Discuss how Conan Doyle presents the character of Dr Roylott in The Speckled Band
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Discuss how Conan Doyle presents the character of Dr Roylott in The Speckled Band The Speckled Band is a story from the Sherlock Holmes series written by Conan Doyle. The story is of the detective genre and takes place in and around London. The main characters are Sherlock Holmes, his assistant Dr Watson, Dr Roylott and Helen Stoner. The story is written from Dr Watson's point of view and therefore the character of Dr Roylott is presented from Watsons opinions. The story is also written in the past tense from Watson's point of view this creates tension in the story telling as the reader can only learn about things that have already happened. In the story Dr Roylott's character is portrayed as a villain before he is directly introduced in the story, his character is introduced by Helen stoner so that the reader gets a chance to portray Roylott before he is introduced and this gives him a sense of infamy. Helen describes the Dr by explaining to Holmes the background of Roylott, explaining his violent past in India 'he beat his native butler to death' this shows that Roylott has a violent past and is a villainous character, this suggests the idea that it would not have been beyond Roylott to murder.
This creates tension towards the character of Roylott as the reader is uncertain of him; this is intensified by the fact that he has not even been directly introduced yet. Helen describes how it became common place for Roylott to quarrel and fight with the villagers and anyone bothering him. Helen describes a time when 'he hurled the local blacksmith over a parapet into a stream' this particular incident is an example of how Doyle wants Roylott to be perceived as he has lost his temper and is involved in violence, which presents his character as even more violent and aggressive. It is also mentioned the he was fighting a blacksmith which are stereotypically large men as is required by their work, this association makes the reader think of Roylott as a strong and intimidating person as he is able to handle himself well. This association is an example of how Doyle presents the character, more specifically the behaviour and the kind of person he has become Dr Roylott has become. When after Helen's mother died she set an allowance for Dr Roylott so that he would be able to take care of her
Throughout the story we are presented the idea by Doyle that Roylott is a killer. This is done using different methods for example when Helen tells Holmes about Roylott a motive to do with money is suggested, this is not proven at first but implies that his character is avaricious and ruthless when it comes to satisfying his greed. Doyle also suggest the ruthless nature of Roylott when he threatens Holmes 'see that you keep yourself out of my grip' this threat suggests the cold-blooded nature of Roylott and is an example of how Doyle presents him in this way. Explain how effectively Doyle presents the character of Roylott. Conan Doyle presents the character of Dr Roylott with many different methods however most all portray him as a villainous and loathsome character. A less obvious point Doyle may be associating his character with is the fact that his title is 'Dr' this is out of place as doctors are usually respectful members of society and being a murderous mad man is not what would be expected of a doctor. This is one way Doyle presents the character of Roylott being an irregular character. Because of small points like this that Doyle makes I believe that Doyle effectively presents the character of Dr Roylott.
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