Friday, June 8, 2007

Snape Is Good--and Snape Is Bad

Snape killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore asked him to. Dumbledore was pleading with Snape: "Severus. Please." He meant, "Severus. Do what I have asked you to do"--that is, to kill Dumbledore.

That is what they fought about before. Snape did not want to kill Dumbledore, and Dumbledore was insisting on it.

The reason Dumbledore died is because that is redemptive for Draco. Dumbledore intends to be putting himself into the same position as Lily Potter put herself into for Harry's sake: a human shield, who makes the mark of love that keeps a person safe. Snape is helping with that process.

However, there is a difference. Dumbledore cooperates with his own death in a way that Lily Potter never did. Dumbledore makes Snape, who works for Dumbledore, kill him. In a way, Dumbledore has committed suicide. This is absolutely wrong, and Snape is actually very wrong for doing this.

That is the morality of the situation, if my theory is right, and I think that Ms. Rowling is making too close a comparison between the two different situations. Lily was willing to accept death, but Dumbledore brought about his death. Dumbledore actively cooperated with his own killing, and that is wrong, even for a good reason.


beez said...

One could argue, however, that Dumbledore knew his death was inevitable, unavoidable. After all, the demands were being made, and specifically of Draco.

So, Dumbledore, knowing that if Draco succeeded in killing him, an evil mark would be indellibly placed on the young Malfoy. If, however, Dumbledore was able to turn a malevolent act by Draco into an act of charity (a knowing and willing sacrifice by another's hand), then one could argue that Dumbledore hasn't committed suicide, but simply spared Draco from committing murder.

Basmah said...

I see your point, but Dumbledore had reasons for Snape to kill him. He was going to die anyways from putting that ring on. He wanted Snape to do it in the sense that Draco would not be a murderer, and Snape knew that Dumbledore was suffering, and he had to end the pain.

I do agree that Snap was both good and bad, but for different reasons. He became good because he felt that he owed it to Lily since he loved her (and basically killed her). However, he was bad because had it not been Lily, the situation would not have mattered to him - and he probably would have still been a Death Eater. I do think that people gave him too much credit after this book.