Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
1 Inspiration and writing 2 Plot 3 Characters
3.1 Dr Henry Jekyll/Mr Edward Hyde 3.2 Gabriel John Utterson 3.3 Richard Enfield 3.4 Dr Hastie Lanyon 3.5 Mr Poole 3.6 Inspector Newcomen 3.7 Sir Danvers Carew, MP 3.8 Maid
4.1.1 Dualities 4.1.2 Public vs private 4.1.3 Scottish nationalism vs union with Britain
5 Reception 6 Adaptations 7 Illustrated versions 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links
Inspiration and writing
Robert Louis Stevenson
Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how personalities can affect a human and how to incorporate the interplay of good and evil into a story. While still a teenager, he developed a script for a play about Deacon Brodie, which he later reworked with the help of W. E. Henley and which was produced for the first time in 1882. In early 1884, he wrote the short story "Markheim", which he revised in 1884 for publication in a Christmas annual. According to his essay, "A Chapter on Dreams" (Scribner's, Jan. 1888), he racked his brains for an idea for a story and had a dream, and upon wakening had the intuition for two or three scenes that would appear in the story Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Biographer Graham Balfour quoted Stevenson's wife Fanny Stevenson:
In the small hours of one morning,[...]I was awakened by cries of horror from Louis. Thinking he had a nightmare, I awakened him. He said angrily: "Why did you wake me? I was dreaming a fine bogey tale." I had awakened him at the first transformation scene.
Lloyd Osbourne, Stevenson's stepson, wrote: "I don't believe that there was ever such a literary feat before as the writing of Dr Jekyll. I remember the first reading as though it were yesterday. Louis came downstairs in a fever; read nearly half the book aloud; and then, while we were still gasping, he was away again, and busy writing. I doubt if the first draft took so long as three days." Inspiration may also have come from the writer's friendship with Edinburgh-based French teacher Eugene Chantrelle, who was convicted and executed for the murder of his wife in May 1878. Chantrelle, who had appeared to lead a normal life in the city, poisoned his wife with opium. According to author Jeremy Hodges, Stevenson was present throughout the trial and as "the evidence unfolded he found himself, like Dr Jekyll, 'aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde'." Moreover, it was believed that the doctor had committed other murders both in France and Britain by poisoning his victims at supper parties with a "favourite dish of toasted cheese and opium". Louis Vivet, a mental patient who was suffering from dissociative identity disorder, caught Frederic W. H. Myers's attention and he wrote to Stevenson after the story was published. Stevenson was polite in his response but rejected that reading. As was customary, Mrs Stevenson would read the draft and offer her criticisms in the margins. Robert Stevenson was confined to bed at the time from a haemorrhage. Therefore, she left her comments with the manuscript and Robert in the toilet. She said that in effect the story was really an allegory, but Robert was writing it as a story. After a while, Robert called her back into the bedroom and pointed to a pile of ashes: he had burnt the manuscript in fear that he would try to salvage it, and in the process forced himself to start again from nothing, writing an allegorical story as she had suggested. Scholars debate whether he really burnt his manuscript; there is no direct factual evidence for the burning, but it remains an integral part of the history of the novella. Stevenson re-wrote the story in three to six days. A number of later biographers have alleged that Stevenson was on drugs during the frantic re-write; for example, William Gray's revisionist history A Literary Life (2004) said he used cocaine while other biographers said he used ergot. However, the standard history, according to the accounts of his wife and son (and himself), says he was bed-ridden and sick while writing it. According to Osbourne, "The mere physical feat was tremendous and, instead of harming him, it roused and cheered him inexpressibly". He continued to refine the work for four to six weeks after the initial re-write. The novella was written in the southern English seaside town of Bournemouth, where Stevenson had moved due to ill health, to benefit from its sea air and warmer southern climate. The name Jekyll was borrowed from Reverend Walter Jekyll, a friend of Stevenson and younger brother of horticulturalist and landscape designer Gertrude Jekyll. Plot Gabriel John Utterson and his cousin Richard Enfield reach the door of a large house on their weekly walk. Enfield tells Utterson that months ago he saw a sinister-looking man named Edward Hyde trample a young girl after accidentally bumping into her. Enfield forced Hyde to pay £100 to avoid a scandal. Hyde brought them to this door and provided a cheque signed by a reputable gentleman (later revealed to be Doctor Henry Jekyll, a friend and client of Utterson). Utterson is disturbed because Jekyll recently changed his will to make Hyde the sole beneficiary. Utterson fears that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll. When Utterson tries to discuss Hyde with Jekyll, Jekyll turns pale and asks that Hyde be left alone. One night in October, a servant sees Hyde beat to death Sir Danvers Carew, another of Utterson's clients. The police contact Utterson, who leads officers