Analysis Of ' The Prince '

1849 WordsJan 11, 20168 Pages
Not by coincidence, JK Rowling nicknamed her most complex, morally ambiguous Harry Potter character “The Prince”. Severus Snape’s royal epithet has more than a little in common with Machiavelli’s The Prince, which Rowling, as a student of Classics and Literature surely read. To be Machiavellian, one must be “cunning, scheming and unscrupulous,” (OED) and those who belong to Snape’s Hogwarts House of Slytherin are “cunning folks [who] use any means / to achieve their ends” (Rowling, Philosopher’s Stone, 88). Even firmer parallels are drawn between Severus Snape and Machiavelli’s Prince as the texts continue. Severus Snape is not a likable man. Whether or not he is morally good or evil keeps most if not all witches and wizards in his vicinity questioning whether or not he is truly on their side. Harry and his friends spend nearly their entire educational careers trying to reveal Snape as working for Voldemort, and even one of his fellow elite Death Eater’s expresses her distrust of him after eighteen years of working together. “I don’t trust you Snape, as you very well know” Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort’s most prized confidant tells him in the dead of night (Rowling, Half Blood Prince, 30). Snape accepts the Machiavellian attitude that “how men live is so different from how they should live that a ruler who does not do what is generally done, but persists in doing what ought to be done, will undermine his power rather than maintain it” (Machiavelli, 54). For this reason,

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