Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

THE CHARACTERS

  • Overview
  • Mr Hyde
  • Dr Jekyll
  • Mr Utterson
  • Dr Lanyon
  • Minor Characters
  • BONUS

There are 8 main characters in the text, but only 7 people (Jekyll and Hyde are the same person remember!) The main characters are:

  1. Dr Henry Jekyll – the respectable wealthy doctor
  2. Mr Edward Hyde – who Jekyll transforms into
  3. Gabriel Utterson – the laywer
  4. Dr Hastie Lanyon – a doctor who’s known Jekyll and Utterson since school

And 4 minor characters:

  1. Richard Enfield – a distant relative of Utterson
  2. Mr Poole – Jekyll’s butler
  3. Mr Guest – Utterson ‘s Head Clerk
  4. Sir Danvers Carew – the MP murdered by Hyde in Chapter 4.

There are also some maid servants, (the only women apart from those in the crowd around the girl in Chapter One). They're mostly used as a plot device and one of them are given a name.

The Basics:


  • Mr Hyde is Dr Jekyll’s alter-ego
  • Hyde is created by Jekyll’s potion
  • Hyde lives in an old laboratory at the end of Jekyll's garden
  • He's a villainous, violent man
  • He's not literally a monster
  • He's the opposite of how people perceive Dr Jekyll

Key Quotes & Analysis:


“particularly small and particularly wicked looking” (ch.4)
“pale and dwarfish” (ch.2)
“deformed” (ch.1)
“very plainly dressed” (ch.2)
“damned Juggernaut” (ch.1)
“a black, sneering coolness” (ch.1)

“Like Satan” (ch.1)
“That child of hell had nothing human” (ch.10)

“not easy to describe” (ch.1)
“detestable” (ch.1)

“something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing” (ch.1)
“his face was so ghastly to see” (ch.9)
“haunting sense of unexpressed deformity” (ch.4)
“creature” (ch.2 & ch.9)
“the man seems hardly human!” (ch.2)
“ape like fury” (ch.4) / “apelike spite” (ch.10)
“like a monkey” (ch.8)
“a murderous mixture of timidity and boldness” (ch.2)
“like a madman” (ch.4)
“his vile life, of his strange associates, of the hatred..” (ch.5)
“pure evil” (ch10)
“the slime of the pit” (ch.10)

“not only hellish but inorganic.” (ch.10)

  • There are 131 references to Utterson
  • 99 references to Hyde, 98 to Jekyll
  • 73 references to “lawyer”, 39 to “doctor"
  • Is this more a novel more about law than science?
  • Particularly the laws of nature Vs society/science? And the ethical relationship between the two.
  • Remember the full title of the book is “The strange case of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde"; it is a write-up of an experiment. Consider Stevenson's experimental writing.
  • Jekyll says at the end of the novel:
    “In this case, I was driven to reflect deeply and inveterately on that hard law of life, which lies at the root of religion and is one of the most plentiful springs of distress.”
  • There are far more descriptions of Hyde than Jekyll
  • Is Dr Jekyll more of a ‘myth’ than Mr Hyde?

THE PLOT

  • 1. Story of the Door
  • 2. Search for Mr Hyde
  • 3. Dr Jekyll was quite as Ease
  • 4. The Carew Murder Case
  • 5. Incident of the Letter
  • 6. Remarkable Incident of Dr Lanyon
  • 7. Incident at the Window
  • 8. The Last Night
  • 9. Dr Lanyon’s Narrative
  • 10. Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case

1.Story of the Door

2.Search for Mr Hyde

3.Dr Jekyll was quite as Ease

4.The Carew Murder Case

5.Incident of the Letter

6.Remarkable Incident of Dr Lanyon

7.Incident at the Window

8.The Last Night

9.Dr Lanyon’s Narrative

10. Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case

CONTEXT

  • Historical Context
  • About the Author
  • Other Influences
  • Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850 – 1894
  • He was an adventurer – travelled Europe, America & South Pacific
  • Man of contrasts: he was an atheist, Tory, and artist
  • He wrote boys’ adventure stories, pirate romances,
    horrors, children’s
    poetry, and plays
  • Mostly wrote about travel and exploration
  • All his writing had the theme of dventure and the unknown – which isn't just restricted to travel: Psychological, sociological, scientific too.

THEMES & SYMBOLISM

  • Letters
  • Frustration
  • Obscureness & Fog
  • Door & Windows
  • Light & Dark
  • The House

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

  • Q.1
  • Q.2
  • Q.3

In this extract Dr Lanyon is visited by Mr Hyde. Mr Hyde swallows the potion and transform sinto Dr Jekyll in front of Lanyon:

“It is well,” replied my visitor. “Lanyon, you remember your vows: what follows is under the seal of our profession. And now, you who have so long been bound to the most narrow and material views, you who have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine, you who have derided your superiors--behold!”

He put the glass to his lips and drank at one gulp. A cry followed; he reeled, staggered, clutched at the table and held on, staring with injected eyes, gasping with open mouth; and as I looked there came, I thought, a change--he seemed to swell-- his face became suddenly black and the features seemed to melt and alter--and the next moment, I had sprung to my feet and leaped back against the wall, my arms raised to shield me from that prodigy, my mind submerged in terror.

