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How does Conan Doyle develop the villainous characters in 'The Adventures if Sherlock Holmes'?

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Introduction

How does Conan Doyle develop the villainous characters in 'The Adventures if Sherlock Holmes'? The language used by Conan Doyle is quite specific. He uses a lot of similes to describe his villains such as his description of Dr Roylott "gave him the resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey" on page 185. How he describes all of the villains in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are very detailed and, I think, quite similar because for all of them he describes their clothes as much as their physical appearances. The language used is for the purpose of really getting the villain's character across to the audience, to make them understand why the people in the book fear them or respect them. This is to make it so that when it comes to the end of the story with Holmes's conclusion the audience aren't confused as to how he got from one point to another. The physical appearances of the characters are very different as they vary from a scary old doctor to a young assistant. The appearances of the villains aren't really stereotypes but do all contain a certain typical aspect of a villain. Dr Roylott in particular seems very sinister just because of how he is described, as "marked with every evil passion" on page 185. ...read more.

Middle

Although they are typical of the detective genre, the stories and characters are still very different from each other which helps to hide the suspect when it comes to reading one story after another so that it is a surprise to find out who did it every time. The thing that is most typical of this genre is that nearly all of the characters in these stories, have a sidekick or and accomplice. The way the villains are described is designed to make the audience feel scared or fearful of the character as if they are an actual person you are meeting, not just a character out of a book. For instance the fact that one of the characters is foreign, makes the audience immediately feel wary and suspicious and they immediately mistrust him, which is how they are meant to feel towards that character. Some of the developments on the characters are there to trick the audience into believing something, for example, the audience are lead to believe that Vincent Spaulding is a "smart assistant" (page 33) whereas he is really called John Clay and is a "murderer, thief, smasher and forger" (Page 48). I think that Conan Doyle's style of writing is very effective, as his stories were popular when they were first released and still are today. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the moral of the story is that the villains in the stories always get their comeuppance. For example, in 'The Engineers Thumb' Colonel Lysander Stark gets away, but the person he's working with looses his house and they have to move to a different country where no-one will recognise them. Also in 'The Speckled Band' Dr Roylott kills someone with a swamp adder which then turns on him and he "died within ten seconds of being bitten". This shows that criminals never get away with it and the hero's of the story always find them out. I think that Victorians enjoyed Conan Doyle's detective stories so much because, I imagine, it made them feel safer as in those times there were people like Jack the Ripper on the loose and the fact that the criminals were, more often than not, caught in these stories, it helped Victorians believe that there was justice after all, because, lets face it, the police weren't very good at their jobs and so couldn't give people the security they needed. The fact that the crimes in these books were common ones only made them even better as it showed that there are ways of solving crimes. I think that these were also fairly popular because there couldn't have been very many detective stories around at that time. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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