Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by

J. K. Rowling

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Professor Snape Character Analysis

Professor Snape is the Potions teacher at Hogwarts and Head of Slytherin House. Snape has a hooked nose, greasy black hair, and sallow skin. He takes an instant dislike to Harry, which Quirrell later reveals is due to the fact that Snape and Harry’s father, James, hated each other when they attended Hogwarts together. Harry spends most of the book convinced that Snape is trying to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone for Voldemort. Snape is seen sneaking up to the third floor corridor where a giant three-headed dog is guarding it; Hermione and Ron are convinced that Snape tries to jinx Harry’s broom in order to kill him; and Harry sees him making what Harry believes are threats to Quirrell in order to get Quirrell to tell him how to get past some of the enchantments guarding the Stone. At the end of the book, however, it is revealed that Quirrell was actually the one trying to steal the Stone and was responsible for trying to kill Harry, while Snape was in fact trying to save him (despite his genuine dislike of Harry).

Professor Snape Quotes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone quotes below are all either spoken by Professor Snape or refer to Professor Snape. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scholastic edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone published in 1997.
Chapter 8 Quotes

“I don’t know, sir,” said Harry.
Snape’s lips curled into a sneer.
“Tut, tut — fame clearly isn’t everything.”

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Professor Snape (speaker), Albus Dumbledore, James Potter
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

“SO WHAT?” Harry shouted. “Don’t you understand? If Snape gets hold of the Stone, Voldemort’s coming back! Haven’t you heard what it was like when he was trying to take over? There won’t be any Hogwarts to get expelled from! He’ll flatten it, or turn it into a school for the Dark Arts! […] I’m going through that trapdoor tonight and nothing you two say is going to stop me! Voldemort killed my parents, remember?”

Related Symbols: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Page Number: 270
Explanation and Analysis:

“Oh, come off it, you don’t think we’d let you go alone?”
“Of course not,” said Hermione briskly. "How do you think you’d get to the Stone without us? I’d better go and look through my books, there might be something useful…”

Related Symbols: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

“That’s chess!” snapped Ron. “You’ve got to make some sacrifices! I’ll make my move and she’ll take me — that leaves you free to checkmate the king, Harry!”

“But —”
“Do you want to stop Snape or not?”
“Ron —”
“Look, if you don't hurry up, he’ll already have the Stone!”

Related Characters: Harry Potter (speaker), Ron Weasley (speaker), Hermione Granger (speaker), Voldemort / You-Know-Who, Professor Snape
Related Symbols: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Page Number: 283
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it.”

