• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How typical a villain is Irene Adler in the Sherlock Holmes story: A Scandal in Bohemia?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How typical a villain is Irene Adler in the Sherlock Holmes story: 'A Scandal in Bohemia'? The Sherlock Holmes stories were a series of short stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, a 19th century writer. The stories centred on Sherlock Holmes, a detective, whom solved a variety of crimes using his intelligence and logic. Typically in these stories, the villain that Holmes defeats is male, commonly intelligent and is usually responsible for a serious crime. Doyle writes the endings to the stories in a similar fashion with Holmes outsmarting the villain, solving the crime and consequently resulting in good triumphing over evil and order being restored. In 'A Scandal in Bohemia', Holmes is called upon by the King of Bohemia who asks for Holmes to retrieve a photograph that threatens to jeopardize his reputation. The photograph is of him and Irene Adler, an intelligent, middle class woman whom he once had an affair with. Adler doesn't follow the typical rules of the villains in the Sherlock Holmes stories and gradually becomes a character we admire, as opposed to the King of Bohemia. ...read more.

Middle

Instead Doyle portrays her so that she simply doesn't follow the stereotypes Sherlock and 19th century Victorians assumed about all women. Aside from her distinctive male qualities, Holmes admires Adler's intelligence and the fact that she was able to outsmart him. Not many other villains tend to outsmart Holmes, so this comes as a shock to Holmes. Even more so because she is female. Holmes is portrayed to value intelligence higher than class, which was a major part of Victorian society. Adler is also shown to share these views. An example that she doesn't regard class highly is when she gives Holmes, who is disguised as a poor stable boy at the time, a sovereign. Holmes admires her very highly after this as he says he means to wear it on his watch-chain "in memory of the occasion". This would suggest that this is the point where Doyle starts to change the role of the typical villain from Adler to the King of Bohemia. ...read more.

Conclusion

In most of the Sherlock Holmes stories, if the villain outsmarts Holmes, it is rarely at the end of the story. In Sherlock Holmes stories, order is restored and the villain is caught. Order is restored but Adler isn't caught as she has outsmarted Holmes, which is very uncommon. Doyle may have made this story particularly different to the others as Victorians had a very stereotypical opinion of all women at the time. The character of Adler is a way of Doyle perhaps attempting to change this opinion that many people had. She is depicted as being a strong character with high intelligence, which went against many assumptions people, had about women. Doyle also shows us how unimportant class is in comparison to intelligence and kindness. He shows us how class shouldn't affect how we live, but unfortunately it does. 'A Scandal in Bohemia' has a very different structure, different characters and a different storyline to most of the other Sherlock Holmes stories. Not only is the villain a female, she is also not responsible for a serious crime, is admired by Holmes and is able to outsmart him with order still being restored. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Arthur Conan Doyle essays

  1. The similarities and differences of three detective fiction stories: The Speckled Band, A Scandal ...

    The Dancing Men Holmes does some research finds out what the childish drawings of the dancing men represent finally he figures out what the messages say and sends a message back from where they come from saying to come to the Cubitts house.

  2. Sherlock Holmes comparison

    They also add gothic descriptions in the story like "the building was of grey, lichen-blotched stone, with a high central portion and two curving wings like the claws of a crab thrown out on each side" Conan Doyle also uses pathetic fallacy in the story "it was a wild night.

  1. The 18th century England was embroiled in ceaseless controversy - Christianity.

    Since the story about the massacre of the children of Israel by the order of Herod is mentioned only by Matthew, Paine regards it as a lie (Apology, 127). The reason why only Matthew wrote, according to Watson, is that his Gospel was addressed to the Jews and so he wanted to remind them of the melancholic experience.

  2. Sherlock Holmes

    it, until the comical side of the affair so completely over topped every other consideration that we both burst out into a roar of laughter". Doyle starts the story of with humour because with an immense and comical opening it makes the reader suspect that there is something dramatic yet

  1. To what extent are the three/four stories we have investigated typical murder mystery or ...

    There is nothing really abnormal about it. There are not really any negative adjectives used in the description of Briony Lodge meaning that it's certainly not a sinister place. Overall for it to be a typical setting for a crime novel, the setting should have something memorable about it, something slightly abnormal.

  2. Sherlock Holmes character in the story

    As time goes on, in Baskerville Hall and outside it, while Holmes is away, day by day Watson meets new people who live near to Baskerville Hall like Stapleton who climes to be a naturalist and he also meets Beryl which Stapleton climes to be his sister.

  1. Brighton Rock and Sherlock Holmes: A Comparison

    For example, the death of Hale and Ida searching for him occur at the same time but at different stages of the book. This adds a more complex level to the narrative. Brighton Rock is written nominally in the third person, as it still only follows each character's movements in

  2. In the beginning of my second story, written by Charles Dickens, The Signalman, the ...

    troubled, and unsettled presense; it has been personified into some sort of spirit/soul that is making an impressive impact throughout such huge grounds. * The weather is cold for this time of year, and has no pattern, using personification to make the weather seem like it has it's own mind

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work