood'. I think it definitely would have been a struggle for both of them, but they were best friends, so they pressed on.

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

That's tricky. We know that before they even "broke up" Snape was already hanging out with soon-to-be death eaters. I think the only way he could have salvaged the relationship was to stop hanging out with them, which would have changed his life entirely. I think though, that eventually he would have wound up back there anyways. Lily never would have picked him over James, and I think that alone would have drove Snape back to the dark side.

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 the "murder" of Dumbledore is pretty much explained in the book, so I'm not really going to worry about that one. But Sirius... Snape hates Sirius. He hates anything that has to do with James. I mean, Sirius was awful to him when he was in school, so there's that whole thing, but Snape also remembers how Sirius was best friends with James. I also think that he's mad at Sirius because he got out of Azkaban. I think Snape would have thought him being in jail was fitting, and some sort of compensation for the way he was treated, but with Sirius out again, Snape must not be very happy.

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

Neville? I don't know. Harry though, makes perfect sense. I actually re-watch the first movie the other day, and that first look that Snape gives Harry is just perfect. Just... so full of loathing and sadness. Snape hates Harry on pure principal. He hates everything about him. Harry looks exactly like James, like the man that ruined Snape's life. Except for Harry's eyes. Harry's eyes remind Snape of everything he lost. Everything he will never have. It just makes perfect sense.

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

At the very end? I think he did a little bit, but it wasn't for Harry. It was for Lily. He wanted Lily's forgiveness. That's why he wanted Harry to look at him. He wanted to see Lily's eyes. He wanted Harry to know everything, because he felt that it might make him less of a monster to Harry. And part of Lily is inside Harry.

What do you think about Snape's relationship with Dumbledore? Did they become friends or was Dumbledore a substitute father figure for him?

Oh I think neither. Honestly, I think that Snape didn't like Dumbledore very much. I think he stayed with him out of necessity. I think they were allies, but that was the extent of their relationship. I think Snape thought that Dumbledore was a foolish old man, and I think Dumbledore thought that Snape was a lonely, cynical person. I don't think any sort of affection ever really crossed between them. I think they both had a job to do, and needed each other to do it.

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

Um... well I haven't really read to many. But everything JK Rowling says seems right to me. She planned this out very, very well, and she knows what she's talking about.

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

He's an evil, evil man. The entire series he's hurting students, being a jerk, killing headmasters, hanging out with Voldemort and other death eaters - and then you find out why. You find out everything that happened to him, and you feel so bad for him. But at the same time, he still did all of this awful stuff, and he's still not a nice man. He's never kind or generous to anyone. So you just don't know how to feel about him.

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

I think he is very, very brave. He's loyal to Dumbledore when he had so many opportunities to turn on him. He's a very talented wizard, he has very strong powers.

But at the same time he is so weak. He cannot get over Lily. And he cannot get over a grudge he has had for decades. He is emotional (though he doesn't want people to know he is) and distraught. And he is a very mean, very cynical man.

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

He is the ultimate anti-hero. He has done heroic things, but he's an awful, awful man. You don't know weather to feel angry at him or sorry for him.


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  #66  
Old July 2nd, 2011, 10:29 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

FurryDice: I don't think that was healthy or respectful, if that was the case. It was not a betrayal to their friendship if Lily dared to hang out with other people. I don't see how it could be. Lily's other friends were not, as far as we know, budding terrorists who sought to murder people of Snape's birth. If Snape felt he had a right to control Lily, I view that as disturbing, and certainly not any indication of love.

Snape had probably been brought up to believe a lot of things about muggles and mudblood. If you are brought up to believe elephants are pink, you're not going to question it. I have my own theory that Snape's mother had some role to play in his resent for muggles... I think she very likely regretted marrying her muggle husband.

The DEs didn't view their cause as terrorists. They believed they were protecting the rights of the wizarding world from mudbloods. They believed the magic ought to be kept in the blood. Whether or not you agree with that is irrelevant because it was their point of view. I don't think it made them bad people just misguided.

