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Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 19th, 2007, 9:12 am
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Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Professor Quirrell is Harry's Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher in SS/PS. The more notable things about his appearance are the turban, under which he hides the disembodied Voldemort, and his stutter. He has a pale complexion and is often nervous and trembling.

Quirrell'sbackground according to the HPLDefense Against the Dark Arts for the 1991-1992 school year. Prior to that Quirrell took a school year off a few years back and went to Albania to get first hand experience dealing with Dark creatures and Dark magic. Quirrell met Voldemort there, who twisted his mind to accept the Dark way. Quirrell became a slave to the disembodied Voldemort for quite some time, but, by his own admission, often failed to please his master. It was probably this continual fear of failing his master that caused him to be as nervous and fearful all the time after coming back from Albania. According to Hagrid, Quirrell was afraid of everything upon his return, even the students themselves. Since we know that no one has held the Defense Against the Dark Arts position for more than a year (HBP20), Quirrell must have taught a different subject prior to Harry's first year.


Study questions:
  • Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?
  • How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore? Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?
  • How do you think Quirrell came to meet Voldemort?
  • Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?


Please remember that this is a discussion thread. All criticism should be constructive. Posts that are considered character bashing may be deleted by staff.


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  #2  
Old April 19th, 2007, 2:40 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?

I do think he taught something different, although I can't really imagine what that would be. We have only "seen" him as an very nervous person, who didn't seem the best of teachers, it's hard to tell which subject would have suited him.

I can't imagine that if he had taught DADA for several years that the curse for some reason didn't work. Or maybe he only taught it for one year, then went away and he met Voldemort... you could say that was a "curse" too, that he met Voldemort and that it was just a bit delayed... or maybe that makes no sense at all...

How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore? Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?

I have no idea... how could Dumbledore have missed the change in Quirrell's behavior, Snape noticed it, surely Dumbledore should have too. Maybe Snape and Quirrell had more contact and Dumbledore didn't see so much of him. I can imagine that Quirrell tried to stay away from Dumbledore.

Voldemort might have been able to close Quirrell's thoughts at times, although I can imagine that this would cost a lot of energy. At all events Dumbledore was never the best legimens around.

How do you think Quirrell came to meet Voldemort?

I guess he was doing research about some dark creature and stumbled on Voldemort, maybe Voldemort possessed someone at the time. I can't imagine that he was looking on purpose for Voldemort. although it would be quite an interesting idea if Quirrell liked to play the amateur-auror.

Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?

I think that this was part of his disguise, he had to explain the stench coming from the turban and this was the easiest way.


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Old April 19th, 2007, 5:13 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?

I think he used to teach something else, he had gone to Albania to learn about Dark Creature and Magic, now that can't be for actually using them. I think he had gone to learn them and hence get trained in the Defense. Ultimately making him a wonderful DADA teacher.

How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore? Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?


I think Voldemort would have helped Quirrell to conceal his presence from Dumbledore. Moreover Dumbledore unlike Harry doesn't have sudden searing pain whenever he is in close proximity with Lord Voldemort, therefore making it even more difficult for him to detect the presence of the Dark Lord.

How do you think Quirrell came to meet Voldemort?

I think he met him while he was trying to pursue one of his Dark creatures into the forest where Voldemort was hiding.

Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?

It was clearly a disguise, because Quirrell appears to be a well trained wizard to have been frightened by a vampire.


  #4  
Old April 19th, 2007, 8:50 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?

I don't know if he taught prior to that year or not.

How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore?

I think Voldemort might have used Occumelecy to hide himself. If he's so talented in Ligelimincy, I don't see why he can't do that.

Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?

I think it was a bit of both, Voldemort helped himself, but Quirrell did some of the work that Voldemort couldn't do.

How do you think Quirrell came to meet Voldemort?

I think Quirrell might have been walking/wandering around, and came upon Voldemort by accident.

Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?

I think that was a made up story, because he appeared to be a powerful enough wizard to use wand-less magic, so he could have gotten rid of them, or apparated away.


  #5  
Old April 19th, 2007, 10:35 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious View Post

I think he used to teach something else, he had gone to Albania to learn about Dark Creature and Magic, now that can't be for actually using them. I think he had gone to learn them and hence get trained in the Defense. Ultimately making him a wonderful DADA teacher.
Was he such a wonderful DADA teacher? I can't remember if we see much of his teaching.


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  #6  
Old April 19th, 2007, 10:44 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Was he such a wonderful DADA teacher? I can't remember if we see much of his teaching.
Harry and his classmates are totally excited at Lupin's practical teaching methods because they never had much practice. This means that Quirrell did not really excel. In fact the description of a lesson is as follows.

PS, p.147; British paperbackThe class everyone had really been looking forward to was Defence Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell's lessons turned out to be a bit of a joke.


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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:50 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Madron View Post
Harry and his classmates are totally excited at Lupin's practical teaching methods because they never had much practice. This means that Quirrell did not really excel. In fact the description of a lesson is as follows.

PS, p.147; British paperbackThe class everyone had really been looking forward to was Defence Against the Dark Arts, but Quirrell's lessons turned out to be a bit of a joke.
I had that suspicion, thanks!

