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Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10



View Poll Results: Why are you still discussing Snape's character?
In order to vindicate him. 30 28.30%
In order to prevent others from vindicating him. 9 8.49%
Snape makes me do it! 34 32.08%
What do you mean with 'still'? Every argument here is shiny and new and nothing is solved! 30 28.30%
If I stop HP will be truly over! *clings* 33 31.13%
Something completely different. 20 18.87%
NOBODY EXPECTS THE SNAPISH INQUISITION! 50 47.17%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #21  
Old February 17th, 2009, 7:00 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
Something that occurred to me upon re-reading this bit of GOF - regarding this scene was Snape's concern about the creation and use of Polyjuice. Snape knew someone was being impersonated inside the castle- and he also knew the Dark Lord was making a comeback so he needed to mark his words and deed carefully from this point on.
That is an interesting aspect. But I still think in the moment the most important concern would be a sick man in the dangerous forest and Snape would act on that knowledge either himself or alert Dumbledore if he feared going into the forest himself.


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Old February 17th, 2009, 7:19 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Bscorp View Post
Something that occurred to me upon re-reading this bit of GOF - regarding this scene was Snape's concern about the creation and use of Polyjuice. Snape knew someone was being impersonated inside the castle- and he also knew the Dark Lord was making a comeback so he needed to mark his words and deed carefully from this point on.
Excellent point.
I think that Snape is used to keeping many different pieces of information in his mind at any one time & this would be one that would remain uppermost in his thoughts untill the end of Flesh, Blood & Bone at the earliest imo

A sick man would seem to be more Poppy's concern than anyone else's & tend to feel that Snape may well have wanted proof that the Headmasted actually needed to be disturbed - that would be one of the jobs of both the deputy head & the heads of houses, to deal with things that don't need the Headmasters immediate attention.

But I also wonder if there isn't another thing going on as well. A few days ago I was talking with a friend about Snapes speach about people who wear thier hearts on their sleeve in OotP. I had always seen it simply as an insight into how Snape sees himself / why he is as gaurded as he is, but as I was reading it this time something else hit me.
He is talking about people who are provoked easily standing 'no chance against his [Voldemorts] power.

It occured to me that he spends alot of time deliberatly provoking Harry, and I wondered if prehaps some of it was done with purpose, to teach Harry how not to be provoked easily. Are these continual jibes, hits to emotion sore points all about teaching Harry to survive?

If this is the case might he also be trying to teach Harry to deal with stress / panic??? Just a thought


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  #23  
Old February 17th, 2009, 7:36 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by kittling View Post
Excellent point.
A sick man would seem to be more Poppy's concern than anyone else's & tend to feel that Snape may well have wanted proof that the Headmasted actually needed to be disturbed - that would be one of the jobs of both the deputy head & the heads of houses, to deal with things that don't need the Headmasters immediate attention.
I think if Snape had said that he was going to the forest to check things out - or going to alert Poppy to the fact that a man may require her help, Harry's panic may have been relieved to some degree. At least he would understand that someone was going to try to help Crouch. Snape didn't seemed to be concerned with this aspect at all, imo.

I agree he'd wish to determine if Dumbledore was needed. However, it appears he decided that he was not needed by his words to Harry. To me that is not the problem - the problem remains that Snape took no move to act on Crouch's behalf, imo. I understand readers are not likely too fond of Crouch, but imagine if it had been some character people do like who was sick in the dangerous forest and asking to see Dumbledore. The point is that Crouch is as human as those beloved characters and Snape was ignoring his trauma and danger, imo, merely to have a bit of fun at Harry's expense. By his own words, Snape felt that Dumbledore was to busy to deal with a sick man in the dangerous forest and by his own inaction he implied he couldn't care less about it himself, imo.

I retract my earlier statement; perhaps this does tell us something in light of DH. It would appear that Snape had not yet reached the point where he 'no longer watched those die he could save'.