Lily was quite popular and had a lot of friends... I think Snape simply resented the fact that he couldn't be the centre of her attention always. The Marauders go without say though.

Also, it is debatable whether what you would call Snape's affections toward Lily 'love' or not. Love is generally shared. However, to say he generally didn't care for Lily would just be negligent of the book. Also, love can be selfish. It's an emotion. A lot of people think you have to do 'so and so' if you love someone but I don't necessarily think it's true.

There are a lot of controlling people out there who don't know how to manage relationships but to say their feelings are invalid because of their behaviour is a little harsh.


FurryDice: How is the prophecy a tiny slip of information? It was certainly a significant piece of information to Lord Voldemort - someone would be able to destroy him. It was significant enough that Lily seems to have been intended as Snape's "reward" for the prophecy.


I was being ironic... but all being said, Snape didn't understand the consequences that would come with that information. He was, a spy, just doing his job, regardless of what side he was on. Still, Snape did make an effort to contact Dumbledore. He believed by asking Voldemort to spare Lily that, had she been found (something I don't believe he expected after contacting Dumbledore) she would at least be saved. It's not like he could turn round and say 'oh, spare them all!'. He'd be considered a traitor and probably killed. He bought them quite a lot of time and I don't believe Snape was to blame for what happened. I think we have Peter Pettigrew to blame for that.


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  #67  
Old July 2nd, 2011, 11:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boushh
IMO, his love for Lily was presented as a positive thing and that's how I view it.
Dumbledore even calls it the best of him.
The series of books are very much about the power of love - I love DH because Harry DID actually defeat Voldemort because of his great capacity to love. It was not force or magical ability that mattered but Harry's ability to love. We had six books building up to this and I for one was very perplexed as to how Jo was going to have Harry defeat Voldemort through love but she did it brilliantly. Snape's story and his love for Lily are all connected to this theme - it is his love for Lily that brings him back to the 'good' side, and that redeems him. In many ways Snape represents ordinary humans (trying not to stray into pensieve territory here) in that he is very flawed and he continues to have those flaws throughout the series, but despite his flaws he gives everything he has - even his life- in the fight against Voldemort. He chose to fight for his love rather than give in to his hate (for James and Sirius etc). By that I mean he sided with Lily's son rather than against James's son. IN a way it was a reversal of the decision he made at 16 when he sided with the Slytherins instead of siding with Lily.


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  #68  
Old July 2nd, 2011, 11:22 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ecardina View Post
Snape had probably been brought up to believe a lot of things about muggles and mudblood. If you are brought up to believe elephants are pink, you're not going to question it. I have my own theory that Snape's mother had some role to play in his resent for muggles... I think she very likely regretted marrying her muggle husband.
While it's true that it was likely taught to him by his mother, it doesn't excuse him at all. The fact that he's capable of thinking for himself means that he is to blame for his prejudices, not his mother. If anything, meeting Lily and loving her should have changed his view of the world; instead, he seemed to make an exception for her. To me this shows that his prejudices were very personal and deep-seated, and I think this is because of the way he viewed his father.

Though, later in life, he did seem to be free of his prejudices. He told off Phineas Nigellus for using the word Mudblood, and in his classes he at least seemed to hate all his students equally... haha.

Quote:
The DEs didn't view their cause as terrorists. They believed they were protecting the rights of the wizarding world from mudbloods. They believed the magic ought to be kept in the blood. Whether or not you agree with that is irrelevant because it was their point of view. I don't think it made them bad people just misguided.
No one views themselves as terrorists. Everyone who does something like that has a cause behind it, just like the Death Eaters. There were numerous parallels between the Death Eaters and the Nazis, and between Voldemort and Hitler. They did evil things, no matter if they thought it was for the best or not. Killing Muggles and Muggleborns and anyone who opposes them is not just being misguided.

