The Film Adaptation Of The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Hartswood Films produced the British television series, Jekyll, in July of 2007. Although formally titled an adaptation of the famous literary novella, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, this five-episode series is often described by its creators as a sequel to the novelette. Actively using Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale in the series serves as a backstory to the main character, a modern-day Dr. Jekyll, and of course, Mr. Hyde. Adaptation in literature is literally defined as the adapting of a literary source to another genre or medium. In this case specifically, the novella was uniquely adapted from literature to film for various expressive purposes.

Perhaps most significantly, such an adaptation appeals to audiences because it already has attracted a group of followers. Throughout history, the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has been adapted countless times, and certainly innumerable times before this series was produced. This illusion of originality challenges literature’s one-sided art form, which in my opinion, is rather captivating. It also tests the assumption that the author’s writing is what we read. The simple way that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote this story allows the reader to fill in the blanks, resulting in countless adaptations, all of which are innovative in their own ways.

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What makes this new-aged Jekyll and Hyde-inspired television series so unique is simply the way it was adapted. This classic tale takes a turn for the unexpected and, as a “sequel” to the novella, gives closure to the primary fable. The plot alone takes this classic story and pushes it to boundaries not yet portrayed since the novella was written in 1886. It follows Doctor Tom Jackman, who, at the start of the series, has abruptly abandoned his wife and two sons to live in a basement flat. Throughout the show, we are introduced to various characters, most of whom the audience can deductively relate to the characters in the novella.

For example, Dr. Jackman as well as his alter ego Mr. Hyde hire a psychiatric nurse to assist them with their condition, similar to the servant in the novella. Also, there is of course a Mr. Utterson, though the viewer soon comes to realize it is a Ms. Utterson rather and, more complicatedly, this is actually the “Hyde” of Jackman’s mother. Overall, however, the Hyde that we see in the series is extremely relatable to that of the original tale, yet completely dissimilar.

In the television series, Hyde exhibits rage, superior strength, swiftness, and a more coquettish manner. He is also younger and more appealing, contrasting the novella’s vague, off-putting description of Mr. Hyde. Ingeniously, this series employs depth by including a private security team that has stalked Jackman his entire life in an attempt to keep his dark side in check. As Jackman is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson’s original Mr. Hyde, the show also pays homage to the literal novella. In the end, the audience realizes that the “potion” Stevenson described was fiction, and it was the woman Jekyll loved who truly triggered such a transformation. The surveillance company, therefore, created a clone of the woman Jekyll loved to trigger his transformations, this woman being Dr. Jackman’s wife, Claire. From this complex plot emerges a classic literary tale. This adaptation allows for a historic and fictional melding of a piece of literature that is still being adapted today. Just as in biology, adaptation and variation are integral parts of nature and the artistic culture we immerse ourselves in daily.

The Loyal Personality Of Gabriel Utterson In The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

Within Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde novella, Mr. Gabriel Utterson demonstrates loyal conduct. To this end, Mr. Utterson abides by the instructions he receives from Dr. Hastie Lanyon. In addition, Mr. Utterson follows up on the murder of a major client and thus indentifies not only the murderer and the murder weapon, but also locates the corpse.

This essay highlights Mr. Utterson by examining the following aspects: Mr. Utterson abides by the instructions he receives from Dr. Hastie Lanyon; and Mr. Utterson follows up on the murder of a major client and thus indentifies not only the murderer and the murder weapon, but also locates the corpse. To illustrate his loyal personality, Mr. Utterson abides by the instructions he receives from Dr. Lanyon. In this regard, as he dies, Dr. Lanyon leaves Mr. Utterson an envelope. Within this envelope is another envelope.

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Nevertheless, Dr. Lanyon instructs Mr. Utterson not to immediately open this envelope. Rather, Dr. Lanyon instructs Mr. Utterson to open this second envelope only after Dr. Henry Jekyll dies or disappears. True to Dr. Lunyon’s instructions, Mr. Utterson does not immediately open this second envelope (Stevenson, n.d.). While reviewing this scenario, a reader would validly hold that Mr. Utterson is loyal to Dr. Lanyon. Such loyalty causes Mr. Utterson to faithfully follow the instructions of Dr. Lanyon, a close friend. This is more so because Dr. Lanyon is already dead and cannot thus realistically punish Mr. Utterson in case Mr. Utterson fails to abide by these instructions. If he were not loyal, Mr. Utterson would disregard the instructions given by Dr. Lanyon?

Considering that he instead chooses to stick to these instructions, Mr. Utterson highlights his loyal personality. Mr. Utterson further demonstrates his loyal personality by following up on the murder of a major client to the extent that he identifies not only the murder and the murder, but also locates the corpse. Due to his investigative activities, Mr. Utterson finds out that Mr. Edward Hyde is responsible for this murder. Moreover, Mr. Utterson finds out the identity of the murder weapon that Mr. Hyde has used. Mr. Utterson also locates the corpse of his murdered client (Ibid.). To be able to make all these discoveries, Mr. Utterson obviously uses much time and other resources. Given this fact, a reader would think that the murdered client is Mr. Utterson’s relative. Given that this client is not a relative of Mr. Utterson, Mr. Utterson’s input in investigating the murder of this client highlights his (Mr. Utterson’s) loyalty. A reader can validly hold that Mr. Utterson seeks to repay this client for the cooperation that this client has extended to Mr. Utterson.

In this way, without compulsion, Mr. Utterson devotes his resources to investigating his client’s murder. From this analysis, it is clear that Mr. Utterson is a loyal character. In conclusion, Mr. Utterson illustrates the character trait of loyalty within Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To this end, Mr. Utterson abides by the instructions he receives from Dr. Lanyon. Moreover, Mr. Utterson follows up on the murder of a key client and identifies not only the murderer and the murder weapon, but also locates the dead body. It is interesting that Stevenson uses Mr. Utterson to highlight the virtue of loyalty. Based on this idea, a reader could investigate the views of Stevenson’s contemporaries concerning loyalty.

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