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  #24  
Old February 17th, 2009, 7:39 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

To me he seemed to want some proper information about what is going on - that to me say's he is taking it seriously


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  #25  
Old February 17th, 2009, 9:14 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I retract my earlier statement; perhaps this does tell us something in light of DH. It would appear that Snape had not yet reached the point where he 'no longer watched those die he could save'.
Hmm. I think you have a good point there. I don't think Snape considered other people until Voldemort's return at the end of GoF, when he would be hit with the reality of what it used to be like when Voldemort had been around running the show. Not that I think Snape suddenly sprouted empathy for other people, but after a many year respite from Voldemort-inspired activities, the sudden juxtaposition of how he was expected to act during those years versus what Voldemort now expected might have been enough of a shock to actually nudge Snape towards human decency.


  #26  
Old February 17th, 2009, 9:20 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I didn't know we could pick more than one option to vote on. To me, Snape was just mean to Harry. If he really loved Lily, he would have been nicer to Harry. As for that scene from Goblet of Fire, I knew Snape was enjoying himself. To me, that's why he was so annoying. In OothP, I felt sorry for him. And I wish Voldy didn't kill him, at least not with a snake. That was brutal.
I never thought Snape was evil. But, I didn't think he was all good either. He was a puzzling character to me. As to why he became a Death Eater? DE's were supposed to be cool. And Voldemort could be very persuasive.


  #27  
Old February 17th, 2009, 10:47 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I voted for several of the poll options. One of them was "something completely different". Since I haven't discussed Snape on this board prior to the past few months (or anywhere online really) then it's a new experience for me. The questions may be repeated for many around here, but there will always be people who are a bit more new to the topic online.

As for this GoF scene...

* Do you interpret this scene differently after DH?

I interpret everything when it comes to Snape a bit differently if only because DH added layers to his character in my view. We also know there was a lot going on behind the scenes between Snape and Dumbledore and it's interesting to read these scenes with these things in mind.

* What do you think was Snape's main motivation in this scene?

I think he wanted to learn more about what Harry was talking about, even if he wasn't nice about it. I think he knew Dumbledore was busy at the moment but would be down shortly so he wanted to stall Harry until Dumbledore emerged. I also think he was just messing with Harry a little bit in the process.

* Do you think that Snape was really enjoying the situation, as Harry surmised?

Probably, but as zgirnius mentioned, I think it was just a side benefit to watch him squirm a bit.

About Snape not valuing human life until Goblet of Fire... I'd have to disagree with that because I think he gradually learned that after turning back to the good side.

I don't think he didn't care that someone was sick in the forest. I just really don't see him rushing off to the forest to save someone without getting the full story or waiting on Dumbledore, since he was likely on his way down. Especially if he knew at this point about someone brewing polyjuice potion... Harry could have been fooled and was being used... I also don't know if he was that upset at Dumbledore just walking off with Harry... I think that Harry just thought Snape was twice as ugly as a gargoyle. If he was upset, I'd say he was more upset that he was being left behind.


  #28  
Old February 17th, 2009, 11:07 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwickedboy View Post
I understand readers are not likely too fond of Crouch, but imagine if it had been some character people do like who was sick in the dangerous forest and asking to see Dumbledore. The point is that Crouch is as human as those beloved characters and Snape was ignoring his trauma and danger, imo, merely to have a bit of fun at Harry's expense.
If readers choose to interpret Snape in a different way in this scene, I don't see how that means they don't care about Crouch or his well-being.

Quote:
By his own words, Snape felt that Dumbledore was to busy to deal with a sick man in the dangerous forest and by his own inaction he implied he couldn't care less about it himself, imo.
Yes, that is how at first glance the scene comes across: that Snape is his usual horrible self and he doesn't care. But as ever, where Snape is involved, things are not always quite what they seem. (And sometimes they are.)

If we look at the conversation again:

"What are you doing here, Potter?"

"I need to see Professor Dumbledore!" said Harry, running back up the corridor and skidding to a standstill in front of Snape instead. "It's Mr. Crouch . . . he's just turned up ... he's in the forest... he's asking -"

"What is this rubbish?" said Snape, his black eyes glittering. "What are you talking about?"

