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Transcript of Severus Snape
Snape represents the typical anti-hero character
Typical Boarding School Story
A lot of the Harry Potter Series can be related to a typical British Boarding school story.
Snape is the character you love to hate and the character you hate to love. He's spiteful, petty, yet surprisingly loveable (in a sad way). Even though he hates Harry, he protects him because he loves Lily even after so many years after her death.
Anti-hero characteristics include a character portraying petty, mean spirited, or passive qualities. Similarly, they generally act unlike a traditional hero with increased moral complexity and lack of traditional values. They are often misunderstood by society and may even have traits associated with a villian.
Snape can be compared to the classically hateful and unjust British schoolmaster, seen often in British Boarding school novels. An example of this character is the schoolmaster Horace Manfred from the GreyFriars series. Manfred is described as a tyrant who is hated by his students ; similar to Snape.
J.K. Rowling even says that Snape was inspired by a particularly mean Chemistry teacher from her past.
Snape as the Anti-Hero
Shrek (in the first movie of the franchise) is another typical antihero. He sets off to save a princess from a tower guarded by a dragon to get his swamp back from the nobleman that took it. Though very rough around the edges, Shrek still has the capacity to love, much like our favorite potions teacher.
An antihero that transcended literature into television, Dexter is a serial killer that only targets murderers that got away with their crime, delivering justice in an extremely unconventional way. Like Snape, he kills for the greater good, in a way that people still hate.
While Han Solo initially seems nothing like Snape, they share many of the same qualities. Han Solo is also an anti-hero and at the beginning of the Star Wars series seemingly has no interest in defeating the evil empire. He is only interested in money. Similarly, he is smart, sarcastic, and has low moral standards at the beginning of the series.
The name Severus means severity and strictness while the name Snape means to be hard upon, rebuke, or snub. Sever and Severe can both be derived from the name Severus. Sever means to "cut off." Similarly, severe means strict or cruel; both qualities that accurately describe Snape's personality.
Snape as a Byronic Hero
origination: famous 19th century English Romantic poet Lord Byron
An Antihero to the highest order
Characteristics: intelligent, cunning, ruthless, arrogant, depressive, violent, emotionally tortured, traumatized, manipulative, self-serving, prone to bursts of anger, self-destructive impulses
Examples: Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights), Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler (Gone with the Wind), Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre), V (V for Vendetta)
"Those cunning folk use any means to achieve their ends" Sorting Hat on Slytherin
Half- Blood Prince, Machiavelli's The Prince featured Roman Emperor Lucius Septimus Severus
"One must understand this: a prince, and especially a new prince, cannot observe all those things for which men are considered good, because in order to maintain the state he must act against his faith, against charity, against humanity, and against religion" (Machiavelli 61)
unreadable, guarded, secretive, not simply good or evil, amoral methods, gain respect through keeping word
Jackal headed god in Egyptian mythology. Patron of mummification, potions, medicine, surgery, and aspects of divination
stern, oily, pitiless god robed in black
introverted, loner, avoids pain by cutting off emotions, lack of empathy is self-preservation, cunning, suspicious
at home among evil forces and therefore most equipped to deal with them, able to work dark magic
romantically: loves with violent intensity, remains distant emotionally, strikes out
often is a teacher, harsh lessons and methods, but effective
ability to heal, wears many masks, steps out of shadow, elusive
god of death, willing to kill, lives in the underworld