- Science - There is a division between Lanyon and Jekyll over their scientific work. Jekyll is interested in the darker, more fanciful side of science, where as Dr Lanyon is a traditional scientist. This caused the pairs friendship to take a turn.
- Dual Nature of Man - Jekyll feels the pressures of an upper class gentleman. He is expected to be a respectable doctor, however he has pleasures which he has to conceal, making him feel like he is leading a double life. Similarly this theme is reflected in the setting as Jekyll's house has two enterances which lead to the same builing, showing the two sides of Henry Jekyll.
- Secrecy - All of the characters seem to prefer discretion rather than gossip. This was very common in the Victorian era. This may have been the reason Hyde was allowed to be created as Victorians were very conservative and no one would doubt or question the respectable doctor. It seems that many of the characters are happy to let suspicous events slide, such as Enfield, as he doesn't want to know about the dark immoral behaviour of Dr Jekyll, and to protect Henry's reputation.
Character Analysis - Dr Henry Jekyll
- A respectable doctor and scientist
- Experiments with his alter ego
- Had a wealthy upbringing.
The extent of the difference between Jekyll and Hyde can be later questioned in the novel. In the beginning, the two seem to be complete contrasts of each other, showing that everyone has a "good" and "evil" side. However towards the end of the novel, this line becomes blurred as the two seem to become one character since Jekyll can no longer control his transformations. We never really know which personality Dr Jekyll has. Is he a respectable, good, character or is he underlyingly Mr Hyde, the hydeous, "evil", character. Mr Hyde is a part of Jekyll therefore he the doctor clearly has a dark side.
Character Analysis - Mr Edward Hyde
- The evil alter ego of Dr Henry Jekyll
- Violent and merciless man
- A murderer
- Makes people feel disgusted and uneasy
Mr Hyde represents the evil inside everyone. He is used by Jekyll to lead a two faced life, since he can not risk his reputation. The lengths at which Hyde can go becomes stronger throughout the novel as his evil grows.
Character Analysis - Mr Gabriel Utterson
The novel is told from his perspective.
- He is a lawyer
- Friend of Dr Jekyll
- Sets out to solve the case of Dr Jekyll
Mr Utterson is shown to be a trustworthy character throughout the play through his highly moral personality and respectable career. He is a very loyal character as it first he seems to be blind to Jekylls behaviour and does not questoin him in fear of jeopardising his reputation.
Character Analysis - Mr Richard Enfield
- Friend and relative of Utterson.
- Strong morals and good manners
- Plays a very minor role
Mr Enfield seems to be ok with Hydes behaviour as long as he pays for his actions. This approach seems to represent those of many Victorian men. He never seems to question the dark behaviour and seems to be living in parallel to it as he doesnt want to ruin Jekyll.
Character Analysis - Dr Hastie Lanyon
- Used to be Jekyll's friend. Conflict over science caused the men to drift apart. Lanyon didn't agree with Jekyll's controversial ideas.
- However he remains loyal to Jekyll by not revealing his experiments by remaining silent when questioned by Utterson and Enfield.
Chapter break down:
1 - 3: The novel begins with Utterson and Enfield walking down a street. Seeing the house of Mr Hyde reminded him of his first encounter with Mr Edward Hyde. He witnessed Hyde trample on a young girl and immediatley felt disgust. He pressured Hyde into paying for his crime. However, he was left confused when Hyde entered into the building and came out with a cheque, only to be signed by Dr Henry Jekyll. Utterson met Hyde and also disliked him. Utterson found out the building he entered was Jekylls home and concluded that Hyde is blackmailing Jekyll. Utterson questions Jekyll, who asks him to drop the subject, leaving Utterson suspicious but keeps his promise.
4 - 6: A year later a maid witnesses the violent murder of Sir Danvers Carew by Hyde. The police only find a letter addressed to Utterson on the body, no identification, and subsequently call Utterson. He is shown the murder weapon by the police and recognises it to be the walking cane he gave Dr Jekyll years before, consequently he led the police to the murders house where Hyde is no where to be found. Utterson confronts Jekyll who ashores him that Hyde has gone and he has a letter to prove it. Utterson asks Poole whether a letter has been delivered who says not. Utterson is left concerened and is shown the similarity between Jekyll's and Hyde's handwriting by Guest.
Chapter Break Down
6 - 8: No sign of Hyde still and Jekyll becomes well again. However a few months later he locks himself away again. Utterson visits a very ill Lanyon who refuses to talk about Jekyll and soon dies. Lanyon leaves a letter for Utterson to be opened on the death or disappearence for Henry Jekyll. Utterson and Enfield walk past Jekyll's house seeing him sat at the window. They try to make conversation but are suddenly cut off as Jekyll looks terrified and quickly shuts the window. Poole visits Utterson as he is worried about Jekyll. They go to the laboratory to shout for Jekyll but the response sounds like Hyde. Worried they break the door down and discover Hyde dead on the floor. A letter lay on the table telling Utterson to read Lanyon's letter and then Jekyll's confession.
9 - 10: Lanyons letter explains Jekyll's experiment and his death was caused by the shock that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. Jekyll's confession reveals he created a drug that allowed him to transform into Hyde. He could no longer control the transformations and eventually he ran out of drugs and permanently became Hyde.
Timeline of Key Events
1. Enfields memory
2. Uttersons encounter with Hyde
3. 1 year later comes the death of Sir Danvers Carew. Utterson knows who killed the man, but Hyde is no longer around. Utterson is left worried because the murder weapon was the walking cane he gave Jekyll.
4. Lanyon becomes ill and leaves a letter for Utterson to be opened on the death or disappearence of Dr Jekyll.
5. Poole and Utterson break down the door to the laboratory and discover Hyde's body with a letter instructing him to read Lanyon's letter then Jekyll's confession.
6. Utterson learns that Jekyll created a drug allowing him to transform into Hyde. He can no longer control the transformations as he has run out of the drug and permanently becomes Hyde.