Severus Snape: Heel or Hero?
Is Snape a hero? Would James and Lily be alive now if not for him? Would Harry be dead now if not for him? Did he ever care about Harry, or only Lily? At the end of the epilogue, Harry says that Severus Snape was the bravest man he ever knew. Did he feel that way only after years of reflection? How do we feel now, while it's still fresh for us?
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Reader Comments: (Page 46)
First of all if people could be classified as 'heroes' for doing 1 or 2 good deeds in their life then everyone in this god forsaken existance could be called a hero.
Like mentioned, true love means being able to see from a loved one's perspective, empathy even and Snape obviously couldnt or refused to see things from Lily's or anyone else's perspective. He chose not to rise above just sink and sink.
Our actions define our choices, Snape let obsession, revenge and guilt run his life. He hated James and Harry and did everything begrudgingly, not even being able to admit love was the greatest power in the world.
Love makes us vulnerable, yes true but everything to some extent makes us vulnerable to something, there is no such thing as absolute protection except only in . Harry wore his heart on his sleeves because he was proud of his feelings, Snape kept his locked up because he was ashamed of them. Granted his actions overall helped out but that doesn't excuse his negative actions.
Posted by Malachi on September 12, 2008 11:50 AM
Whether or not he loved Lily is completely beside the point, as is whether he was horrible to Harry because he had to in order to fit his cover or because he couldn't help himself. Ultimately a hero is judged not on his motivations or personality, loves or dislikes, but upon his actions. Snape's actions since rejecting Voldemort were monumentally risky to his own welfare. He personally sacrificed for the greater good. No doubt about it. Snape is a hero. Heros don't have to be perfect. They just have to risk their lives to save others. Saying Snape only did one or two good things in his lifetime is patently absurd. He did more than one or two good things that Harry knows about. Just being Dumbledore's spy for twenty years makes him pretty frigging heroic in my book.
Posted by oneofa6bil on September 14, 2008 11:28 PM
To me, Snape is a hero because he changed his ways and stayed good until his . I think the fact that he didn't like Harry makes him more heroic becuase he was able to do the right thing for someone that remimded him of his worst enemy. I agree with oneofa6bil that Snape's actions show his heroism, and that the reasons for those actions are irrelevaant.
Posted by Michaela on September 15, 2008 1:15 PM
Snape was a hero, just not the outline of the typical one. All he did he did for love and for lily...always. JKR said in this interview:
Jaclyn: Did lily ever have feelings back for snape
J.K. Rowling: Yes. She might even have grown to love him romantically (she certainly loved him as a friend) if he had not loved Dark Magic so much, and been drawn to such loathesome people and acts.
Nithya: Lily detested mulciber,averyif snape really loved her,why didnt he sacrifice their company for her sake
J.K. Rowling: Well, that is Snape's tragedy. Given his time over again he would not have become a Eater, but like many insecure, vulnerable people (like Wormtail) he craved membership of something big and powerful, something impressive.
J.K. Rowling: He wanted Lily and he wanted Mulciber too. He never really understood Lily's aversion; he was so blinded by his attraction to the dark side he thought she would find him impressive if he became a real Eater.
I think had it not been his horrible childhood he wouldn't have been hungry for power. But he became a knight for his lady. Dumbledore himself said: "sometimes I think we sort to soon" and it said that Severus was stricken by this comment. He obviously would have choosen different, and remember, the hat takes that into consideration too. Wonder what would have happened if he had put it on again in his adult life.
Posted by Joni from Michigan on September 26, 2008 10:31 PM
Heel: I personally think that Snape was the enemy. The reason he didn't Harry was because Voldemart wanted the pleasure of doing it himself. The only reason that Harry thought he was brave was because he was the enemy living among good people. Snape is a heel, no hero.
Posted by Nyx on October 25, 2008 3:38 PM
1.)Snape is mean to Harry
And Harry makes me want to strangle him at times. Even Ron and Hermoine admit he goes off the barrel far to often. Besides which he does become y and self-center which is why the Minstry Mess happened. Besides how much does Snape know about Harry's life before OotP? Lily the potion genius ought to have a son who knows the questions he asked right?
2.)Sirus and Lupin in the Shack...
Okay... a.)Sirus who brags about the prank just being a bunch of laughs saying a boy who simply "annoyed" him deserved to . b.)Lupin who has chosen not to reveal vital information regarding what most think to be a mass er supposely after a child, and who hasn't taken his medicine inspite of the full moon. And c.)Dementors... lots and lots of Dementors. If remorse can drive a man mad what are a busload of Dememtors (with an especial taste for young Harry) going to do to a man like Snape?
Now that we have the dangers outlined let's look at the situation - a pyscho and his liar friend have three children at their mercies. Snape has not summoned Dementors and only wants them arrested as dangerous. Good point considering Ron's leg is broken rather badly. Lupin calls him a fool (nevermind repression of vital information) and Sirus makes refrence to the Incident at which location they are... on the night of a full moon. This is when he wants them kissed. And yet he is kinder then me... I would have just ed them and Obivilated the kids... who'd know the difference?
3.)Snape didn't care about James and Harry.
James is an awful bully who never stopped hexing - he just hexed behind Lily's back. Nice guy. And Harry is a baby... Meaning Snape has never known him nevermind liked him. Why would he care about them? Besides - Harry didn't care about the Weasleys until he thought about Ginny - see DH.