Quote:
I was being ironic... but all being said, Snape didn't understand the consequences that would come with that information.
I think he knew perfectly well that Voldemort would go after the child, and likely his/her parents as well. He'd have been ridiculously naive to think otherwise. He only really cared when he found out the child was Lily's son. Had Voldemort chosen Neville, I have a hard time imagining Snape going to Dumbledore to protect them. So I think he understood the consequences, and was fine with them so long as they didn't involve Lily.


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Old July 2nd, 2011, 11:53 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by CathyWeasley View Post
Dumbledore even calls it the best of him.
The series of books are very much about the power of love - I love DH because Harry DID actually defeat Voldemort because of his great capacity to love. It was not force or magical ability that mattered but Harry's ability to love. We had six books building up to this and I for one was very perplexed as to how Jo was going to have Harry defeat Voldemort through love but she did it brilliantly. Snape's story and his love for Lily are all connected to this theme - it is his love for Lily that brings him back to the 'good' side, and that redeems him. In many ways Snape represents ordinary humans (trying not to stray into pensieve territory here) in that he is very flawed and he continues to have those flaws throughout the series, but despite his flaws he gives everything he has - even his life- in the fight against Voldemort. He chose to fight for his love rather than give in to his hate (for James and Sirius etc). By that I mean he sided with Lily's son rather than against James's son. IN a way it was a reversal of the decision he made at 16 when he sided with the Slytherins instead of siding with Lily.
I agree with this. He is deeply flawed, but (in keeping with the theme of the books) his love is presented as the best of him. It is never suggested by the text, so far as I can tell, that he has wasted his life by letting the memory of Lily inspire him to continue fighting Voldemort. In fact, the courage that Lily's memory inspires him to leads Harry ultimately to respect Severus Snape and hold him in sufficiently high honor to bring the name "Severus" into his own family.

I do think it's possible for some audience members to hold a negative opinion of what Voldemort sneeringly calls "Snape's supposed great love" - largely, I think, because we live in a society that tends to value only the tangible evidence of our senses. In that context, Lily is dead. She's not there. So holding her memory as an inspiration is "unhealthy."

But I do not think that is the position of the text. In the text, Love - whether tangibly present or not - is shown to be the highest value anyone can live for. The concept of "Love" takes on a nearly mystical dimension in the text and is consistently presented as a positive (except when a fake "love" is forced by a potion). I do not think that Snape's love for Lily is in any way an exception to this rule.


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  #70  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:19 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
I do think it's possible for some audience members to hold a negative opinion of what Voldemort sneeringly calls "Snape's supposed great love" - largely, I think, because we live in a society that tends to value only the tangible evidence of our senses. In that context, Lily is dead. She's not there. So holding her memory as an inspiration is "unhealthy."
I don't think it's unhealthy to love Lily after her death, and to use her as an inspiration--I think it's unhealthy to not ever move on, though. He never seemed to want to let anyone into his life. He didn't seem open to loving others, or having others love him. He became bitter and, in many ways, lived in the past. I wouldn't call any of that healthy. As Dumbledore said, "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live". One's happiness in life should not be solely dependent on one person. He could have done all the things he did in memory of Lily, while going on and finding happiness for himself, and possibly finding love as well, like Harry. Harry definitely loved his parents and often thought of them in times of need (like his patronus), but he lived, and he loved others. I'm sure Lily would have preferred that for Snape, too.

Of course, he wouldn't be the interesting, tragic character we have now had he moved on, but I still think he lived an unhealthy life.


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Old July 3rd, 2011, 12:41 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

LilyDreamsOn: While it's true that it was likely taught to him by his mother, it doesn't excuse him at all. The fact that he's capable of thinking for himself means that he is to blame for his prejudices, not his mother. If anything, meeting Lily and loving her should have changed his view of the world; instead, he seemed to make an exception for her. To me this shows that his prejudices were very personal and deep-seated, and I think this is because of the way he viewed his father.

Really? I don't feel a child should be held accountable for being brainwashed at a young age. What happened later, however, was on his own head. I wasn't disputing this. At any rate, least he learnt his lesson, although it may have taken him time.

