Severus Snape is a fascinating character in the Harry Potter series. This is undeniable. What often makes a fictional character so interesting is their ability to have an array of flaws. It's safe to say that Snape is nowhere near perfect. This, we already know, and JK Rowling is quick to classify him as "flawed". Yet it often feels as though that is putting it mildly. Sometimes, the potions master can be downright problematic. Here are 10 things about the "tragic hero" that unfortunately haven't aged well over the years.
One of the greatest betrayals in the education system is when a teacher abuses their position of authority. Severus Snape is the perfect example of this. He uses his position of power to bully young children who are well-behaved in the first place.
It seems as though Harry, Ron, and Hermione would be dream students to any sane professor, yet Snape has to be the world's worst dude by harassing these prepubescent youngsters who simply want to receive a proper education. What kind of monster would gleefully bully such good kids? Seriously. This guy is just presenting himself as the ultimate grudge-holding manchild.
We are quick to label Snape as the ultimate hero for switching sides. He went quickly from "Team Voldemort" to "Team Dumbledore" but what was the reasoning behind his seemingly good deed? Unfortunately, his decision to join "the good side" had nothing to do with his morality or his sudden need to become a better person, and instead had everything to do with the fact that he didn't want his middle school crush to die.
While this alone sounds almost romantic, it is more or less done selfishly to prevent Snape from heartache. He wants her alive so he won't get hurt, but this doesn't necessarily mean he cares about her well being in the slightest.
Does he truly love Lily? We're on the fence about this one. It seems as though if he truly loved the idealistic redhead, he would request for all of the Potters to be saved for Lily's sake. Yet Snape doesn't seem to care about the rest of the Potters and whether or not they live or die, therefore, he doesn't seem to truly care about Lily. He is willing to let her be miserable with her true love and her newborn son dead. As long as she's alive so Snape can be satisfied, everything is dandy.
Poor Neville Longbottom. This kid just can't seem to catch a break! For one thing, he is bullied by the Slytherin students (which Snape is a-okay with and even seems to encourage) and the worst part of all is that he's hardcore bullied by his own professor.
What kind of teacher thinks it's okay to treat a student with such disrespect, especially a student who already faces a myriad of issues on a daily basis? If anyone knows a thing or two about what it's like to get bullied, it should be Snape. You'd think he'd have some empathy but clearly, this is not the case. When Neville looks into the mirror in Prisoner of Azkaban to face his boggart, he sees none other than the potions master.
Only the lowest level scumbag would be willing to insult a fourteen-year-old girl's appearance. This just proves that Snape is the worst when he decides it's perfectly okay to make Hermione cry over her physical appearance. Snape has done a lot of terrible things in the past, but this one might just make us the angriest.
In the books, Hermione is hexed with a curse which results in her teeth growing increasingly large. She has always struggled with her buck teeth as they have made her feel incredibly insecure, and when she was cursed, Snape snidely declared he could "see no difference" in her appearance. Only a grade-A loser would be willing to so shamelessly insult a young girl. Yet, unfortunately, Snape seems to have a history of insulting young girls, which leads us to our next slide...
Snape and Lily at one point are supposed to be best friends. This is sweet and all, until the greasy-haired pureblood calls Lily the ultimate slur in the magical world. This is something that a good friend would never do. If he cared about her at all, there is a good chance he would never go out of his way to hurt and humiliate her the way he so ruthlessly did. You can argue that Snape didn't mean it and he was just acting out because he felt hurt and rejected by Lily, but there is really no excuse for Snape's bigoted behavior towards the girl he is supposed to love.
It feels as though Snape is a twelve-year-old boy stuck in a grown man's body. To us, he feels like a kid going through puberty who is still acting off of hormonal instincts as he refuses to acknowledge any perspective other than his own. He is the king of holding grudges and that is why he so actively hates on young Harry: because he is the lovechild of James and Lily. How childish and immature can a person get? It's not as though Harry ever did anything to you, Snape. The kid simply breathed and the potions master would be all, "10 points from Gryffindor". You're a grown man in your 30s. It's time to get over your 11-year-old crush.
Newsflash, Snape: People grow up. Most people (unlike you) aren't the same immature rascals that they were back in middle school. Most people evolve and learn from their mistakes. Take Remus Lupin for example. Lupin was a bit of a bully back in his Marauder days but since then he has grown up into an actual adult and has changed his ways. Severus, on the other hand, seems to live in a world where people don't ever evolve or mature, and because of this, he tries to jeopardize Lupin's career as a Hogwarts professor. He subs in for a Defense Against The Dark Arts class and goes straight to the subject of werewolves in order to hint at the fact that Lupin is dangerous. Not cool, Sev. Not cool.
Unrequited love is hard. It is one of the most challenging and heartbreaking dynamics when the person we love doesn't return our feelings of affection. Yet over time, we tend to move on from the pain and go on with the rest of our lives. Not Snape. Severus makes the active choice to never love again because his one true love is the eleven-year-old girl that he idealized the hell out of. We're not trying to be insensitive here to the idea of having a one-true-love but wouldn't you be creeped out if some kid who you had no romantic feelings for decided to never love another soul again because of his undying love for you? Lily had to flat out stop talking to him because of his behavior and she actively ignored Snape, yet he still obsessed over her.
Snape acts as though he was a total victim throughout his schooldays and that everyone else is to blame for bullying him. It is important to acknowledge the fact that Snape was no angel and you could even potentially argue that he deserved all of the negative treatment that he received from The Marauders. During his days at Hogwarts, Snape was a member of an elitist group which would consider muggle-borns inferior and purebloods as superior. Now that's just straight-up terrible and is the definition of bullying.