In addition to being one of the most well-known works ever written in English, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is also widely regarded as a seminal work in the gothic horror subgenre. The novella has also had a significant cultural influence, with the term “Jekyll and Hyde” entering everyday use to describe someone who seems kind on the outside but capable of stunning acts of evil when alone. Jekyll argues that people have two distinct personalities instead of just one, and he likens the human soul to a battlefield where an angel and a devil fight for dominance. This paper will discuss how Jekyll is responsible for the crimes of Mr. Hyde.
Since Dr. Jekyll is accountable for everything that Mr. Hyde did, including his crimes and terrible death, he must bear full responsibility for everything that Mr. Hyde did wrong. Dr. Jekyll’s evil side is embodied by Mr. Hyde, who does all the heinous acts that Jekyll himself desires to do as he remarks in end, “It was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was, and, with even a deeper trench than in the majority of men, severed in me those provinces of good and ill which divide and compound man’s dual nature.” (Stevenson, 2017). Despite how different Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seem to be, the two have more in common than meets the eye. Even while on the surface, Jekyll seems to be the more moral and kinder of the two characters, with all his philanthropic activities and reputation as a courteous and likeable man, he never truly personifies virtue to the level that Hyde does evil. Despite his most incredible efforts, Jekyll can only separate his negative from his positive traits, leaving his Jekyll self just as confused as before. The more offensive side of Jekyll’s character is liberated from the restrictions of his morals, but Jekyll himself is never released.
Since Hyde made Dr. Jekyll realize his guilt and the belief that the only way out was to take the poison and sacrifice himself, he cannot be held accountable for his crimes and the deaths of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. According to the text, in Jekyll’s confession, Jekyll admits that he was so embarrassed by what Hyde had done that he tried desperately to keep Jekyll locked up. Hyde impacted Jekyll’s feelings in this manner, as shown by the fact that, after all of Hyde’s awful deeds, Jekyll felt so terrible that he drank the poison to kill himself. In addition, the text demonstrates that Hyde did not commit himself to escape being detected; instead, Jekyll murdered him and then sacrificed himself. Since Jekyll murdered Hyde to end what he and Hyde had been up to, this demonstrates that Hyde shared responsibility for their deaths. However, Hyde could not even partly culpable since Jekyll created him. Nevertheless, Hyde finally dominated Jekyll’s actions, leaving Jekyll feeling guilty and that he needed to sacrifice himself to halt what Hyde was doing. Hence, it may be inferred that Dr. Jekyll was responsible for all evils committed by Mr. Hyde because Dr. Jekyll was the real driving force behind all the evils doing of Mr. Hyde.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. (2017). Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Pan Macmillan. (Original work published 1886)