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Snape. Snape. Severus Snape.

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by

Jem Ryan

on 7 June 2015

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Transcript of Snape. Snape. Severus Snape.

Aristotle's Definition:
Hubris - excessive pride
Hamartia - fatal flaw
Anagnorisis - realization of something about himself/another character
Catharsis - pity and fear
Peripetia - reversal of fortune
Other Common Traits:
Imperfect - reflection of audience
Some amount of "goodness"
Fate vs. Free will
King or noble
The Tragic Hero
Like Lear of
King Lear
, Snape:
Begins his descent by betraying those who care about him
Is both the victim and the perpetrator of acts of cruelty
Has his anagnorisis when harm comes to the person he betrayed
But he could also be said to be similar to Macbeth, in that he is coaxed into his descent by other characters
(In Macbeth's case, Lady Macbeth; in Snape's case, other Slytherins)
Images taken from...
harrypotter.wikia.com
phoenixweasley.wordpress.com
en.wikipedia.orgr
Hubris
Snape's arrogance toward muggleborns causes him to call Lily a mudblood, which is what starts his descent into evil
by Haley Buchholz and Jeanmarie Ryan
Severus Snape as a Tragic Hero
Does Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series fit the definition of a tragic hero?
Comparisons to Shakespearean Tragic Heroes
Hamartia
Snape's hamartia is his blindness
He is willfully blind to the fact that his friends are "Death Eaters in training"
He is blind to the fact that he himself is descending into evil
He also shows blindness in his belief that Lily would not be hurt by the Death Eaters
Anagnorisis
Snape has his anagnorisis when Lily is threatened by the Death Eaters
Peripateia
Snape's fortunes are reversed when he loses Lily, the only person he ever loved
Arthur Miller's Tragic Hero
Snape is not a king or a noble. However, by Arthur Miller's definition, he is still a tragic hero
"Tragic feeling" comes from a character willing to die for his dignity
Tragic fall starts because he loses his dignity
Tragic hero acts against what's causing him to lose his dignity (this could be his "fatal flaw")
Tragic hero must have a chance of achieving his goals
Other Traits
Snape is imperfect.
Plays favorites
Is cruel to the students that aren't his favorites
Holds grudges
He also has some amount of "goodness"
Remains loyal to Dumbledore
Saves Harry's life
His fall was, for the most part, the result of free will, but the final part of his fall (his peripateia and anagnorisis) were the result of fate
Snape is not a king, nor is he noble, but he can still be called a tragic hero by Miller's definition
Full transcript