to Hyde's apartment. Hyde has vanished, but they find half of a broken cane. Utterson recognizes the cane as one he had given to Jekyll. Utterson visits Jekyll, who shows Utterson a note, allegedly written to Jekyll by Hyde, apologising for the trouble that he has caused. However, Hyde's handwriting is similar to Jekyll's own, leading Utterson to conclude that Jekyll forged the note to protect Hyde. For two months, Jekyll reverts to his former sociable manner, but in early January, he starts refusing visitors. Dr Hastie Lanyon, a mutual acquaintance of Jekyll and Utterson, dies of shock after receiving information relating to Jekyll. Before his death, Lanyon gives Utterson a letter to be opened after Jekyll's death or disappearance. In late February, during another walk with Enfield, Utterson starts a conversation with Jekyll at a window of his laboratory. Jekyll suddenly slams the window and disappears. In early March, Jekyll's butler, Mr. Poole, visits Utterson and says Jekyll has secluded himself in his laboratory for weeks. Utterson and Poole break into the laboratory, where they find Hyde wearing Jekyll's clothes and apparently dead from suicide. They find a letter from Jekyll to Utterson. Utterson reads Lanyon's letter, then Jekyll's. Lanyon's letter reveals his deterioration resulted from the shock of seeing Hyde drink a serum that turned him into Jekyll. Jekyll's letter explains that he had indulged in unstated vices and feared discovery. He found a way to transform himself and thereby indulge his vices without fear of detection. Jekyll's transformed personality, Hyde, was evil, self-indulgent, and uncaring to anyone but himself. Initially, Jekyll controlled the transformations with the serum, but one night in August, he became Hyde involuntarily in his sleep. Jekyll resolved to cease becoming Hyde. One night, he had a moment of weakness and drank the serum. Hyde, furious at having been caged for so long, killed Carew. Horrified, Jekyll tried more adamantly to stop the transformations. Then, in early January, he transformed involuntarily while awake. Far from his laboratory and hunted by the police as a murderer, Hyde needed help to avoid capture. He wrote to Lanyon (in Jekyll's hand), asking his friend to bring chemicals from his laboratory. In Lanyon's presence, Hyde mixed the chemicals, drank the serum, and transformed into Jekyll. The shock of the sight instigated Lanyon's deterioration and death. Meanwhile, Jekyll's involuntary transformations increased in frequency and required ever larger doses of serum to reverse. It was one of these transformations that caused Jekyll to slam his window shut on Enfield and Utterson. Eventually, one of the chemicals used in the serum ran low, and subsequent batches prepared from new stocks failed to work. Jekyll speculated that one of the original ingredients must have some unknown impurity that made it work. Knowing he would become Hyde permanently, Jekyll decided to write his "confession". He ended the letter by writing, "I bring the life of that unhappy Henry Jekyll to an end." Characters
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Dr Henry Jekyll/Mr Edward Hyde
Main article: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (character)
Dr Jekyll is a "large, well-made, smooth-faced man of fifty with
something of a slyish cast", who occasionally feels he is battling
between the good and evil within himself, upon leading to the struggle
between his dual personalities of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. He has
spent a great part of his life trying to repress evil urges that were
not fitting for a man of his stature. He creates a serum, or potion,
in an attempt to mask this hidden evil within his personality.
However, in doing so, Jekyll transpired into the smaller, younger,
cruel, remorseless, evil Hyde. Jekyll has many friends and an amiable
personality, but as Hyde, he becomes mysterious and violent. As time
goes by, Hyde grows in power. After taking the potion repeatedly, he
no longer relies upon it to unleash his inner demon, i.e., his alter
ego. Eventually, Hyde grows so strong that Jekyll becomes reliant on
the potion to remain conscious.
Gabriel John Utterson
Gabriel John Utterson, a lawyer and loyal friend of Jekyll's (and
Lanyon's), is the character the narrator focuses on and follows in
Utterson's quest to discover the identity of Hyde. Utterson is a
measured and at all times emotionless, bachelor – who nonetheless
seems believable, trustworthy, tolerant of the faults of others, and
indeed genuinely likable. Utterson has been close friends with Lanyon
and Dr Jekyll. However, Utterson is not immune to guilt, as, while he
is quick to investigate and judge the faults of others even for the
benefit of his friends, Stevenson states that "he was humbled to the
dust by the many ill things he had done". Whatever these "ill things"
may be, he does not partake in gossip or other views of the upper
class out of respect for his fellow man. Often the last remaining
friend of the down-falling, he finds an interest in others' downfalls,
which creates a spark of interest not only in Jekyll but also
regarding Hyde. He comes to the conclusion that human downfall results
from indulging oneself in topics of interest. As a result of this line
of reasoning, he lives life as a recluse and "dampens his taste for
the finer items of life". Utterson concludes that Jekyll lives life as
he wishes by enjoying his occupation. Utterson is a good, kind, loyal
and honest friend to Henry Jekyll.
