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Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The novella ‘Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde’ was written by Robert Louis

Stevenson in the Victorian era. The book was first published in 1886

in England and it brought high success to the author. The final

chapter of the novella which is ‘Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement Of The

Case’ explores the ways that the author presents Victorian attitudes

to the nature of humans. Stevenson explains to the reader that humans

have lots of different sides to each other and not just one. He also

explains how duplicitous humans are.

“I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life” Pg69

The text was written in the Victorian era which was around the 1800’s.

In those days the Victorian culture was very different to today’s

culture. They had strict moral codes to live under as middle class

people. They argued that as Victorian values they should look after

themselves and their family first and also they should not rely on

outside help. Another Victorian value expected of them was to live a

life without any sin. Even though the cultural context influences

people, not every Victorian person obeyed the values outside the

public. The Victorian people had paradoxical views because they would

go out drinking and also the porn industry was famous out side public

life. Beliefs in religion were having a turn point because of the

introduction of science in to the Victorian era. Victorians were

expected to live a life of Puritanism.

The main characters in this text are Dr Jekyll, Mr Hyde, Mr Utterson

and Mr Enfield, Dr Lanyon and Poole the butler. Mr Utterson and Mr

Enfield are both Victorian lawyers who are well respected from other


‘those who encountered them in th…

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…orals are still

relevant today because humans in today’s society all have a good and

evil side in them like Dr Jekyll did. The nurture of all humans is

always different because one day you can be good and the other day you

can be full of evil. In my opinion our upbringing doesn’t mean we will

be like that because what we learn form outside can influence our

personality too. In Dr Jekyll’s case he was brought up to be a

Victorian gentleman but he didn’t like the life of a Victorian

gentleman as it was boring to him. So the change into Hyde that he had

was his type of life as he got to do what he wanted to. Drugs in

today’s society are the same as Victorian time but it is commonly

known to the public. Where as in Victorian days it was illegal to take

drugs. ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ has a social moral to it which tells

the reader how to behave in a society.

Tiresias, Oedipus, and Self

Tiresias, Oedipus Rex, and Self

The play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, tells a horrendous tale about one man’s quest for the truth. In the play, King Oedipus was burdened with the task of finding his predecessor’s murderer so that order may be restored to his kingdom. While his conscious mind was seeking the murderer, his unconscious mind was retarding his progress in order to conceal the truth. Tiresias, prophesies the truth to Oedipus, but Oedipus’s unconscious mind would not hear it. Thus, when the awful truth is finally revealed, Oedipus is overwhelmed by it. This causes the physical and emotional wounds that would last him a lifetime. A supplementary piece of literature, Tiresias by Tennyson, was written to complement this play. In Tennyson’s poem, he told about a man who was touched by the Gods, when he reached the point of enlightenment in his life; this man is Tiresias. Through the study of Tennyson’s Tiresias, one can better understand the play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus the character and one’s self.

In Tiresias, the narrator speaks about his desire to be like his friend Fitz. The perception of Fitz given by Tennyson is that he was a very spiritual man touched by the Gods. Tennyson’s first attempt to be like Fitz was to become a vegetarian:

And once for ten long weeks I tried

Your table of Pythagoras,

And seem’d at first “a thing enskied,”

As Shakespeare has it, airy-light

To float above the ways of men,

Then fell from that half-spiritual height

Chill’d, till I tasted flesh again

One night when the earth was winter-black,

And all the heavens flash’d in frost;

And on me, half-asleep, came back

That wholesome heat the blood had lost,

And set me climbing icy capes . . . (Tennyson, 14-…

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…ind’s frailty consider his last day; and let none presume on his good fortune until he find life, at his death, a memory without pain.” (Sophocles, 757) This imagery of peace and serenity causes one to strive for such enlightenment.

After an extensive examination of both works, one’s understanding of Oedipus Rex the play, Oedipus the character, and one’s self is heightened. One can better understand how Tiresias, Oedipus, and one’s self are bound to the ways of the flesh. One also understands that in order to break free from the ways of man, one must reach enlightenment which is done when one is touched by the Gods.

Works Cited

Sophocles. “Oedipus Rex.” Elements of Literature. Ed. Robert Scholes, Nancy R. Comley, Carl H. Klaus, and David Staines. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1990. 714-757.

Tennyson. “Tiresias.” ENGOA1 Handout.

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