"Mr. Crouch!" Harry shouted. "From the Ministry! He's ill or something - he's in the forest, he wants to see Dumbledore! Just give me the password up to -"


That is it. That is all the information Harry manages to get out before Snape interrupts him again.

I am certainly not saying that Snape is behaving nicely, or reasonably! -- clearly he isn't.

But I think it's much more a case of Snape realising far more than he's letting on than him not caring about Crouch. I think he would have relayed this information about Crouch being ill to Dumbledore as soon as he got the chance. That was his job, apart from anything else ... but I don't infer from this incident that he wouldn't have taken Harry's message seriously (and therefore not taken Crouch's plight seriously) -- despite appearances to the contrary.

And that for me is what Snape is very much about ... appearances to the contrary.


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  #29  
Old February 17th, 2009, 11:24 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Personally I'm somewhat worried that this is on its tenth version- and the man is still a relative enigma in many ways.

But regardless, I ticked one option and one option only. Noone ever, ever expects the Snapish Inquisition. Fact.



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  #30  
Old February 17th, 2009, 11:26 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by vampiricduck View Post
Personally I'm somewhat worried that this is on its tenth version- and the man is still a relative enigma in many ways.
I enjoy the enigma.


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  #31  
Old February 17th, 2009, 11:32 pm
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
I enjoy the enigma.
I imagine we all do. We're still here!

As for the Crouch scenario- I do think Snape was being more than a little vindictive there, but I also imagine that he picked up more than he would be able to let on. He was also, however, quite determined to have Harry hate him, and boy did he ever excel in that way.


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  #32  
Old February 18th, 2009, 1:32 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl_Took View Post
If readers choose to interpret Snape in a different way in this scene, I don't see how that means they don't care about Crouch or his well-being.
Who knows, but a suggestion is to imagine that a beloved character was sick in the forest and how one might like a person with a modicum of authority like a professor to behave. You know, for Snape, if Lily hadn't died and it had been a 30 year old Lily sick in the dangerous forest, I doubt he'd stand there curling his lips and trying to assert his authority.

Quote:
Yes, that is how at first glance the scene comes across: that Snape is his usual horrible self and he doesn't care. But as ever, where Snape is involved, things are not always quite what they seem. (And sometimes they are.)
If we look at the conversation again:

"What are you doing here, Potter?"

"I need to see Professor Dumbledore!" said Harry, running back up the corridor and skidding to a standstill in front of Snape instead. "It's Mr. Crouch . . . he's just turned up ... he's in the forest... he's asking -"

"What is this rubbish?" said Snape, his black eyes glittering. "What are you talking about?"

"Mr. Crouch!" Harry shouted. "From the Ministry! He's ill or something - he's in the forest, he wants to see Dumbledore! Just give me the password up to -"


That is it. That is all the information Harry manages to get out before Snape interrupts him again.

I am certainly not saying that Snape is behaving nicely, or reasonably! -- clearly he isn't.

But I think it's much more a case of Snape realising far more than he's letting on than him not caring about Crouch. I think he would have relayed this information about Crouch being ill to Dumbledore as soon as he got the chance. That was his job, apart from anything else ... but I don't infer from this incident that he wouldn't have taken Harry's message seriously (and therefore not taken Crouch's plight seriously) -- despite appearances to the contrary.
And he couldn't just say that to Harry? Why not? And what of Crouch? He should wait sick and in the dangerous forest until Dumbledore is finished with whatever he is doing? I opine that unless Dumbledore was upstairs saving someone from the brink of death, someone in the forest whose life was in danger by his merely being there and sick besides would take priority. Further, Dumbledore did come down and see to the matter, so it would seem he agreed that whatever he was doing was not as important, imo.