“O God!” I screamed, and “O God!” again and again; for there before my eyes--pale and shaken, and half fainting, and groping before him with his hands, like a man restored from death--there stood Henry Jekyll!

What he told me in the next hour, I cannot bring my mind to set on paper. I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul sickened at it; and yet now when that sight has faded from my eyes, I ask myself if I believe it, and I cannot answer. My life is shaken to its roots; sleep has left me; the deadliest terror sits by me at all hours of the day and night; and I feel that my days are numbered, and that I must die; and yet I shall die incredulous. As for the moral turpitude that man unveiled to me, even with tears of penitence, I can not, even in memory, dwell on it without a start of horror. I will say but one thing, Utterson, and that (if you can bring your mind to credit it) will be more than enough. The creature who crept into my house that night was, on Jekyll’s own confession, known by the name of Hyde and hunted for in every corner of the land as the murderer of Carew.

How does Stevenson create a sense of fear and horror in the novel?

Write about:

  • how Stevenson creates a sense of fear and horror in the extract (on the left)
  • how he creates a sense of fear and horror in the novel as a whole.

In this extract Dr Jekyll writes a statement to explain what he was like as a younger man:

Even at that time, I had not conquered my aversions to the dryness of a life of study. I would still be merrily disposed at times; and as my pleasures were (to say the least) undignified, and I was not only well known and highly considered, but growing towards the elderly man, this incoherency of my life was daily growing more unwelcome. It was on this side that my new power tempted me until I fell in slavery. I had but to drink the cup, to doff at once the body of the noted professor, and to assume, like a thick cloak, that of Edward Hyde. I smiled at the notion; it seemed to me at the time to be humourous; and I made my preparations with the most studious care. I took and furnished that house in Soho, to which Hyde was tracked by the police; and engaged as a housekeeper a creature whom I knew well to be silent and unscrupulous. On the other side, I announced to my servants that a Mr. Hyde (whom I described) was to have full liberty and power about my house in the square; and to parry mishaps, I even called and made myself a familiar object, in my second character. I next drew up that will to which you so much objected; so that if anything befell me in the person of Dr. Jekyll, I could enter on that of Edward Hyde without pecuniary loss. And thus fortified, as I supposed, on every side, I began to profit by the strange immunities of my position.

Men have before hired bravos to transact their crimes, while their own person and reputation sat under shelter. I was the first that ever did so for his pleasures. I was the first that could plod in the public eye with a load of genial respectability, and in a moment, like a schoolboy, strip off these lendings and spring headlong into the sea of liberty. But for me, in my impenetrable mantle, the safely was complete. Think of it--I did not even exist! Let me but escape into my laboratory door, give me but a second or two to mix and swallow the draught that I had always standing ready; and whatever he had done, Edward Hyde would pass away like the stain of breath upon a mirror; and there in his stead, quietly at home, trimming the midnight lamp in his study, a man who could afford to laugh at suspicion, would be Henry Jekyll.

How does Stevenson explore the idea of duality?

Write about:

• how Stevenson explores the idea of duality in this extract (on the left)

• how Stevenson explores the idea of duality in the novel as a whole

In this extract Dr Lanyon is visited by Mr Hyde, who is desperate for the potion to transform himself back into Henry Jekyll:

This person (who had thus, from the first moment of his entrance, struck in me what I can only, describe as a disgustful curiosity) was dressed in a fashion that would have made an ordinary person laughable; his clothes, that is to say, although they were of rich and sober fabric, were enormously too large for him in every measurement--the trousers hanging on his legs and rolled up to keep them from the ground, the waist of the coat below his haunches, and the collar sprawling wide upon his shoulders. Strange to relate, this ludicrous accoutrement was far from moving me to laughter. Rather, as there was something abnormal and misbegotten in the very essence of the creature that now faced me--something seizing, surprising and revolting-- this fresh disparity seemed but to fit in with and to reinforce it; so that to my interest in the man’s nature and character, there was added a curiosity as to his origin, his life, his fortune and status in the world.

These observations, though they have taken so great a space to be set down in, were yet the work of a few seconds. My visitor was, indeed, on fire with sombre excitement.

“Have you got it?” he cried. “Have you got it?” And so lively was his impatience that he even laid his hand upon my arm and sought to shake me.

I put him back, conscious at his touch of a certain icy pang along my blood. “Come, sir,” said I. “You forget that I have not yet the pleasure of your acquaintance. Be seated, if you please.” And I showed him an example, and sat down myself in my customary seat and with as fair an imitation of my ordinary manner to a patient, as the lateness of the hour, the nature of my preoccupations, and the horror I had of my visitor, would suffer me to muster.

How does Stevenson explore the idea of evil through Mr Hyde?

Write about:

  • how Stevenson explores the idea of evil in this extract (on the left).
  • how Stevenson explores the idea of evil in the novel as a whole.

EXAMPLE ANSWERS

  • Q.1
  • Q.2
  • Q.3

COMING SOON!