Snape (warning, may contain spoilers. OK, will. From the very first sentence in fact. Probably only spoilers for Harry Potter though.I read an essay online about Harry Potter. It was mostly negative, and while I found many of it's points weak, one thing did bother me. Why is Snape idolised quite so much towards the end of the book? In particular, Harry tells us that Snape is the bravest man he ever knew (side point- one can only be noble if one is brave- a gryffindor trait. The only good slytherins are not really slytherins!)
Brave? I don't know about that, and even so, that doesn't necessarily make him noble. The reason he decided to switch from voldemort's side was the death of Lily Potter, but bear in mind that HE WAS HAPPY FOR HARRY AND JAMES TO DIE. Horrid. Perhaps the death of Lily made him realise the enormity of what he had done, and certainly he took great risks for the cause once Voldy returned, but he was still unpleasant. He spent a large amount of time attempting to get Harry expelled, and nearly succeeded in doing so on more than one occasion, he was a terrible teacher, guilty of extreme favouritism- it is clear from the books that both Harry and Neville would have been better at potions without Snape glaring at them 90% of the time- and most important of all, he was responsible for Voldy's return!
Voldemort would have found it extremely difficult to return to power without pettigrew joining him, and thanks to Snape's old jealousies, thats exactly what happened- without his interference it is likely that Sirius would have been cleared (and not been holed up, and encouraged to take terrible risks), and Lupin may have kept his job, and pettigrew not escaped. Phew...
I dunno, he's a flawed character, and that makes him interesting, and a wonderful read, but a last minute decision that he was entirely noble? Seems a bit wrong to me.