Character Analysis in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Mr. Gabriel Utterson: Mr. Utterson is the novel’s narrator, lawyer to Dr. Jekyll. He is loyal to his friends, and strives to get to the bottom of Jekyll and Hyde’s relationship without ruining the reputation of the former. Through investigating the strange goings-on in London, Utterson serves as a stand-in for the reader and represents the ideal Victorian: he is temperate, concerned with the appearance of decorum, and values rationality.
Dr. Henry Jekyll: Dr. Henry Jekyll is a brilliant, exceptionally well-educated physician. Behind the mask of his stellar reputation, Jekyll is an eccentric, tortured person. In his free time he pursues his interest in the occult and mystical realms of scientific knowledge. Spurring on Jekyll’s investigations are his internal moral struggles with the portions of himself which he deems evil. As the story progresses, these struggles begin to take over his life entirely.
Mr. Edward Hyde: Edward Hyde is a mysterious, dwarf-like man who haunts the streets of London by night, particularly the disreputable neighborhood of Soho. Mr. Hyde is everything a proper Victorian citizen strives not to be: violent, ugly, wicked, and lustful. As Mr. Utterson pursues his investigations, the riddle of Hyde’s dark origins slowly comes to light.
Dr. Hastie Lanyon: Dr. Lanyon is a friend to both Utterson and Jekyll, as well as a successful physician in his own right. In many ways, Lanyon is a foil to Jekyll: he is a rationalist in the realm of the sciences and thus despises Jekyll’s occult inclinations.
Character Analysis Examples in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde:
"“I incline to Cain’s heresy,” he used to say, quaintly; “I let my brother go to the devil in his own way.”..." See in text (Chapter One)
"through wider labyrinths of lamplighted city, and at every street corner crush a child and leave her screaming...." See in text (Chapter Two)
"This document had long been the lawyer’s eyesore. It offended him both as a lawyer and as a lover of the sane and customary sides of life, to whom the fanciful was the immodest...." See in text (Chapter Two)
"She had an evil face, smoothed by hypocrisy, but her manners were excellent...." See in text (Chapter Four)
"The dismal quarter of Soho seen under these changing glimpses, with its muddy ways, and slatternly passengers, and its lamps..." See in text (Chapter Four)
"If I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also. I could not think that this earth contained a place for sufferings and terrors so unmanning;..." See in text (Chapter Six)
"I sometimes think, if we knew all, we should be more glad to get away.”..." See in text (Chapter Six)
"I became, in my own person, a creature eaten up and emptied by fever, languidly weak both in body and mind, and solely occupied by one thought: the horror of my other self...." See in text (Chapter Ten)
"it fell out with me, as it falls with so vast a majority of my fellows, that I chose the better part and was found wanting in the strength to keep to it...." See in text (Chapter Ten)
"It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous fagots were thus bound together’that in the agonized womb of consciousness..." See in text (Chapter Ten)