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Analyse the way the villain is presented in three Sherlock Holmes stories

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Introduction

Analyse the way the villain is presented in three Sherlock Holmes stories. Is there a stereotype? In Conan Doyle's stories, 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band', 'Silver Blaze' and 'The Adventures of the Dancing Men.' the villain is always used as the key element. It's interesting that Doyle always makes the villain more fascinating than the hero. This is certainly true in each of these of these stories. In the Speckled Band, the villain is a Dr Roylott. This was not made clear to the reader until the very end of the story, a trick that Conan Doyle uses in all three of these stories. Dr Roylott is the stepfather to Helen Stoner and her sister Julia Stoner. He is presented by Helen Stoner in the beginning of the story when she goes to visit Sherlock Holmes. She describes past events and her suspicions about her stepfather. She begins by flattering Sherlock Holmes by saying 'I have heard..., that you can see deeply into the manifold wickedness of the human heart.' She then begins from the beginning telling Mr. Holmes everything about her life and why she ended up at his door. She starts by describing her stepfather as a man who is the last survivor of one of the oldest Saxon families in England. He has access to �1000 a year which was left to him by his wife, a vast sum in those days. ...read more.

Middle

Although we are lead to believe that John Straker is a main villain he also is a main victim because in the story Straker is murdered. In 'Silver Blaze' there is no murder as such. The killing is carried out by a terrified horse, and that is a surprise in itself. John Straker went down to the stables in the dead of the night and took out Silver Blaze. He did this by 'drugging his own stable boy'. He was very clever about drugging the stable boy because he had waited until the opportunity came to mix his opium powder with something that would be able to 'disguise the taste'. He and his wife found the perfect thing which was a lovely supper of 'curried mutton'. Straker then went into the stable and 'struck a match' in order to see what he was doing. He was attempting to do a 'delicate' piece of surgery on the horse that he had previously been attempting to do on sheep. This was just practice for him so he would get it right on Silver Blaze. He made 'a slight nick upon the tendons of Silver Blaze's ham.' This would then develop into slight lameness which would be put down to a strain in exercise. So therefore there would never be any suspicion falling on him. When John Straker was next found dead on the Moor they noticed that he had a piece of paper in his pocket which was a bill not addressed to is name. ...read more.

Conclusion

He is presented as having a bristly black beard and a great aggressive hooked nose, which is an almost obligatory feature of a stereotypical villain. He flourished a cane when he walked. Conan Doyle has presented this villain like the villain Silas Brown in 'Silver Blaze' because in that story he, too, was swinging a riding crop. He has made it so they have the same sort of similarities. He uses this to stereotype the villains. Conan Doyle shows us two sides of this villain by showing that he is capable of killing an innocent man all for the love of Elsie. He says 'he would not harm a hair of her head'. He is then appalled when he sees the injuries he has caused and the resulting grief. When Abe is arrested by Holmes he glares, with 'blazing black eyes.' His attitude is very villainous in all of this. In all of Conan Doyle's stories he stereotypes the villains by giving them all the features of the villains we are all used to hearing about in fairy tales. He always makes us focus on a point which will lead us off track of the real villain so it is an excitement to us when we finally find out who the real villain actually is. I think this is a really good way of doing this because then the reader will always want to carry on reading to see who the villain really is. ...read more.

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