‘Harry Potter’: Is Severus Snape A Good Person?

Severus Snape is a controversial character in the Harry Potter series. Fans don’t always know how to feel about him. He does get redeemed near the end of the story but it’s hard to reconcile that version of Snape with the version that terrorized Harry almost as much as Voldemort.

Though Harry himself forgives Snape in the end, many fans don’t know how to feel about the Hogwarts Professor. Is he a good person? It’s somewhat hard to tell. He is often impatient with his students and always seems to be in a bad mood.

Why Severus Snape from ‘Harry Potter’ is a good person

Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) of Harry Potter
Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Though Severus Snape is a difficult character to figure out at times, he does have his moments of goodness. For example, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it turns out that Snape had been protecting Harry when Professor Quirrell was trying to knock him off of his broom. Snape also helped Harry learn Occlumency to keep Voldemort out of his head. Though neither he nor Harry really enjoyed the Occlumency lessons, they were important for Harry in his fight against Voldemort.

Snape also did what he could to prevent Dolores Umbridge from using Veritaserum to interrogate students. During Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Snape uses his Patronus to lead Harry to the sword of Gryffindor. Without this sword, Harry would not have been able to continue destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes. In the same story, Snape gives Harry his memories before he dies. These memories contain information that Harry needs to defeat Voldemort.

The memories also reveal that Snape was a double agent, helping Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix due to his love for Harry’s mother Lily. After Voldemort killed her, Snape secretly changed sides and agreed to help Dumbledore protect Harry from Voldemort. With all of this, it seems that the answer is clear: Snape is a good person. Unfortunately, things are a lot more complicated than they appear.

Why Severus Snape from ‘Harry Potter’ is a bad person

Severus Snape is certainly a complicated character in the world of Harry Potter. On the one hand, he clearly has done some good things. He protected Harry from Voldemort and Harry, in the end, is grateful. On the other hand, Snape is certainly far from what most people would call a good person.

He is a bully to many of his students, including Harry and Neville Longbottom. He often singles Harry out, even in their first interaction. Neville is so scared of Snape at one point that a boggart, meant to take the form of your worst fears, turns into him. In addition to treating students like Harry and Neville horribly, Snape also tends to give them, especially Harry, low grades and harsh punishments for no good reason.

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Severus Snape is also one of the characters in Harry Potter who can really hold a grudge. He dislikes Harry all because Harry reminds Snape of his father, who Snape hated. He reveals that Remus Lupin is a werewolf, forcing him to resign from teaching at Hogwarts, all because Remus and Snape didn’t get along as children. There’s also the fact that Snape became a Death Eater in the first place.

A good person likely wouldn’t be comfortable helping Voldemort in his crusade to kill all Muggles and Muggle-born wizards and witches. In addition to this, Snape didn’t really care if Voldemort killed James or Harry initially. He mostly wanted Lily alive.