Jekyll and Hyde character profiles

Dr Henry Jekyll

Jekyll appears to be a good and respectable man. Hes known for his charity work and reads religious texts.

he socialises in upper-class circles and holds dinner parties. Hes sociable and friendly with "every mark of capacity and kindness".

Jekyll behaves in a socially acceptable way - he's very aware of how people see him. He carries his "head high" in public and is "fond of the respect" people give him.

Jekyll is a scientist that expreriments in "transcendentle medicine". His reserch is very contriversial as everyone in Victorian England was very religious and didn't believe in science that contridicted the bible. This led to the loss of respect of Dr Lanyon because of his "unscientific balderdash" 

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Edward Hyde

whereas Jekyll is a mixture of good and evil, Hyde is "pure evil".

Hyde seems to be violent for the sake of it - the murder of Carew is an unprovoked and controllable act  which he takes "delight" in. It's shocking how much he enjoys violance.

His evil is reflected in his apperance - it leaves " an imprint of deformity and decay". Hyde is so evil that it's obvious for everyone to see - there's "something wrong with his apperance".

Stevenson frequently compares Hyde to animals, particually apes.  he uses quotes such as "ape-like fury" this shows that Hyde is animalistic and he doesn't fit in with Victorian society. the word "ape-like" links to Darwins theory of evolution and that Hyde didnt develp properly which links to the quote "small"

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Gabriel Utterson

Utterson is a typically rational Victorian gentalman - he's "a lover of the sane and costomary sides of life"

He's a lawyer and he approches the mystery in the same way he'd approch a case. He weighs up the evidance to reach a balenced, unbiased evaluation of the facts.

He's unwilling to consider any explanation which threatens to upset his rational way of thinking. He concludes that Jekyll has locked himself in the cabinet because he's sufferinng from a disease - he thinks this is a "plain and natural" explanation, unlike Pooles murder theory.

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Dr Hastie Lanyon

At first, Dr Lanyon is described as "hearty, healthy, dapper, red-faced gentleman" who is friendly and sociable. When Utterson goes to see him  he "sprang up from his chair and welcomed him with both hands."

This makes him seem larger than life. His friendliness seem "theatrical", which might suggest that he's putting on a front, but it has "genuine feeling" behind it.

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Mr Enfield

Enfield is a distant cousin of Utterson. Although he's only a minor character, he plays an important part in the novel - he introduces Utterson to the mystery around Hyde through his inital story.

He embodies typical Victorian values:

  • He understands the importance of reputation. He pressures Hyde into paying for his crime by threatening to "make his name stink from one end of london to the other"
  • He says he doesn't like to gossip because gossip can negatively affect a person's reputation. He's "ashamed" of his "long tounge" after he tells Utterson about Hyde
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Poole

Poole has been Jekylls butler for 20 years - he knows his master's habits well and recognises when something is badly wrong. This makes Uttersons reluctance to believe him straight away look unreasonable.

Poole sees Jekyll as a respectable man, so he'd rather believe that he's been murdered than consider any other, darker explanation.

Poole cares about Jekyll. He's concerned by his strange behaviour - he's very anxious when he goes goes to ask Utterson for help and he bravely helps to knock the cabinet door down. This reflects well on Jekyll's character because it shows that he's worthy of concern.

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