Richard Enfield is Utterson's cousin and is a well known "man about
town." He first sees Hyde at about three in the morning in an episode
that is well documented as Hyde is running over a little girl. He is
the person who mentions to Utterson the actual personality of Jekyll's
friend, Hyde. Enfield witnessed Hyde running over a little girl in the
street recklessly, and the group of witnesses, with the girl's parents
and other residents, force Hyde into writing a cheque for the girl's
family. Enfield discovers that Jekyll signed the cheque, which is
genuine. He says that Hyde is disgusting looking but finds himself
stumped when asked to describe the man.
Dr Hastie Lanyon
A longtime friend of Jekyll's, Hastie Lanyon disagrees with Jekyll's
"scientific" concepts, which Lanyon describes as "...too fanciful". He
is the first person to discover Hyde's true identity (Hyde transforms
himself back into Jekyll in Lanyon's presence). Lanyon helps Utterson
solve the case when he describes the letter given to him by Jekyll and
his thoughts and reactions to the transformation. When Lanyon
witnesses the transformation process (and subsequently hears Jekyll's
private confession, made to him alone), Lanyon becomes critically ill
and later dies of shock.
Poole is Jekyll's butler who has lived with him for many years. Upon
noticing the reclusiveness and changes of his master, Poole goes to
Utterson with the fear that his master has been murdered and his
murderer, Mr Hyde, is residing in the chambers. Poole serves Jekyll
faithfully and attempts to do a good job and be loyal to his master.
Yet events finally drive him into joining forces with Utterson to find
Utterson joins this
Literary genres which critics have applied as a framework for
interpreting the novel include religious allegory, fable, detective
story, sensation fiction,
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Poster from the 1880s
Main article: Adaptations of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
There have been numerous adaptations of the novella including over 120
stage and film versions alone.
There have also been many audio recordings of the novella, with some
of the more famous readers including Tom Baker, Roger Rees,
Christopher Lee, Anthony Quayle, Martin Jarvis, Tim Pigott-Smith, John
Hurt, Ian Holm,
^ Stevenson published the book as Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde (without "The"), for reasons unknown, but it has been supposed to
increase the "strangeness" of the case (Richard Dury (2005)). Later
publishers added "The" to make it grammatically correct, but it was
not the author's original intent. The story is often known today
simply as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or even Jekyll and Hyde.
^ /ˈdʒiːkəl/ is the Scots pronunciation of the name, but
/ˈdʒɛkəl/ is the accepted general pronunciation.
^ "Noted - Futility Closet". Futility Closet.
^ a b c Saposnik, Irving S. "The Anatomy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 11.4, Nineteenth Century
(1971): pp. 715–731.
^ "Jekyll and Hyde definition Dictionary.com".
Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 28 May 2009.
^ Swearingen, Roger G. The Prose Writings of Robert Louis Stevenson.
London: Macmillan, 1980. (ISBN) p. 37.
^ a b Balfour, Graham (1912). The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. II.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 15–6. Retrieved 28
^ Chantrelle, Eugène Marie; Smith, Alexander Duncan. Trial of Eugène
Marie Chantrelle. Toronto, Canada Law
Borinskikh L. I. (1990c). "The method to reveal a character in the works of R.L. Stevenson [The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde]". In *** (ed.) The Problem of character in literature. Tchelyabinsk: Tchelyabinsk State University. Pp. 31–32. (In Russian, German and Hindi.) Richard Dury, ed. (2005). The Annotated Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. ISBN 88-7544-030-1, over 80 pages of introduction material, extensive annotation notes, 40 pages of derivative works and extensive bibliography. Paul M. Gahlinger, (2001). Illegal Drugs: A Complete Guide to their History, Chemistry, Use, and Abuse. Sagebrush Medical Guide. p. 41. ISBN 0-9703130-1-2. Kathrine Linehan, ed. (2003). Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Norton Critical Edition, contains extensive annotations, contextual essays and criticisms. ISBN 0-393-97465-0
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde from Internet Archive. Many antiquarian illustrated editions.
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
v t e
Robert Louis Stevenson
An Inland Voyage
Short story collections
The Suicide Club (1878)
The Rajah's Diamond
"The Pavilion on the Links" (1880) "The Merry Men" (1882) "The Body Snatcher" (1884) "Markheim" (1885) "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" (1886) "The Bottle Imp" (1891) "The Beach of Falesá" (1892) "The Isle of Voices" (1893)
v t e
Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1908)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1913)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
The Head of Janus
The Impatient Patient
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1988)
Jekyll and Hyde (2001)
"Dr. Heckyll & Mr. Jive" (1983) "Bubba Hyde" (1995) Jekyll and Hyde (2003) Jekyll & Hyde en Español (2004)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1887)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1888)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Or a Mis-Spent Life
Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde (1995–1998) Jekyll (2007) Once Upon a Time (2011–present) Penny Dreadful (2014–2016) Jekyll and Hyde (2015)
Mister Hyde (introduced 1963)
Batman: Two Faces (1998)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
WorldCat Identities VIAF: 307173707 LCCN: n90662176 GND: 4390920-