Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde
Publisher: The Copyright Group Ltd.
Date: May 2017
Duration: 2 hours 24 minutes
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an unusually complex novel. The reader is left guessing as to the true nature of the evil Mr Hyde, and what his hold over the benevolent Dr Jekyll may be, until almost the end. Then the truth is revealed in retrospect, by letter, and a number of baffling events are finally explained. Acting as a backcloth to the character's confusion and despair are the foggy, sinister streets of Victorian London.
1. AN EVIL STORY. Utterson is the perfect lawyer: dry, scrupulous and discreet. His friend, Richard Enfield, with who he takes a walk every Sunday, seems equally unexciting. But, as they pass a dingy doorway, Enfield relates a disturbing tale. One night, he saw a small, ill-looking man knock over a little girl and deliberately trample on her. When cornered, the man showed no signs of regret, but he went in through the doorway and emerged with a cheque to compensate the family. The man's name was Hyde.
2. FRUITLESS ENQUIRES. That evening, Utterson re-reads the bizarre will made by his fiend Dr Jekyll, in which he leaves everything to Edward Hyde. Determined to discover more, he calls on Dr Lanyon, who has long known Jekyll, but learns nothing except that Lanyon and Jekyll have quarrelled over a medical matter. Utterson decides to approach Hyde himself, surprising him one night. Hyde lets Utterson see him and gives him his address, but the lawyer remains curious. Calling on Jekyll, Utterson speaks to his butler, Poole, and learns that the staffs have been instructed to obey Hyde, who normally enters and leaves Jekyll's house by the laboratory door. Some weeks later, after a dinner party, Utterson asks Jekyll directly about Hyde but only succeeds in annoying him. Finally, he agrees to Jekyll's request that he help Hyde in legal matters.
3. AN ATROCIOUS CRIME. Late one night, a maid, looking out from her bedroom window, sees Sir Danvers Carew, an elderly MP, savagely beaten to death by Hyde. Utterson leads the police to Hyde's room, but he has fled. Utterson then calls on Jekyll, who is distraught, but who promises that Hyde will never be seen again and gives Utterson a letter from Hyde to that effect but Guest, Utterson's clerk, reveals that the letter is in Jekyll's hand.
4. DEEP MYSTERIES. For a while Jekyll seems his old sociable self, then he withdraws from the world again, calling on Dr Lanyon, Utterson finds him a sick man-with a bitter hatred for Jekyll. When Lanyon dies, he leaves a letter that is not to be opened until Jekyll's death. Utterson hears only grim news of Jekyll through Poole the butler, until one day, walking with Enfield, he sees the doctor sitting at a window. They start to talk, but terror strikes Jekyll and slams the window shut. Soon after, Poole calls on Utterson to tell him that he fears foul play.
5. CONFRONTATION. Utterson accompanies Poole to Jekyll's house. Poole explains that he is extremely anxious about his master, whom he has heard groaning and pacing about his laboratory, but whom who has not seem for weeks - although he has glimpsed Hyde. They knock on the laboratory door and both feel sure that the voice which tells them to go away is not Jekyll's. Finally, they break the door down. Lying dead on the floor is the wretched form of Hyde. Of Jekyll there is no sign - expcept a will and a letter.
6. SECRET TRANSFORMATION. Utterson reads the letter left by Dr Lanyon. It relates how Lanyon has received a note from Jekyll, imploring him, as an old friend, exactly as requested: go to Jekyll's house, break open a cabinet and take all the chemicals from a certain drawer home with him. Lanyon does this and then receives a call from Hyde, whom he has never seen before. Hyde drinks the chemicals and, before Lanyon's horrified eyes changes into Jekyll.
7. CONFESSION. In the letter he has left for Utterson, Jekyll says that he was born wealthy and talented, and won success and friends, but that in his research he was drawn towards the mystical, especially towards exploring the dual nature of humanity. He experimented with many chemicals, finally finding a mixture which could change him and release his evil alter ego - a character whom he called Hyde. Exulting in evil, Hyde committed crimes that the doctor would never have put his hand to. Jekyll provided for Hyde, renting rooms for him in Soho and making him his heir. Then one morning, he woke up in bed and found to his horror that he had unexpectedly become Hyde - without the use of chemicals.
8. INTO THE ABYSS. Shocked that his alter ego had the power to overthrow his better self, Jekyll says that he abstained his original identity, but eventually succumbed. Having been suppressed for many weeks, Hyde was inflamed with anger and killed Sir Danvers. Once again, Jekyll vowed never to touch the drug, but one day he changed in to Hyde without warning and had to beg Lanyon for help. From then on he needed the chemicals in order not to become Hyde, and hid in his laboratory as his supplies ran low finally, he came to accept the end of his life as Jekyll, wondering whether Hyde would hang or find the courage to end his own life.