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Does Snape's love for Lily make up for all his bad deeds?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by M.L., Oct 4, 2015.

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  1. M.L.

    M.L. Seventh Year

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    Pretty much as it says on the tin.
     
  2. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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  3. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    No. Why would it?

    No, seriously. Why would it ever excuse anything? Knowing someone's emotional state might help understand why someone does what he does, but not excuse it.
     
  4. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

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    In canon? No. He's a complete shit, and only some of that can even possibly be excused by needing to keep up a front just in case.

    In fanfiction? I do think you can write Snape as a more sympathetic and just around better person, but you need to change other things about him to do so. Not necessarily enough to make him unrecognisable, but enough. And his love for Lily could well be a catalyst for those changes. But by itself, no.
     
  5. Anarchy

    Anarchy Fourth Champion DLP Supporter

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    I don't get how love has to do with forgiveness at all. Sure, someone can try and say it justifies his behavior, but that doesn't actually make it the truth.
     
  6. Zenzao

    Zenzao 500 Club King Prestige DLP Supporter

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    No, it doesn't.

    Snape is the result of his own failings. Yes, he had a hard life. A lot of people do. A lot of people have the strength of character, of will, of just general perseverance, to handle that and emerge, if not stronger, than at the least without poisoning those around them as time passes. They mature.

    But then you have those who don't, for whatever reason, using whatever justification they may to scrape by without changing. Snape is a man set too deeply into his own prejudices and victimization, loss, and loathing, to evolve past those failings.

    He could have become a decent man when Dumbledore gave him a second chance. He chose not to. He chose to resent instead of repent, and in the end became an undeserved martyr.
     
  7. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Imo, Snape's whole purpose in canon was to prove that being an asshole doesn't equate to being evil.
     
  8. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    The only thing that could make up for his bad deeds is his later good deeds, whether or not it actually does is debatable. His good deeds can maybe be attributed to his love for Lily, but his bad deeds come from a completely opposite sentiment.
     
  9. Perspicacity

    Perspicacity High Score: 3,994 Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It only would if George Lucas were producing the films.
     
  10. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    What the others said. I don't see the relation. It's not as if Snape became a Death Eater out of love for Lily or any other unselfish reason, so the causal connection is not there, and any other connection doesn't exist.

    Loving someone does not preclude a person from doing morally dubious deeds and vice versa. Death Eaters are people too. They have families, spouses, children, and why shouldn't they love them? Arguing anything else is creating cartoon villains in black and white worlds.
     
  11. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    It is somewhat odd in a way that it is true that Snape is quite brave, determined, stalwart, and dutiful -- all qualities associated with traditional heroes. As Harry said later, Snape was one of the bravest men he ever knew. It's just that these qualities are embodied by a veritable asshole, whose core motivation isn't really anything heroic. Recall that he pleaded for Voldemort to spare Lily - not James, Lily's husband, and not Harry, Lily's son.

    It's arguable if canonically Snape loved Lily, or merely loved the idea of Lily, if anything else. His fixation on Lily bordered more along the lines of obsession, not love. He didn't attempt to become a better or more decent person for Lily's sake -- in other words, he didn't try to become the sort of person that Lily might have loved in return. He chose to spite, belittle, and outright verbally and emotionally abuse her son over the course of seven years.

    His 'love' for Lily doesn't make up for personal failings of his own making nor does it excuse his choices.
     
    Nae
  12. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I agree with this but more importantly, can you edit the title so it has a question mark? D8

    Edit: Fix the 'Snapes' while you're at it, too.
     
  13. afrojack

    afrojack Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    I wouldn't even call what Snape had for Lily 'love.' He had no actual concern for her happiness, or even her well-being, really, as it related to anything beyond being physically alive enough for him to continue to obsess over, or rape perhaps, as she would never even look at him, and this would be prior even to learning that Snape asked for her, and only her, to be spared, caring nothing for the life of her husband, or even her child.

    How would she learn? The sad thing is, I think Snape would tell her, in some lame, ill-conceived attempt at flattering her in the aftermath of that night. That's how pathetic Snape is. To say that what he felt was love is to validate what might have been a neurotic obsession at best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  14. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The bashing and the fanon is strong in you, afrojack.
     
  15. afrojack

    afrojack Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Care to specify?
     
  16. Republic

    Republic The Snow Queen Prestige DLP Supporter

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    There's a reason I quoted your entire post. All of it is speculation that's closer to bashing than any reasonable analysis of Snape's character.
     
  17. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Snape is an asshole, but he's not so much of an asshole to be unconcerned with Lily's overall physical wellbeing nor so much of an asshole to want to outright rape Lily. There's no canonical indication that he would ever want to take anything resembling that option. He wasn't courageous enough in his Hogwarts years to ever approach Lily in a romantic light and I doubt he would ever work up the desire to actually sexually assault Lily -- it's likely that the thought of doing so would be physically repulsive to Snape, as such an act would take Lily's relationship to Snape from disinterest to outright hate at that point.

    I agree that it's doubtful whether Snape's relationship to Lily deserves to be considered even unrequited 'love' rather than some unhealthy obsession, but the other things you suggest as a consequence of that don't seem to follow.
     
  18. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    If it was merely an obsession over Lily why would he continue to risk his life to help her son?
     
  19. afrojack

    afrojack Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    1. Does he actually care whether she's happy? No, as he admits to Dumbledore that he would not have cared to ask whether her beloved child or husband could be spared.

    2. Does he care for her well-being in any other sense but the physical? See the response to number 1.

    3. What did he think was going to happen after she lived through the attack? That she would love him for having her spared while her husband and child were murdered? So what, that they could be together? Do you think rape is beyond a Death Eater who also happens to be an obsessive Potions master in a world where it is legal to rape the objects of your obsession with various chemical means? Note too, that my OP only specified rape as a possibility. I think it more likely that he would continue to obsess over her . . . which we know is true because he continued to do that in canon anyway.

    4. My speculations about what he would do in the even that she had, in fact lived, seem consistent with his behaviors as illustrated in the last points and his behaviors as illustrated by his own memories in DH.

    5. Maybe neurotic obsession is the wrong term? Do you think he actually loved her, considering how little he cared for her actual desires and ambitions in life?

    To my knowledge, my post was rooted firmly in canon. So, again, if something was not please specify it.


    EDIT: As for continuing to help Harry, this was, again, a product of his obsession with Lily. He only 'helped' Harry out of some sense of obligation to Lily herself, treating him like utter shit the entire time, whereas if he had actually loved her, he would have been able to let go of his grudge against a dead man and judge the child on its own merits instead of bullying it relentlessly.

    Remember that Harry is the only living child of the woman you say he 'loved,' Bill, so I have to ask you:

    If you claimed to really love a woman, and you encountered her child, whoever she had it with, would you treat him or her the way Snape treated Harry?
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2015
  20. Zenzao

    Zenzao 500 Club King Prestige DLP Supporter

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    It really wasn't so much a matter of helping Lily's child(who, we must also remember, is one part James Potter) as it was getting revenge against Voldemort for taking Lily from him.
     
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