Character: Professor Severus Snape
From: Harry Potter Series
Author: J.K. Rowling
Undoubtedly, Severus Snape is one of the most fascinating characters in the entire Harry Potter series. When I started reading Harry Potter, I hated Snape with almost the same intensity that he hated Harry. It took only one chapter (The Prince’s Tale) in the last book of the series to change the same hatred to immense love, awe and admiration. Once again J.K. Rowling had taken me by surprise because in the entire series, there was nothing to back Snape except the unwavering faith of Albus Dumbledore. And then after he killed Dumbledore, I thought he was beyond redemption and that he was as evil as Voldemort, if not more.
One of the best things that I felt about Snape was the fact that he was as flawed and imperfect as each of us are. As J.K. Rowling points out in her interview that Snape is a complicated man when she says, ”He’s bitter. He’s … spiteful. He’s a bully. All these things are still true of Snape, even at the end of this book. But was he brave? Yes, immensely. […] Was he capable of love? Very definitely. So he’s – he’s a very – he was a flawed human being, like all of us.”
But what matters is that even though he might have taken some wrong decisions in the beginning, he more than anyone else corrected it in the end by acting as a double agent for Dumbledore at a great risk to his personal safety and security. Somewhere down the line he truly lived with the saying, ”True redemption is…when guilt leads to good.” (The Kite Runner)
What did I Learn From Snape?
Well a lot of things. Obviously, he taught me that judging someone before knowing them is not worth either the time or the effort. But I feel what he truly taught me was that heroes are not defined by their birth, but by their actions and it is the manner in which we live that determines whether we die a hero or a villain. And above everything, Snape taught me the power of love and loyalty, even when the love is not reciprocated in the same level and intensity.
Thank you for that amazing lesson, Snape.
Note: A word of appreciation for Alan Rickman who played the role of Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies. There could not have been a better Snape ever. You were born to play that role…:)
Favorite Quotes Of Snape
“Hang on…” Harry muttered to Ron. “There’s an empty chair at the staff table…. Where’s Snape?”
“Maybe he’s ill!” said Ron hopefully.
“Maybe he’s left,” said Harry, ‘because he missed out on the Defense Against the Dark Arts job again!”
“Or he might have been sacked!” said Ron enthusiastically. “I mean, everyone hates him –”
“Or maybe,” said a very cold voice right behind them, “he’s waiting to hear why you two didn’t arrive on the school train.”
-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
“That is the second time you have spoken out of turn, Miss Granger,” said Snape coolly. “Five more points from Gryffindor for being an insufferable know-it-all.”
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Snape gazed for a moment at Dumbledore, and there was revulsion and hatred etched in the harsh lines of his face.
‘Severus … please …”
Snape raised his wand and pointed it directly at Dumbledore. ‘Avada Kedavra!’
-Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor,bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Look…at…me…” he whispered. The green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more.”
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Dumbledore is dead!” Voldemort hurled the words at Harry as though they would cause him unendurable pain. “His body decays in the marble tomb in the grounds of this castle. I have seen it, Potter, and he will not return!”
”Yes, Dumbledore’s dead,” said Harry calmly, “but you didn’t have him killed.
He chose his own manner of dying, chose it months before he died, arranged the whole thing with the man you thought was your servant.”
“What childish dream is this?” said Voldemort, but still he did not strike, and his red eyes did not waver from Harry’s.
“Severus Snape wasn’t yours,” said Harry. “Snape was Dumbledore’s Dumbledore’s from the moment you started hunting down my mother. And you never realized it, because of the thing you can’t understand. You never saw Snape cast a Patronus, did you, Riddle?”
Voldemort did not answer. They continued to circle each other, like wolves
about to tear each other apart.
“Snape’s Patronus was a doe,” said Harry,“the same as my mother’s, because he loved her for nearly all of his life, from the time when they were children. You should have realized,” he said as he saw Voldemort’s nostrils flare, “he asked you to spare her life, didn’t he?”
“He desired her, that was all,” sneered Voldemort, “but when she had gone, he agreed that there were other women, and of purer blood, worthier of him—”
“Of course he told you that,” said Harry, “but he was Dumbledore’s spy from the moment you threatened her, and he’s been working against you ever since!
Dumbledore was already dying when Snape finished him!”
“It matters not!” shrieked Voldemort, who had followed every word with rapt attention, but now let out a cackle of mad laughter. “It matters not whether Snape was mine or Dumbledore’s, or what petty obstacles they tried
to put in my path! I crushed them as I crushed your mother, Snape’s supposed great love! Oh, but it all makes sense, Potter, and in ways that you do not understand!
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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