Quote:
And that for me is what Snape is very much about ... appearances to the contrary.
Well that works until he does something like try to stop Harry's fall. Was he actually trying to cause it to happen? Or is it only appearances to the contrary when he is doing something seemingly wrongful? In my view, there is no canon to suggest that Snape was behaving in a contrary manner at all times. To me, it is evident when he is supposed to be interpreted as behaving in a manner that is contrary to appearance. For example when he spoke with Bella and Narcissa at Spinner's End. One has to read that in terms of DH because it concerned his dual position as a spy. But here in the hallway with no one around but him and Harry, there is no reason he cannot tell Harry he will inform Dumbledore immediately or see to the matter himself. And there is no reason for inaction either, imo.


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  #33  
Old February 18th, 2009, 2:04 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

New thread and new poll I didn't vote (again), because the option 'he's a fascinating character and all of his actions and motivations can be interpreted in at least two ways' was missing .

About the scene from GoF: I always thought that like McGonagall in PS Snape felt that Harry was taking himself a bit too important. But there the parallel ends, McGonagall is, as usual, matter of factly gets the information and makes a decission.
The GoF scene is four years later, and Snape should know by then that Harry is not an attention seeking wannabe hero, who's puffing himself up. And McGonagall doesn't call Harry's concerns 'rubbish', she's at least polite. It's always hard to tell how much of the nastiness Harry meets is due to the Harry-filter, but I think Harry was right and Snape was thoroughly enjoying himself, denying Harry the thing he wanted when he was so panicky.

Reading through the other posts and rethinking made me see another possible explaination for Snapes behaviour though. I don't think Dumbledore in his office could hear what was going on in the corridor, no one heared Harry try to get in after his vision and it does not appear as though Dumbledore had heared what Harry had been shouting about, before he had opened the door. So why did he come down? It's possible that Snape realized that something important was wrong, maybe he heard Harry outside when he was walking down the stairs or the moment he opened the gargoyl door, and he alerted Dumbledore before he steped out.
Maybe Dumbledore had been doing something Snape did not want Harry to see, so Snape kept him busy, or Snape just wanted to keep up his camouflage or he just enjoyed the possibility to taunt Harry.


The main purpose of the scene was of course to give BartyMoody time and to make Snape look suspicious once again.


  #34  
Old February 18th, 2009, 3:08 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I, too, would say that Snape does care that there is a sick man in the forest, but he it's not as though he's going to necessarily believe every word that comes out of Harry's mouth. If Harry were the attention-seeking James clone Severus is determined to believe he is, Harry would likely be exaggerating.

Not only that, but Professor Snape has no idea what the situation is or, indeed, if he can be seen at the side of the sick man in question. What if another DE were close, as one was, in fact, soon after? What if Krum, who was nearby, turned out to be untrustworthy and reported to Karkaroff? Snape has to be very careful to look more and more like a loyal DE, especially now that his Mark is burning.

And, as many of us think, he was probably just keeping Harry there until Dumbledore came down anyway. If that were the case, then he was getting help for the sick man...in a sufficiently indirect way so as not to arouse Voldy's suspicion.


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Last edited by ignisia; February 18th, 2009 at 3:11 am.
  #35  
Old February 18th, 2009, 3:26 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

I don't see any evidence that Snape cared that Crouch was in danger, nor do I see any evidence that Snape was on some sort of cover-up mission. I just can't see how that fits into the plot. But like WWB pointed out, Snape says in DH that doing something to stop people dying is something he only recently started caring about, so I think that fits in with this scene. Crouch isn't anything to Snape, and Snape hates Harry, so he doesn't do the right thing and take immediate action to try to save Crouch.


  #36  
Old February 18th, 2009, 3:51 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I, too, would say that Snape does care that there is a sick man in the forest, but he it's not as though he's going to necessarily believe every word that comes out of Harry's mouth. If Harry were the attention-seeking James clone Severus is determined to believe he is, Harry would likely be exaggerating.

Not only that, but Professor Snape has no idea what the situation is or, indeed, if he can be seen at the side of the sick man in question. What if another DE were close, as one was, in fact, soon after? What if Krum, who was nearby, turned out to be untrustworthy and reported to Karkaroff? Snape has to be very careful to look more and more like a loyal DE, especially now that his Mark is burning.