Related Symbols: The Sorcerer’s Stone
Page Number: 291
Explanation and Analysis:
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Professor Snape Character Timeline in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The timeline below shows where the character Professor Snape appears in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7: The Sorting Hat
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
...to a professor with “greasy black hair, a hooked nose, and sallow skin,” named Professor Snape. Snape looks back at Harry, and a “sharp, hot pain” darts across Harry’s scar. The... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...painfully.” Malfoy was there, too, watching him struggle and laughing, and then Malfoy morphs into Snape. Then “there was a burst of green light and Harry [wakes], sweating and shaking.” By... (full context)
Chapter 8: The Potions Master
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
...first week, Harry and Ron eat breakfast before their first potions lesson with the Slytherins. Snape, who is the Head of Slytherin House, is infamous for favoring the Slytherins. Harry wishes... (full context)
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Potions class is in the dungeon. When Snape goes through the roll call, he pauses at Harry’s name, snidely commenting, “our new—celebrity.” Snape... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
Snape suddenly calls on Harry, asking if he knows what “powdered root of asphodel” and “infusion... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Snape then pairs up the students and sets them to mixing up a simple potion. He... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
...him to Ron. They tell Hagrid over tea all about their first week of lessons—particularly Snape’s lesson. Harry worries that Snape seemed to hate him in particular. Hagrid says that that’s... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...it just in time? Where is it now? And why was Hagrid so evasive about Snape? (full context)
Chapter 10: Halloween
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
As Harry and Ron run to the bathroom, they see Snape heading to the third floor. But before they can figure out why, they see the... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
A moment later, Professor McGonagall, Snape, and Quirrell dash into the bathroom. McGonagall is livid, demanding to know what Harry, Ron,... (full context)
Chapter 11: Quidditch
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Snape enters the yard, limping. Even though he doesn’t see the fire, when he notices Harry’s... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
That evening, Harry wants to get his book back from Snape, thinking that he has no reason to be afraid of the teacher. When he goes... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...in the common room, Harry relays what he saw to Ron and Hermione, concluding that Snape must have tried to steal whatever the three-headed dog was guarding on Halloween. Hermione argues... (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...hand. The crowd gasps. Hermione grabs Hagrid’s binoculars and looks at the crowd. She sees Snape, who has his eyes “fixed on Harry” and is muttering something under his breath. Thinking... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Later, Harry returns to Hagrid’s hut with Ron and Hermione for tea. Ron explains that Snape was the one jinxing the broom, but Hagrid is unconvinced. Harry reveals that he found... (full context)
Chapter 12: The Mirror of Erised
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
...compared to the Weasley’s home. Ron lunges at Malfoy in anger but is caught by Snape, who deducts five points from Gryffindor for fighting. Harry and Ron are furious. (full context)
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...the doorway, trying to be as quiet as possible under the Cloak. Suddenly, he sees Snape come around the corner, saying that they can catch the intruder. Harry ducks into a... (full context)
Chapter 13: Nicolas Flamel
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
...has fewer nightmares when he does. However, when Wood reveals during one training session that Snape is refereeing the upcoming match, Harry worries that Snape could try to kill him again. (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
...665 years old. They realize that this is what Fluffy must be guarding, and what Snape is trying to steal. (full context)
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
...incredibly anxious. Hermione and Ron have secretly been practicing the Leg-Locker Curse to use on Snape if necessary. To add to the pressure, Wood tells Harry that they need him to... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
The game begins. Snape awards Hufflepuff early penalties for no reason as Harry looks for the Snitch “like a... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...his broom to the broom shed, he notices a hooded figure walking toward the forbidden forest—Snape, sneaking around during dinner. Harry takes off on his broom and follows, climbing into a... (full context)
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
...in the common room to have a party for him. Harry breathlessly tells them that Snape’s trying to steal the Stone, and trying to force Quirrell to help him get to... (full context)
Chapter 14: Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...but he does tell them who is helping protect the Stone, including Dumbledore, Quirrell, and Snape. The students think to themselves that if Snape is helping to protect the Stone, he... (full context)
Chapter 15: The Forbidden Forest
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Harry tells Hermione and Ron what he heard, wondering if Snape convinced Quirrell to tell him how to get past his enchantment. Hermione says that they... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
...the Gryffindor common room, Harry  tells both Ron and Hermione what he saw, concluding that Snape is trying to steal the Stone for Voldemort so that Voldemort can then kill Harry.... (full context)
Chapter 16: Through the Trapdoor
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Hermione don’t seem as worried about the Stone. They try to comfort him again, saying Snape won’t go after the Stone with Dumbledore there, and they still have no proof that... (full context)
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
After hearing this information, Harry, Ron, and Hermione bolt inside, figuring that Snape or Voldemort must have been the hooded stranger. When they see Professor McGonagall, they ask... (full context)
Magic, Difference, and Belonging Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Friendship Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
Rules and Rebellion Theme Icon
When McGonagall leaves, Harry figures that Snape sent the owl summoning Dumbledore, and that he’s going to try to steal the Stone... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Man with Two Faces
Power, Greed, and Desire Theme Icon
Humility and Self-Sacrifice Theme Icon
In the final room, Harry is surprised to come face to face not with Snape or Voldemort, but with Quirrell. Quirrell, who is no longer stuttering and nervous, explains chillingly... (full context)