Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Essay: Duplcity

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Leah Brayshaw
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Hello, I’ve done a Dr Jekyll and Hyde Essay about duplicity and how Stevenson highlights humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil through characters Jekyll and Hyde.
Please could you briefly mark this, don’t mind if one or two of you, and also if possible give me an estimated overall grade and score of the essay.
Thank-you!
PS: I’ve made this essay question up.

Q: How does Stevenson present the theme of duplicity throughout the novella and the extract?

In Stevenson’s tragic novella, the theme of duplicity is presented through the two juxtaposing characters: Jekyll and Hyde. Stevenson inserts this to imply humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil. These characters bring to life the metaphorical struggle between the two powers in Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist: duality.

Starting with the extract, Stevenson presents the theme of duplicity through the antithetical characters (Jekyll and Hyde) to portray humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil. These characters are shown to bring back to life the metaphorical struggle between the two powers of Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist in the expedition: ‘The Story Of The Door’. Stevenson presents the theme of duplicity first through the oxymoronic phrase of Hyde “trampled calmly” over a “screaming child”. The past participle verb of “trampled” associates with this animalistic reference of Hyde’s “devilish” antagonist; further implicating Hyde’s dissociated character from society. This further classified Hyde as this diabolical insertion of duplicity which everyone seems to have inside, claimed through Freud’s Theory. This animalistic terminology empathisers Stevenson’s moral purpose as he aims to identify towards his current Victorian reader this conflicting force of good and evil as he highlights Hyde’s remorseful actions towards society and then ties it through the oxymoron by attaching the adverb of “calmly”.

Through this innocence imagery can be depicted that Stevenson indicates his moral message of inserting the theme of duplicity and the conflicting battle between the forces of good and evil as he tries to aim towards the contemporary reader that these contrasting terms are seen to be tentative cooperation between each other, however this is what an individual is made of: good or evil. It can be also foreseen metaphorically that Hyde tries to act maliciously evil towards the “child” whilst simultaneously Jekyll tries to “calmly” cover up his blasphemous crime. This further highlights Stevenson’s illustration through these two characters to bring to life the two powers of good and evil and the struggles between them to permanently take over the dichotomous ego of Jekyll: duality.

In Stevenson’s allegorical novella, the theme of duplicity is highlighted through the two contrasting characters of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ to implicate the conflicting forces of good and evil. Stevenson’s construction of the two characters brings to life the metaphorical struggle between the two powers in Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist. Stevenson depicts his moral through the scene of “the first fog” and how it “lowers” over Soho “like a great chocolate pall”. The sue of the fricative sounds of “first fog” exemplifies the echoing conflicting forces between the two powers of duplicity, mimicking the metaphorical struggle between evil and good of Jekyll and Hyde. These fricative insertions can be further added by Stevenson to empathise this metaphorical ammunition that is constantly inflicted by the two states of duality and how they continue to fight for the ego of Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist.

The semantic field of obscurity demonstrates the metaphorical “mask” of an individual presented through Jekyll himself. Stevenson also highlights the theme of duplicity through Jekyll and Hyde implicitly in the simile of “like a city in a nightmare”. This comparison conveys duality and how there is these two powers of good and evil which fight for their inevitable share of the dichotomous. The simile implies that the “city” – Soho – is not as a nightmare; perhaps that it has some memories to treasure as well as misdeed crimes to consider. This echoes Stevenson’s moral message of why he presents the theme of duplicity through Hyde and Jekyll themselves.

Although not stated explicitly throughout the play, their resources can be also depicted of their social statues and attitudes towards society. For example, back in the Victorian era, Soho was a city full of misdeeds and under classes individuals who barely had a penny to spare. This can be further addition to Lombross’s theory of how stereotypical statements are provoked towards individuals who may have an appearance of an underclasses citizen or either they are one themselves. The fluctuated contrast between a “nightmare” and Soho itself mimics Stevenson’s purpose of crafting these juxtaposing characters as duplicity is implied through the conflicting force of good and evil shown through the simile.

This negative imagery allows the contemporary reader to caution on others and to never judge a cover by its book. The use of the “pall” which “lowered” over Soho from society also identifies this theme of duplicity and how Soho has been dissociated just like Jekyll’s situated protagonist. Just like Jekyll, society has dissociated itself between the two powerful forces of good and evil as Stevenson perhaps may try to compliment on Freud’s Theory and how duality lives in very aspect around us; includes us and non-living. The “pall” implies biblical references of how metaphorically Soho is being dissociated from heaven, “the first fog” is obscuring its existence which echoes Hyde’s dissociation from Jekyll’s “heavenly” protagonist. This further implies Stevenson’s message of the humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil, trying to take their place permanently, neutralising the other. This cryptic implication provoked through the pathetic fallacy of “the fog” and how it “lowers” over Soho like a “pall” can also perhaps metaphorically indicate the struggle of the two powers of Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist because Hyde is shown to live in Soho whilst Jekyll seems to live an area where situated “heavenly morals” are placed. These juxtaposing areas in London imply the duality not only in man himself but in every aspect either implicit or explicit. This is where Stevenson echoes Jekyll’s protagonist struggles against Himself of the good power and against the evil self power of Hyde. Further linking to Freud’s theory, it can be implicated that Hyde is the id of the ego whilst Jekyll is the superego, inevitable towards the fixed position for Jekyll’s dichotomous ego.