LilyDreamsOn: No one views themselves as terrorists. Everyone who does something like that has a cause behind it, just like the Death Eaters. There were numerous parallels between the Death Eaters and the Nazis, and between Voldemort and Hitler. They did evil things, no matter if they thought it was for the best or not. Killing Muggles and Muggleborns and anyone who opposes them is not just being misguided.

Actually, to quote FurryDice 'Lily's other friends were not, as far as we know, budding terrorists who sought to murder people of Snape's birth.' This was in the context that Snape's friends were. To which I replied: 'The DEs didn't view their cause as terrorists.'


LilyDreamsOn: I think he knew perfectly well that Voldemort would go after the child, and likely his/her parents as well. He'd have been ridiculously naive to think otherwise. He only really cared when he found out the child was Lily's son. Had Voldemort chosen Neville, I have a hard time imagining Snape going to Dumbledore to protect them. So I think he understood the consequences, and was fine with them so long as they didn't involve Lily.


What I said was in relation to that of the Potter's deaths. I think he was well aware of what would happen and had it been Neville, he probably would have gone along with it too. That's not to say that Snape didn't disagree but... you die if you risk death opposing these things. Anyway, I'm not saying Snape was a misguided adult (my sentiment earlier was in relation to children) and that he had a sad childhood and that makes it all OK. Snape was run with a kind of greed... he desired nothing better than to be the right hand man of the Dark Lord and probably took every opportunity to bend over backwards to accomplish this. It must have been a dream for every DE and Snape went ahead trying to forfill his ambition, even though he was half-blood, and he did pretty well. He got into Riddle's favor but at a greater cost.




Guys, here's another one to think about. Do you think Snape hated Voldemort? That he desired to revenge the death of Lily?

I kind of got the impression Voldemort was so unbelievably unhuman that suchs feelings toward him would be like scolding a snake for eating a mouse.


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  #72  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 3:16 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ecardina View Post
Really? I don't feel a child should be held accountable for being brainwashed at a young age. What happened later, however, was on his own head. I wasn't disputing this. At any rate, least he learnt his lesson, although it may have taken him time.
If the child experiences nothing but brainwashing and has no interactions with anyone they are prejudiced against, sure, I don't hold them too accountable. But Snape was surrounded by Muggles, and at Hogwarts he met plenty of Muggleborns. His best friend was a Muggleborn, and he fell in love with her. After all that he was still prejudiced against them. So I definitely hold him accountable. We can also contrast him with Sirius, who grew up in an arguably extremely racist environment and yet he turned out so different from them that he was disowned. Even at the age of eleven, he didn't soak up their prejudices.


Quote:
Snape was run with a kind of greed... he desired nothing better than to be the right hand man of the Dark Lord and probably took every opportunity to bend over backwards to accomplish this. It must have been a dream for every DE and Snape went ahead trying to forfill his ambition, even though he was half-blood, and he did pretty well. He got into Riddle's favor but at a greater cost.
I agree--I just don't think that at that point in his life he very much cared about the lives of people he didn't personally care about. Being a Death Eater, it wouldn't surprise me if he was responsible for ending lives, directly or indirectly. He definitely changed in that respect, since we saw that he made sure students at Hogwarts were safe, and he saved Remus's life in the Seven Potters chase. Didn't Dumbledore point this out, actually? That Snape went out of his way to make sure no one was killed, and Snape said something along the lines of "Not if I can help it".


Quote:
Guys, here's another one to think about. Do you think Snape hated Voldemort? That he desired to revenge the death of Lily?
Definitely. I think that's partly what drove him the whole time. It wasn't just about keeping Harry alive, it was about taking down Voldemort. Considering his job wasn't solely to protect Harry; he was an actual Order member. I'd say it's the same anger he felt for Sirius when he thought Sirius had sold out Lily and James. And why he also treated Wormtail poorly.