James - "Pranking" - Imagined Relationship between SS and LE
Sirus - "Slytherin B@" - Family inspite of Regulus
5.)Mean to students
Ref. House Cup scene where Slytherin is gifted the cup and then has it snatched away while everyone claps. That's kind.
Ref. Bouncing a child against the ungiving solid rock of a castle. That's kind especially the laughter.
Ref. "I am a wizard not a baboon wielding a stick."
Ref. Leaving a child (Neville) out in the halls as punishment when a mass er is on the loose.
etc. meaning they are all mean and petty and hateful.
He recongizes the wrong he has done.
He attempts to make amends.
He expects no acolades.
He suffers without thanks.
Nearly his entire adult life has been spent in service to an ideal or rather several ideas: love, honor, and repayment
Compared to ever saintly Lupin the Lame or Sirus the Strange or even Lily I just want to get shot of you and refuse to listen to what you really have to say Evans Snape is the most mature individual of his year.
7.)Well Dark Arts 'cause Sirus and Moody said so and um... Lily kind of sort of implied...yeah
Sirus the at best pyschopath who didn't care enough about Lupin to think "huh, if something happens to Snape my friend could get put down like a dog... maybe this is a bad idea...maybe" thinks Snape is dark yet doesn't think he could be a eater... Right.
Moody is crazy otherwise I'm sure someone would have noticed he was being impersonated by an unhinged eater. Plus I'm positive that Barty Crouch Jr. had a grudge especially considering the freedom his father gave the police force. Personally Moody got what he deserved in the end.
And Lily said Mulciber not Snape. In fact no one in the entire series mentions Snape doing anything particularly dark to the point that Bellatrix accuses him of being ALL Talk and NO Action. In fact during the worst memory his crime is existing, not the more reasonable - "He's a Dark Art wielding looney whose been stalking you."
And that's my case.
Posted by Sardonic_laughter from USA on October 25, 2008 4:01 PM
Snape claims that only fools wear their hearts on their sleeves and are weak but doesn't he realise that those with no emotions to wear on their sleeves are just monsters that never know true love.
Snape never showed his feelings or emotions to anyone other than Lily and his belief in emotions making fools cost him love and after that he begun paying for it. Sadly he had to make others pay for his mistakes as well.
He was an awful person to many people and I think all the bad things he's done destroys any of the little heroic qualities he's has ever had.
Posted by Malachi on November 14, 2008 3:52 PM
I think that Snape was always good but he disliked Harry because he disliked James.
Posted by Lucy from Burnley on December 22, 2008 12:26 PM
Snape may have said that only fools wear their hearts on their sleeves, but are we looking at what he really means? He isn't necessarily saying that having a heart in the metaphorical, emotional sense, is a bad thing. He's saying that it can be a mistake not to guard yourself because there may be those who seek to twist your emotions to their own ends. One example of this would be the way Voldemort uses Harry's relationship with Sirius in an attempt to trap Harry. As we all know this results in Sirius's . Snape has been trying to teach Harry to guard his emotions - not something teenagers always do well at the best of times - so that Harry can protect himself against this sort of attack. He is not trying to teach Harry to deny that his memories and feelings exist and have importance. Unfortunately because of the lack of understanding and sympathy between Harry and Snape, Harry misinterprets what Snape is trying to teach him. We never really see what Snape feels when he breaks into Harry's memories, but something sticks in my mind. Harry relives the memory of Aunt Marge's dog Ripper chasing him up a tree... and Snape asks who owned the dog. Why did he ask? I don't think it's just a random bit of conversational filler. Could it be that he suddenly felt a sympathy towards Harry that he didn't want to feel? Like Harry when he saw Snape being bullied in the Pensieve?
Sadly, Snape only allows one other person he trusts to know and understand his emotions and innermost self - he trusts Dumbledore. He doesn't deny his own feelings, he just doesn't make them apparent to everyone. Possibly because of his childhood and adolescence he has learnt to be far TOO guarded. He bottles too much up inside and this festers in the end. My point is that I don't think Snape's problem is a lack of feeling, but more an excess of feeling that he doesn't quite know how to express or handle. It's a bit like a steam engine - if you don't release the pressure from time to time, eventually there is an explosion.
And by the way, guys; Merry Christmas!
Posted by Elizabeth from Australia on December 25, 2008 06:31 AM
Some of you are saying that Snape is bad because he treats Harry horribly, but what has to be understood is that Harry reminds Snape of James, whom he hated. So Snape is good because he lay this grudge aside and did all he could for Harry (or Lily). I'll agree to the fact that Snape had an evil past, but he's brave for confronting it and risking his own life to save others, for repenting.
Posted by Cat from Washington DC on January 31, 2009 03:06 AM
Yeah Snape was definitely evil. He only worked for Dumbledore because of some creepy crush he had on Lily
Posted by Brett on March 26, 2009 1:03 PM
I wouldn't say Snape was evil, but he was no hero either. If Snape was evil, he would've stayed with voldemort and might've gladly served his master in ing the one woman he loved. But he wasn't so brave either, treating a woman that he loved's son so cruely, because Harry wasn't his own son but worse, Harry was his school tourturer's son. Just because Harry's resembalance to his mother was nothing compared to his father dosen't mean he should be treated like dirt.
Posted by steph from usa on April 3, 2009 2:49 PM
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