The Characters in Jekyll and Hyde
This section explains the main characters in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Dr. Henry Jekyll
Dr Jekyll is a respected doctor and friend of both Lanyon, a fellow physician, and Utterson, a lawyer. Dr Jekyll is well known in the community and known for his decency and charitable works, he is a seemingly prosperous man. Since his youth, however, he has secretly engaged in unspecified dissolute and corrupt behaviour. Troubled by is dark side Dr Jekyll undertakes experiments intending to separate his good and evil sides from one another. Through these experiments, he creates Mr. Hyde, finding a way to transform himself in such a way that he fully becomes his darker side.
Mr. Edward Hyde
Mr Hyde is a strange, violent and cruel man who looks faintly pre-human. Hyde is described by other characters as ugly and deformed, yet no one can say exactly why. He is not a creature who belongs to the rational world, the world of conscious articulation or logical grammar. 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
Mr Utterson is a prominent and upstanding lawyer, well respected in the London community. Utterson is reserved, dignified, and perhaps even lacking somewhat in imagination, but he does seem to possess a furtive curiosity about the more sordid side of life. His rationalism, however, makes him ill-equipped to deal with the supernatural nature of the Jekyll-Hyde connection. While not a man of science, Utterson represents middle-class Victorian society in his devotion to reasonable explanations and his denial of the supernatural.
Dr. Hastie Lanyon
Dr Lanyon is reputable London doctor and, along with Utterson, formerly one of Jekyll’s closest friends. Dr Lanyon is the embodiment of rationalism, materialism, and scepticism, who serves as a foil (a character whose attitudes or emotions contrast with, and thereby illuminate, those of another character) for Jekyll. His death represents the more general victory of supernaturalism over materialism in the novel.
Mr Poole is Dr Jekyll’s butler is a loyal servant, having worked for the doctor for twenty years, and his concern for his master eventually drives him to seek Utterson’s help when he becomes convinced that something has happened to Jekyll.
Mr Enfield is a distant cousin and lifelong friend of Mr. Utterson. Like Utterson, Enfield is reserved, formal, and scornful of gossip; indeed, the two men often walk together for long stretches without saying a word to one another.
Mr Guest is Utterson’s clerk and confidant. Guest is also an expert in handwriting. His skill proves particularly useful when Utterson wants him to examine a bit of Hyde’s handwriting. Guest notices that Hyde’s script is the same as Jekyll’s, but slanted the other way.
Sir Danvers Carew MP
Sir Danvers Carew is a wealthy and well-liked old nobleman, a member of Parliament, and a client of Utterson.
A Maid whose employer Hyde had once visited, is the only person who claims to have witnessed the murder of Sir Danvers Carew. She states that she saw Hyde murder Carew with Jekyll's cane and his feet. Having fainted after seeing what happened, she then wakes up and rushes to the police.