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  #73  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 3:29 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
I don't think it's unhealthy to love Lily after her death, and to use her as an inspiration--I think it's unhealthy to not ever move on, though. He never seemed to want to let anyone into his life. He didn't seem open to loving others, or having others love him. He became bitter and, in many ways, lived in the past. I wouldn't call any of that healthy. As Dumbledore said, "it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live". One's happiness in life should not be solely dependent on one person. He could have done all the things he did in memory of Lily, while going on and finding happiness for himself, and possibly finding love as well, like Harry. Harry definitely loved his parents and often thought of them in times of need (like his patronus), but he lived, and he loved others. I'm sure Lily would have preferred that for Snape, too.

Of course, he wouldn't be the interesting, tragic character we have now had he moved on, but I still think he lived an unhealthy life.
I can see where you're coming from here, but I don't think that the sort of work Severus did in memory of Lily made it possible for him to move on. He was a spy. It would not have been prudent to let anyone into his life.

Given that he did not survive the war, we really don't know what he might have done if he had been free to live his life. I personally don't think it would have been necessary for him to develop an alternative romantic relationship in order to be healthy. As someone who has great respect for monks, I personally consider celibacy a valid and potentially healthy life option. However, I do think it would have been necessary for him to work towards moving past his resentments.

Would he have been able to do that if he had survived the war? Maybe. Maybe not. Because of his death, we don't really know. We really have no idea who Snape might have become if he had survived and lived to be as old as Dumbledore - perhaps an embittered old man, or perhaps a man who made sufficient peace with the ghosts of his past. I would certainly wish the latter for him.

Quote:
Guys, here's another one to think about. Do you think Snape hated Voldemort? That he desired to revenge the death of Lily?
This really opens up a whole new can of worms. But here's what I always say when the question arises:

The text says absolutely nothing about revenge as a motive. And in the one scene where we see Snape unabashedly motivated by revenge (Shrieking Shack in PoA), he is completely out of control of his emotions.

Based on the data that we actually have of what Snape acts like in revenge mode, I would say that he would have gotten himself killed within minutes of arriving at the graveyard in GoF if revenge had been his motive. He could not have contained himself.

No, I think his motive was precisely what it is explained to be in the text: i.e., to honor what Lily fought and died for. Anything beyond that is, imo, pure speculation.


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Old July 3rd, 2011, 3:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post

This really opens up a whole new can of worms. But here's what I always say when the question arises:

The text says absolutely nothing about revenge as a motive. And in the one scene where we see Snape unabashedly motivated by revenge (Shrieking Shack in PoA), he is completely out of control of his emotions.

Based on the data that we actually have of what Snape acts like in revenge mode, I would say that he would have gotten himself killed within minutes of arriving at the graveyard in GoF if revenge had been his motive. He could not have contained himself.

No, I think his motive was precisely what it is explained to be in the text: i.e., to honor what Lily fought and died for. Anything beyond that is, imo, pure speculation.
I agree with you on this, and I'd like to add that perhaps he reflected on the incident with Sirius, how that went down (with him getting unexpectedly overpowered) and that it may have had the effect of him not going into revenge mode because he lost control... something he could not afford to do in Voldemort's presence. I would also say that his primary objective when it came to Voldemort was protection of Harry and others who fought on the same side... whether they knew it at the time or not.


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Old July 3rd, 2011, 4:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
If the child experiences nothing but brainwashing and has no interactions with anyone they are prejudiced against, sure, I don't hold them too accountable. But Snape was surrounded by Muggles, and at Hogwarts he met plenty of Muggleborns. His best friend was a Muggleborn, and he fell in love with her. After all that he was still prejudiced against them. So I definitely hold him accountable. We can also contrast him with Sirius, who grew up in an arguably extremely racist environment and yet he turned out so different from them that he was disowned. Even at the age of eleven, he didn't soak up their prejudices.
Was he though? He may have lived in a muggle area but that isn't to say he interacted with them. Children from magic families are usually taught at home in their early years. I don't think Snape interacted with any muggles on a daily basis, apart, of course from his father. Also, when he went to Hogwarts he was put in a House were it was very unusual to find anyone of muggle birth.