Wasn't Quirrell always nervous while teaching or rather all the time? That must have worked on everyone's nerves.


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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:52 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Wasn't Quirell always nervous while teaching or rather all the time? That must have worked on everyone's nerves.
He was always quite nervous. When he even stuttered while saying good day to Harry in the Leaky Cauldron, then I really cannot imagine him teaching a whole class without any problems.


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Old April 19th, 2007, 11:20 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Ok, I've not taken part in a serious HP related discussion for about a year. Let's see how rusty I am.

Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?

Have we ever been given proof that Quirrell taught prior to PS? Although I suppose that if he went away to get some first hand experience of Dark creature and Dark magic, that would show that he had an interest in DADA. This could lead us to suspect that he was teaching DADA before he went away. I don't think someone would go away to study what he wanted if he had been teaching something else other than DADA before he left.

How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore? Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?

That's a tricky question. Dumbledore was a very powerful man so you'd think he would have known something was wrong. If he had known Quirrell before he went away, he should have noted the change in his behaviour. Having said that, Snape knew what was going on and he wasn't as powerful as Dumbledore (was he?), so perhaps Dumbledore knew but had to let Harry fight his own battle. Perhaps he saw it as part of the route Harry had to take in order to lead up to where we are today.

How do you think Quirrell came to meet Voldemort?

If Quirrell was studying the Dark arts and creatures, these would be found in places where Voldemort was likely to lurk. I'm sure Voldemort would know where Quirrell was from and his connection with Dumbledore, he may have marked him out and targetted him.

Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?

Hmm, I think it was part of his disguise. I'm not saying that he didn't come across vampires but I don't think he would have had much contact with them. I don't think any fully trained witch or wizard would have much to fear from a vampire.


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  #10  
Old April 20th, 2007, 7:57 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Cherub View Post
Have we ever been given proof that Quirrell taught prior to PS?
Yes, Hagrid says so in PS.

PS, 81; British paperback"Oh yeah. Poor bloke. Brilliant mind. He was fine while he was studyin' outta books but then he took a year off ter get some first-hand experience...They say he met vampires in the Black Forest and there was a nasty bit o' trouble with a hag - never been the same since. Scared of the students, scared of his own subject - now, where's my umbrella?"


Highlighted by me.

I think this quote explains two things. Firstly, Quirrell was a teacher at Hogwarts before Harry's arrival and secondly, it sounds as if he was the DADA teacher because Hagrid says "his own subject" as if there was only one. If he had left in order to apply for a different position after getting some first-hand experience Hagrid would have mentioned it at this point.


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Old April 20th, 2007, 9:53 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Was he such a wonderful DADA teacher? I can't remember if we see much of his teaching
My bad, I should have specified that he was good at DADA and not a wonderful DADA teacher, and the proof for him being good at DADA is his exceptional talent at handling trolls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TENSHI View Post
He was always quite nervous. When he even stuttered while saying good day to Harry in the Leaky Cauldron, then I really cannot imagine him teaching a whole class without any problems.
And that was a wonderful disguise to do away with any suspicions on him.


  #12  
Old April 20th, 2007, 10:10 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherub
That's a tricky question. Dumbledore was a very powerful man so you'd think he would have known something was wrong. If he had known Quirrell before he went away, he should have noted the change in his behaviour. Having said that, Snape knew what was going on and he wasn't as powerful as Dumbledore (was he?), so perhaps Dumbledore knew but had to let Harry fight his own battle. Perhaps he saw it as part of the route Harry had to take in order to lead up to where we are today.
I think Dumbledore knew about it too, he was aware about almost anything going on in the castle, it's hard to imagine that he didn't see Quirrell had changed and we know from the other books that Dumbledore did let Harry go his own road a lot. Still a risky thing thought, Quirrell could have hurt other students, but I guess Dumbledore made sure he wouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madron View Post
I think this quote explains two things. Firstly, Quirrell was a teacher at Hogwarts before Harry's arrival and secondly, it sounds as if he was the DADA teacher because Hagrid says "his own subject" as if there was only one. If he had left in order to apply for a different position after getting some first-hand experience Hagrid would have mentioned it at this point.
It seems so, especially since Hagrid always has a hard time keeping himself from telling everyone what he knows.

Which raises the question, how is it possible that Quirrell, if he indeed taught DADA for some years, didn't get hit by the curse? Other teachers have left after one year, he didn't. Or did the curse only start taking effect when Harry came to Hogwarts... that seems to conflict with Dumbledore's words in one of the pensieve scenes (if I remember correctly) that the job was cursed after he refused it to Tom Riddle/Voldemort.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterious
My bad, I should have specified that he was good at DADA and not a wonderful DADA teacher, and the proof for him being good at DADA is his exceptional talent at handling trolls
Well at all events he was good at handling trolls, if he was good at the other DADA business we don't really know. He didn't manage to keep away from Voldemort, but maybe you can't blame him for that, Voldemort has his dark tricks.