And, as many of us think, he was probably just keeping Harry there until Dumbledore came down anyway. If that were the case, then he was getting help for the sick man...in a sufficiently indirect way so as not to arouse Voldy's suspicion.
I respect your views, but I think this begs the old question that I still don't have an answer for. Why would Snape, presumably posing as a goodsider to stay in Dumbledore's good graces - like any good Death Eater Spy would be expected to do - worry about appearing to be a goodsider to Death Eaters or anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMotherCrow View Post
I don't see any evidence that Snape cared that Crouch was in danger, nor do I see any evidence that Snape was on some sort of cover-up mission. I just can't see how that fits into the plot. But like WWB pointed out, Snape says in DH that doing something to stop people dying is something he only recently started caring about, so I think that fits in with this scene. Crouch isn't anything to Snape, and Snape hates Harry, so he doesn't do the right thing and take immediate action to try to save Crouch.
I agree. That is how I see it as well.


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  #37  
Old February 18th, 2009, 3:54 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Do you interpret this scene differently after DH?

No.

What do you think was Snape's main motivation in this scene?

To keep Harry right there, until Dumbledore came down.

Do you think that Snape was really enjoying the situation, as Harry surmised?

No; but I also think Snape and Dumbledore were aware of something wrong.

Reading the whole scene, where Snape apparently kept Harry from Dumbledore, I see it this way. One like others have said, it was to keep Harry right where he was instead of rushing off to the staff room.

I think Snape was in a meeting with Dumbledore, when Dumbledore may have felt the wards of Hogwarts go off, right at the time when Barty Crouch Sr, entered Hogwarts through the Forest. He must have told Snape that he felt the wards were breeched so he needed to go and check them, ending the meeting, and Snape coming down first, seeing Harry speak about the very thing Dumbledore had ended the meeting for, kept Harry right there, until Dumbledore came dowm, which was almost immediately after Snape.

There was no question of Snape keeping Harry from Dumbledore or not caring about Barty Crouch Sr. I think it was because he knew Dumbledore was coming down and since Harry had information about why the wards were breeched, kept him there, until Dumbledore came down.


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  #38  
Old February 18th, 2009, 4:35 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Quote:
Originally Posted by ignisia View Post
I, too, would say that Snape does care that there is a sick man in the forest, but he it's not as though he's going to necessarily believe every word that comes out of Harry's mouth. If Harry were the attention-seeking James clone Severus is determined to believe he is, Harry would likely be exaggerating.
And if the matter were a simple medical emergency, Harry would be more idiotic than usual for running to Albus instead of Poppy. Snape had good reason to think there was more going on.


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  #39  
Old February 18th, 2009, 5:21 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

Well, to be fair, Harry wasn't being idiotic for not going to Madam Pomfrey. He ran to Dumbledore because Crouch insisted he needed Dumbledore. Other than his incoherent rambling state Crouch didn't appear to be in any imminent danger. I don't see how Snape thought 'more was going on' because I always got the impression that he didn't believe Harry that [1] Crouch was really there and [2] that anything was really going on. "What's this rubbish?" And to be fair to Snape, it wasn't that he wasn't concerned for Crouch's welfare because he couldn't have known that Crouch was in any imminent danger either.


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  #40  
Old February 18th, 2009, 5:44 am
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Re: Severus Snape: Character Analysis v.10

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Originally Posted by Kat_Suki View Post
Well, to be fair, Harry wasn't being idiotic for not going to Madam Pomfrey.
I did not say he was. I was saying that IF it had been a matter of a simple medical emergency, it would have been illogical for Harry to do anything other than run to the infirmary.

I don't think Snape thought Harry was making something up with no basis at all. To me, he seemed interested in knowing what was going on, which would not be the case if he thought Harry was pulling his leg. But he might well have thought Harry was exaggerating.


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