Words To That Effect #35 | Jekyll and Hyde

For most people today, I think it’s fair to say, the story of Jekyll and Hyde is a rough outline of a tale, a fairly straightforward allegory of the potential dark side within us all. Read Robert Louis Stevenson’s original novella, however, and you immediately realise there is so much to this masterpiece of 19th century fiction. There are numerous reasons the story has become embedded in popular culture, and countless interpretations of what the story really means. It has everything: dreams and reality, psychology and medicine, good and evil, degeneracy and criminality, sexuality and self-identity, blackmail, murder, addiction, religion. Have I forgotten anything?
Joining me this week to discuss the legacy of Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is Professor Anne Stiles of St Louis University, Missouri. We discuss the origins of the tale, Stevenson’s elusiveness about its interpretation, contemporary cases of dual personality…and lighthouse engineering (really).
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