Severus Snape: A Character Study, Hero, Villain or Simply Misunderstood?

As many of you are aware, I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. I am certain that I could probably make a blog post every single day for a year about Harry Potter, and still have plenty to write about the next year. As I have matured, I have come to realize that certain characters that I used to worship are now no longer in my good graces. Two of those would be: Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape. Today, this character study will be on the latter.

Severus Snape, a complicated character that many have speculated about. Is he a hero, a villain or perhaps, simply misunderstood? That is what we will be discussing today.

When I first read Harry Potter, I was a young child. I read about Severus Snape and he reminded me of those teachers who would bully me in school. I instantly disliked him. It wasn’t until I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, that I believed Snape to be an unsung hero. Keep in mind, that I was a fourteen year old girl, still in high school. Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that my hero worship of Severus Tobias Snape was greatly misplaced.

To those who love or adore Snape, I am not ignoring his deeds, truly I am not, but his actions towards his students and co-workers has much to be desired. Calling him a hero completely disregards his blatant hatred towards Harry Potter and all Gryffindors. Is he a hero? Yes, in his own definition but that does not make him a good man.

The truth is, fellow Potterheads, Severus Snape, is not a good man.

He was a bully.

He took out a his anger on a defenseless child because lo and behold, Harry looked just liked James. What did Harry do to deserve that?

Was James a bully? Yes. He was. However, he grew up. If he hadn’t, then I doubt Lily would’ve married him. Snape did not grow up. He continued to bully his students, especially Harry Potter, due to past wrongs. He’s not the only who did not grow up. Sirius Black did not grow up either. Of course, he spent 12 years in Azkaban for a crime he did not commit. He was only 21, 22 when he was imprisoned. He didn’t have time to grow up. (I will discuss my feelings towards Sirius Black in another CS (character study))

Will I admit Severus Snape protected his snakes? Yes. After all, who else would watch over the Slytherins? Voldemort ruined that House’s name. Snape had to favor his snakes because he was all they had. The other professors discriminated against the Slytherins.

Snape was not a good man. But he was a hero. I am still torn on whether or not I like him or not. If he was a real person – a real professor at my school – I probably would despise him. He is a very real character.

R.I.P. Alan Rickman

-K

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