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Jekyll and Hyde & Frankenstein Notes. Robert Louis Stevenson. Background. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on November 13, 1850 Died from a brain hemorrhage in Vailima, Samoa, on December 3, 1894 Plagued by ill health throughout life which interrupted formal education

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Jekyll and hyde frankenstein notes
Jekyll and Hyde&Frankenstein Notes


  • Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on November 13, 1850

  • Died from a brain hemorrhage in Vailima, Samoa, on December 3, 1894

  • Plagued by ill health throughout life which interrupted formal education

  • No desire for the family business (lighthouse engineering), so studied law at Edinburgh University from 1867-1872

  • Went against parent’s religion and became a bohemian

  • Married Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne in May of 1880

  • Also wrote Treasure Island in 1883


  • Born in London, England, on August 30,1797

  • Died of a brain tumor in London, England, on February 1, 1851

  • Daughter of ardent feminist Mary Wollestonecraft who died giving birth to Mary Shelley

  • Little formal education

  • Married Percy Bysshe Shelley in 1816

  • Wrote Frankenstein the summer of 1816 (age 19) for a ghost-story contest that her neighbor Lord Byron created

  • Half-sister committed suicide

Background cont
Background (cont..)

  • William Godwin (father) disowned Mary

  • First child died soon after birth

  • Husband drowned in Gulf of La Spezia in 1822

  • Received marriage proposals from Trelawney, John Howard Payne, and Washington Irving but never remarried

Gothic literature
Gothic Literature

  • Subgenre of the Romantic movement of the 19th Century

  • Began in 1764 with the novel The Castle of Otranto written by Horace Walpole

  • Giorgio Vasari, the famous art critic of the Renaissance, termed this style “Gothic” because he believed it was crude and barbaric

  • Incorporates elements both of romance and horror

  • Prominent features include terror, mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, hereditary curses, Gothic architecture, castles, and death


  • Emotion more important than reason

  • Wanted social, political, and economic change

  • Late Romantics-turned to radical

  • Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe

Common themes
Common Themes

  • Ambition

  • Losing a sense of oneself

  • Abortion

  • Importance of Reputation

  • Dangerous Knowledge

  • Monstrosity

Main characters
Main Characters

  • Dr. Henry Jekyll - A respected doctor and friend of both Lanyon, a fellow physician, and Utterson, a lawyer.

  • Mr. Edward Hyde -  A strange, repugnant man who looks faintly pre-human. Hyde is Jekyll’s dark side, released from the bonds of conscience and loosed into the world by a mysterious potion.

  • Mr. Gabriel John Utterson -  A prominent and upstanding lawyer, well respected in the London community.

  • Dr. Hastie Lanyon -  A reputable London doctor and, along with Utterson, formerly one of Jekyll’s closest friends.

  • Mr. Poole -  Jekyll’s butler. Mr. Poole is a loyal servant, having worked for the doctor for twenty years.


  •   Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an unusual and mysterious novel describing how a talented scientist develops his own drug that changes his personality. The story starts out with an old man that is in a rush and tramples over a young and innocent girl. Later in the novel the reader finds out that this old man is actually Dr. Jekyll. Then Dr. Jekyll consumes his drug which brings out his evil side and whom is called Mr. Hyde. While being in this state of Mr. Hyde he murders a respectable man and a Member of Parliament named Sir Danvers Carew. Sir Danvers Carew is a client of Mr. Utterson (a lawyer and friend of Dr. Jekyll’s). Mr. Utterson suspected that Mr. Hyde killed this man and had the police investigate this death more in depth.

Summary cont
Summary (cont..)

  • Mr. Utterson knew Dr. Jekyll associated with Mr. Hyde and wondered if Dr. Jekyll had heard anything about the situation.  Dr. Jekyll replied with something along the lines of I no longer keep in contact with him.  Therefore there wasn’t much the investigators could gooff of and some time passed and then Dr. Jekyll wrote to Mr. Utterson. The letter contains and reveals everything; Dr. Jekyll describes the potion that he has been taking and says that he no longer has a critical ingredient and will permanently stay as Mr. Hyde. With this note Dr. Jekyll’s life comes to an end and the novel as a whole.

Main characters1
Main Characters

  • Victor Frankenstein  -  The doomed protagonist and narrator of the main portion of the story. Studying in Ingolstadt, Victor discovers the secret of life and creates an intelligent but grotesque monster, from whom he recoils in horror.

  • The monster -  The eight-foot-tall, hideously ugly creation of Victor Frankenstein.

  • Alphonse Frankenstein -  Victor’s father, very sympathetic toward his son.

  • Elizabeth Lavenza -  An orphan, four to five years younger than Victor, whom the Frankenstein’s adopt.

Main characters cont
Main Characters (cont..)

  • Henry Clerval -  Victor’s boyhood friend and also begins to follow in Victor’s footsteps as a scientist.

  • William Frankenstein -  Victor’s youngest brother and the darling of the Frankenstein family.

  • Robert Walton  -  The Arctic seafarer who picks the bedraggled Victor Frankenstein up off the ice, helps nurse him back to health, and hears Victor’s story. Robert writes to his sister describing Victor Frankenstein’s story.

  • Mrs. Margaret Saville: Sister of Robert Walton, ship captain, Mrs. Saville is significant because she is the recipient of the letters describing Frankenstein's story.