Another way Stevenson presents the theme of duplicity through the two characters of Hyde and Jekyll is through the repetitive adjective of “pale” which both character express. Hyde is firstly described as this “pale and dwarfish” antagonists who had an “ape like fury” behaviour which again links back to Freud’s theory of the evil power. As well as this, Jekylls face is shown to turn “pale” towards Utterson when he talks about trying to “seek out Hyde”: duplicity. This use of the adjective crafts suspicious and blanked connotations which further portrays that the ego itself is blanked out by humankind’s continuing force between the two powers. Perhaps Stevenson indicates this moral to portray how duplicity is shown as a natural nature towards our ego and that this is what makes up a human being: evil and good. The connotation of nothingness can also mimic Stevenson’s highlight of this metaphorical struggle between the two powers which again Jekyll and Hyde make come to life for the contemporary Victorian reader to understand about a certain individual and perhaps to imply this “mask” which society wears to cover their own evil side; like Jekyll dissociating Hyde.

This adjective is repeated through both characters to imply the duplicity and that whatever an individual does to try to separate the inevitable is not always dissociated fully as Jekyll appears to have Hyde’s feature of a “pale” face as soon as “Hyde” is mentioned. This imagery of whiteness can also be linked to skeleton features which later links to death. This association is attaches can be inflicted upon the fact that perhaps both characters are degenerating due to humankind’s conflicting forces upon each other. This further explains why Stevenson indicates his moral of constructing both antithetical characters into the novella, yet the same inevitably, because these two powers are shown to metaphorically fight for Jekyll’s dichotomous protagonist.

In conclusion, Stevenson implies the theme of duplicity through the contrasting characters of Hyde and Jekyll to provoke humankind’s conflicting forces between good and evil. Alongside this, Stevenson also constructs these two characters to highlight this metaphorical struggle between the two powers which eager for Jekylls dichotomous protagonist: duality.
Last edited by Leah Brayshaw; 2 months ago
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ineedhelp101010
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hey, im not sure which exam board you are studying but (especially if it's aqa) here's a few things to keep in mind...
- each paragraph should have an overriding point which should only be analysed and expanded on within one paragraph to keep an organised structure throughout ur essay. it gets confusing when you state a quote in one paragraph then analyse it in the next
- try to make ur points differ from each other. u started one paragraph with "Starting with the extract, Stevenson presents the theme of duplicity through the antithetical characters (Jekyll and Hyde) to portray humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil." then another further on with similar "In Stevenson’s allegorical novella, the theme of duplicity is highlighted through the two contrasting characters of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ to implicate the conflicting forces of good and evil.". it's better for the examiner to see u can make a range of different points and perspectives on the same question
-i'm not sure how much of a tragic novel jekyll and hyde is so maybe try not to state that, and if you do (it can help sway the examiner) you only need to mention it once maybe in the intro - id say its more of a gothic novel

overall i think u have good terminology when analysing quotes, its generally just the structure of ur paragraphs that might need abit of work. again if ur doing aqa, go for an intro, 3 paragraphs, and a conclusion with pea or petal structures.

also, u included a lot of quotes which is good but maybe try to unpack further key words within them like: the simile "ape like fury" could allude the reader to ideas of Hyde's degressive and primitive nature which alligns with Lombrosso's idea of criminal atavism. the idea of Hyde's 'fury' creates a sense of unease and somewhat fear surrounding his character, perhaps provoking the audience to dislike or be discontent with hyde. stevenson may have portrayed hyde in this way to emphasise the idea that people who were not considered 'gentlemen' were likely to be viewed in a degrading manner...

something like that but thats not perfect but u get the idea...