If you were to compare the prejudice of muggle borns to racism... it's really just a mindset and can be engrained early on or influenced by lies and propaganda. I think it's very easy to be blinded from the truth, especially if you are surrounded by people who are also blinded.

Still, prejudice is one thing... what that warped into is another.

Of course, Sirius is different but couldn't this rebellion of his familys traditions etc. be accounted to his personality (rebellion maybe or simply disagreement of belief) as opposed to the his moral compass? Do both run into each other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccollinsmith View Post
This really opens up a whole new can of worms. But here's what I always say when the question arises:

The text says absolutely nothing about revenge as a motive. And in the one scene where we see Snape unabashedly motivated by revenge (Shrieking Shack in PoA), he is completely out of control of his emotions.

Based on the data that we actually have of what Snape acts like in revenge mode, I would say that he would have gotten himself killed within minutes of arriving at the graveyard in GoF if revenge had been his motive. He could not have contained himself.

No, I think his motive was precisely what it is explained to be in the text: i.e., to honor what Lily fought and died for. Anything beyond that is, imo, pure speculation.
Ah but one might argue that Occlumency might have covered his true hatred toward Voldemort...

Still, I totally agree. There is no evidence. It is very possible Snape despised Voldemort but hating Voldemort...? The way I see it, Snape knew what Voldemort was capable of, knew what he intended to do and it was no great surprise. Instead, I think, as you said, whatever revenge there was, was focussed on smiting (or in Peter's case, severely bullying) those who screwed up his and Dumbledore's plan and sold the Potters out.

As said before, you don't blame the snake for eating the mouse, its only in it's nature. Instead, you blame your jerk flate mate who fed your prize mouse to that awful snake. You might not like the snake but you aren't going to go and get revenge on it... (it's really scary and hey, you should be able to work with the landlord to have it removed from the flat) instead you track down that jerk who opened the cage door of your prize mouses cosy home and let the snake in.

Then 16 years later that snake kills you. The end.




Another one I wondered about... what about McGonagall? I mean, obviously they have a wee fun moment in DH what with dueling and everything but... what about before that? Were they just rivals for show or did they generally hate each others guts? It was never really explained.

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  #76  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 4:31 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ecardina View Post
Another one I wondered about... what about McGonagall? I mean, obviously they have a wee fun moment in DH what with dueling and everything but... what about before that? Were they just rivals for show or did they generally hate each others guts? It was never really explained.
Good question. I think before Dumbledore's death, they had a friendly rivalry. I think that after Dumbledore's death, McGonnagall authentically hated Snape - and I honestly don't blame her because she had no idea that he had killed Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders.

I do not think Snape hated McGonnagall in return. She was supposed to hate him. Being hated by members of the Order was one of the best parts of his cover.

However, I think he was forced to duel McGonnagall so that he could survive long enough to complete his mission. She was deadly serious about trying to kill him. He just needed to defend himself long enough to get out of there without being forced to hurt her or the other teachers.

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Old July 3rd, 2011, 4:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
Being a Death Eater, it wouldn't surprise me if he was responsible for ending lives, directly or indirectly. He definitely changed in that respect, since we saw that he made sure students at Hogwarts were safe, and he saved Remus's life in the Seven Potters chase. Didn't Dumbledore point this out, actually? That Snape went out of his way to make sure no one was killed, and Snape said something along the lines of "Not if I can help it".
Actually, Dumbledore asks Snape, "Don't be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?" Snape replies, "Lately, only those whom I could not save." DH Ch. 33 p. 687

This is in the part of TPT where Snape finds out that Harry has been saved by DD only to die when he finally faces Voldemort.

Personally I don't believe Snape ever killed directly (except for Dumbledore, at his request). That his actions resulted in the death of others, most definitely, and I think this was what appalled him the most. I believe he, as a 20 year old, didn't really realize what a deadly serious game he was playing by becoming a Death Eater. I think he equated it with aligning himself with powerful people who could help him become successful and, yes, powerful in the WW.