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Last edited by Hes; April 20th, 2007 at 10:14 am.
  #13  
Old April 20th, 2007, 10:25 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
but maybe you can't blame him for that, Voldemort has his dark tricks.
Actually I think Voldemort had done a brainwash of some kind because Quirrell wasn't acting under any curse or something, he was acting on his own accord and had become a whole hearted supporter of Voldemort. Such a transformation and that to by a man in vapours () is an extraordinary thing, or did Voldemort use one of his magic tricks....


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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:48 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Madron View Post
Yes, Hagrid says so in PS.

PS, 81; British paperback"Oh yeah. Poor bloke. Brilliant mind. He was fine while he was studyin' outta books but then he took a year off ter get some first-hand experience...They say he met vampires in the Black Forest and there was a nasty bit o' trouble with a hag - never been the same since. Scared of the students, scared of his own subject - now, where's my umbrella?"


Highlighted by me.

I think this quote explains two things. Firstly, Quirrell was a teacher at Hogwarts before Harry's arrival and secondly, it sounds as if he was the DADA teacher because Hagrid says "his own subject" as if there was only one. If he had left in order to apply for a different position after getting some first-hand experience Hagrid would have mentioned it at this point.
I agree with you, that quote seems to indicate that he was a DADA teacher before he left Hogwarts. It also means that hopefully Dumbledore would have been able to see the difference in Quirrell's behaviour on his return.


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Old April 20th, 2007, 9:38 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Cherub View Post
I agree with you, that quote seems to indicate that he was a DADA teacher before he left Hogwarts. It also means that hopefully Dumbledore would have been able to see the difference in Quirrell's behaviour on his return.
Yes, but the curious thing is that Dumbledore did not really investigate the matter. Quirrell must have been an excellent liar to conceal his mental dependence and later physical possession by Voldemort.


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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:49 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Madron View Post
Yes, but the curious thing is that Dumbledore did not really investigate the matter. Quirrell must have been an excellent liar to conceal his mental dependence and later physical possession by Voldemort.
Did Dumbledore really need to investigate. The position is cursed. The only way Quirrel could have the DADA position back to back is if Voldemort was part of him.

He knew someone was after the stone and had it moved to Hogwarts. Over the Christmas break the mirror was moved as well. Dumbledore was setting a trap.

Is it possible he set the trap within the school to see if Harry could take on Voldemort and is really the boy who will vanquish him.


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Old April 20th, 2007, 11:56 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

Quirrell's year off was a few years before Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Did Quirrell indeed teach a different subject prior to SS/PS or was he not afflicted by the curse?

I think that he was. Hagrid seemed to know him pretty well so Quirrell may have been teaching for a few years.

How did Quirrell manage to conceal Voldemort's presence from Dumbledore? Was he more powerful than everyone thought or did Voldemort, weak as he was, all the work?

I think that Voldemort being on the back of Quirrel's head allowed him to get certain powers, like Occlumency, to hide Voldemort from Dumbldeore.


Did Quirrell have an encounter with vampires or was this story part of his disguise?

I think that it was just a part of the disguise, nothing more.


  #18  
Old April 21st, 2007, 12:02 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by bryanweasley View Post
Did Dumbledore really need to investigate. The position is cursed. The only way Quirrel could have the DADA position back to back is if Voldemort was part of him.
Well he could have investigated why Quirrell suddenly had changed so much. That's not strange when you consider he has to work with children and a change in behavior for the worst isn't something good.


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Old April 22nd, 2007, 7:58 am
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by Madron View Post
Quirrell must have been an excellent liar to conceal his mental dependence and later physical possession by Voldemort.
I think Voldemort must have helped him. Although he doesn't have his powers he had his shrewd and cunning self and that was good enough to fool even Albus Dumbledore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HesHPfan View Post
Well he could have investigated why Quirrell suddenly had changed so much. That's not strange when you consider he has to work with children and a change in behavior for the worst isn't something good.
Actually Dumbledore has been a bit blase when it comes to his DADA teacher. He never really investigated them to much. One can say that he had no alternative but to give the job to the person who came forth. But we still see him appointing those who have been the biggest menace for Harry and his prospects of defeating Voldemort.

Another reason can be that he knew the curse that Voldemort had placed and hence was using it to his advantage to unveil the frauds, but if that is the case and he was doing the same in Quirrell's case then why did he allow Harry to be in such close proximity with him?


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Old April 22nd, 2007, 12:23 pm
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Re: Quirinus? Quirrell: Character Analysis

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Originally Posted by mysterious View Post
Another reason can be that he knew the curse that Voldemort had placed and hence was using it to his advantage to unveil the frauds, but if that is the case and he was doing the same in Quirrell's case then why did he allow Harry to be in such close proximity with him?
Depends on if Dumbledore knew that Voldemort had merged with Quirrell (this just sounds so wrong, but it's what it is right?)

If he knew about the merge, then Dumbledore knew that Quirrell couldn't really harm Harry. Because of the magic that still protected Harry, Voldemort couldn't touch Harry meaning Quirrell couldn't either. Which meant that Harry was almost 100% safe.


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