i have no clue how to mark anything cos im in year 11 but hope this helps maybe?
Last edited by ineedhelp101010; 2 months ago
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Leah Brayshaw
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#3
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(Original post by ineedhelp101010)
hey, im not sure which exam board you are studying but (especially if it's aqa) here's a few things to keep in mind...
- each paragraph should have an overriding point which should only be analysed and expanded on within one paragraph to keep an organised structure throughout ur essay. it gets confusing when you state a quote in one paragraph then analyse it in the next
- try to make ur points differ from each other. u started one paragraph with "Starting with the extract, Stevenson presents the theme of duplicity through the antithetical characters (Jekyll and Hyde) to portray humankind’s conflicting forces of good and evil." then another further on with similar "In Stevenson’s allegorical novella, the theme of duplicity is highlighted through the two contrasting characters of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ to implicate the conflicting forces of good and evil.". it's better for the examiner to see u can make a range of different points and perspectives on the same question
-i'm not sure how much of a tragic novel jekyll and hyde is so maybe try not to state that, and if you do (it can help sway the examiner) you only need to mention it once maybe in the intro - id say its more of a gothic novel

overall i think u have good terminology when analysing quotes, its generally just the structure of ur paragraphs that might need abit of work. again if ur doing aqa, go for an intro, 3 paragraphs, and a conclusion with pea or petal structures.

also, u included a lot of quotes which is good but maybe try to unpack further key words within them like: the simile "ape like fury" could allude the reader to ideas of Hyde's degressive and primitive nature which alligns with Lombrosso's idea of criminal atavism. the idea of Hyde's 'fury' creates a sense of unease and somewhat fear surrounding his character, perhaps provoking the audience to dislike or be discontent with hyde. stevenson may have portrayed hyde in this way to emphasise the idea that people who were not considered 'gentlemen' were likely to be viewed in a degrading manner...

something like that but thats not perfect but u get the idea...

i have no clue how to mark anything cos im in year 11 but hope this helps maybe?
Thanks, I try to base it around the question and pick quotations which exemplify the duplicity, that’s why I haven’t really explored much perspective
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YOLO180905!
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(Original post by Leah Brayshaw)
Thanks, I try to base it around the question and pick quotations which exemplify the duplicity, that’s why I haven’t really explored much perspective
Hi do you have any predictions for the Jekyll and Hyde Q this year? AQA exam board (btw)....
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Leah Brayshaw
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(Original post by YOLO180905!)
Hi do you have any predictions for the Jekyll and Hyde Q this year? AQA exam board (btw)....
No sorry I’m only in Y10
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ineedhelp101010
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(Original post by YOLO180905!)
Hi do you have any predictions for the Jekyll and Hyde Q this year? AQA exam board (btw)....
i think it won't be on hyde or jekyll bcos those have come up in previous years so thinking something to do with utterson and lanyon? or maybe repression... idk. but the j+h questions don't seem that hard compared to other books but its th only one i dont have a real like predicition for its so annoying
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nabihaaa
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(Original post by ineedhelp101010)
i think it won't be on hyde or jekyll bcos those have come up in previous years so thinking something to do with utterson and lanyon? or maybe repression... idk. but the j+h questions don't seem that hard compared to other books but its th only one i dont have a real like predicition for its so annoying
Hey, do you think you could share your other predictions for english lit?
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YOLO180905!
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(Original post by nabihaaa)
Hey, do you think you could share your other predictions for english lit?
I think for Macbeth it's gonna be Macbeth himself (because AQA are trying to be nice this year also for the past few years they have been alternating between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth).... For love and relationships poetry I think it's gonna be a break up poem e.g. When we two parted or Neutral tones so yeah
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ineedhelp101010
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(Original post by nabihaaa)
Hey, do you think you could share your other predictions for english lit?
yeah ofc

im doing inspector calls, romeo and juliet and jekyll and hyde for aqa

I said what i thought ab j+h and honestly that test is gonna be dreadful so i guess ill just pray that goes alright

for inspector calls i really think it;ll be something to do with gerald, equality (or something to do with gender), or social class but social class did come up in 2017 so not sure about that. Ive seen loads of stuff saying they itll be the inspector but hes come up before (2017) so dont think itll be him but yeah

romeo and juliet i think itll be juliet, mercutio or fate. fate i feel like is most likely to come up </3
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nabihaaa
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(Original post by YOLO180905!)
I think for Macbeth it's gonna be Macbeth himself (because AQA are trying to be nice this year also for the past few years they have been alternating between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth).... For love and relationships poetry I think it's gonna be a break up poem e.g. When we two parted or Neutral tones so yeah
thank you so much!
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nabihaaa
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(Original post by ineedhelp101010)
yeah ofc

im doing inspector calls, romeo and juliet and jekyll and hyde for aqa

I said what i thought ab j+h and honestly that test is gonna be dreadful so i guess ill just pray that goes alright

for inspector calls i really think it;ll be something to do with gerald, equality (or something to do with gender), or social class but social class did come up in 2017 so not sure about that. Ive seen loads of stuff saying they itll be the inspector but hes come up before (2017) so dont think itll be him but yeah

romeo and juliet i think itll be juliet, mercutio or fate. fate i feel like is most likely to come up </3
thank you so much! <33
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