It wasn't until he discovered that the prophecy was being used to track down and kill a family, specifically Lily's family, that it was brought home to him that this was no political/social Old Boys' Club. His beloved was going to die if he didn't do something to rectify his horrible mistake in carrying the prophecy to Voldemort.

It's my opinion that most young people, with little to no experience of life, fail to understand the repercussions of their actions. Usually it's not going to make a huge difference, but sometimes the repercussions are grave.

Severus Snape discovered that, and I believe it changed him for good and for ill.


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  #78  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 7:48 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by LilyDreamsOn View Post
If the child experiences nothing but brainwashing and has no interactions with anyone they are prejudiced against, sure, I don't hold them too accountable. But Snape was surrounded by Muggles, and at Hogwarts he met plenty of Muggleborns. His best friend was a Muggleborn, and he fell in love with her. After all that he was still prejudiced against them. So I definitely hold him accountable. We can also contrast him with Sirius, who grew up in an arguably extremely racist environment and yet he turned out so different from them that he was disowned. Even at the age of eleven, he didn't soak up their prejudices.
The thing is though, that I'm not sure that Snape was really ever prejudiced against them. I think the fact that he is in love with Lily shows that. I think that the thing with Snape is that he grew up completely unloved. He had no body his entire life. When he got to Hogwarts, sure he had Lily, but they were in different houses, and Lily no doubt was very popular and has lots of friends herself. I feel that Snape probably ended up with the Death Eaters simply because they accepted him. I think he learned to play the role of a death eater, he learned to show hatred to them, maybe even to the point where he believed it himself. But deep down, I don't think he ever really meant it. I think he just got caught up in something that was way over his head, and like SadiraSnape said, he didn't really understand what he was doing. It wasn't until he unintentionally caused the death of Lily did he realize exactly what the reproductions of that were.


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  #79  
Old July 3rd, 2011, 7:59 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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Originally Posted by ItsOnlyDallis View Post
The thing is though, that I'm not sure that Snape was really ever prejudiced against them. I think the fact that he is in love with Lily shows that. I think that the thing with Snape is that he grew up completely unloved. He had no body his entire life. When he got to Hogwarts, sure he had Lily, but they were in different houses, and Lily no doubt was very popular and has lots of friends herself. I feel that Snape probably ended up with the Death Eaters simply because they accepted him. I think he learned to play the role of a death eater, he learned to show hatred to them, maybe even to the point where he believed it himself. But deep down, I don't think he ever really meant it. I think he just got caught up in something that was way over his head, and like SadiraSnape said, he didn't really understand what he was doing. It wasn't until he unintentionally caused the death of Lily did he realize exactly what the reproductions of that were.
In my view this makes him a victim of circumstance and absolves him of any responsibility for his actions. As I see it, his redemption arc wouldn't work at all in this scenario. If Snape never shared any of the Death Eaters' beliefs he couldn't have changed for the better, in my opinion.


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Old July 3rd, 2011, 8:18 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis Reboot v.5

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In my view this makes him a victim of circumstance and absolves him of any responsibility for his actions. As I see it, his redemption arc wouldn't work at all in this scenario. If Snape never shared any of the Death Eaters' beliefs he couldn't have changed for the better, in my opinion.
Joining the Death Eaters at all is sufficient, in my opinion, to warrant the necessity of a redemption arc - whatever his beliefs or motives. I don't think a scenario in which he lacked a deep belief in Death Eater ideology absolves him of a thing. If anything, it makes him more guilty for cynically adopting an ideology in order to gain power.

I personally see little evidence that Snape had a deep-seated belief in the Death Eater cause. He was able to abandon it too readily for that. In my opinion, he thought the Death Eaters were his best hope for advancement and he opted for that route. Again, I don 't think that scenario negates but rather increases the necessity for redemption.


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