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Response to Literature: Prose (Published Pre-1914) Scandal In Bohemia

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Imran Miah 13/12/02 GCSE English Coursework Response to Literature: Prose (Published Pre-1914) Scandal In Bohemia The King of Bohemia is about to enter an advantageous marriage, but he visits Holmes for help because an actress with whom he once had an affair, Irene Adler, has love letters and a photo with the two of them in her possession, and the king fears the damage that could be done with them. With the help of Watson and a gang of hired performers, and one of his disguises, Holmes stages a mini-crisis at Adler's home to discover the hiding place of the items he wants to retrieve. Adler, however, manages to turn the tables on the detective, both in the disguise and strategy departments. This tale has been a favourite with Holmes readers, for there is no crime, no murder, and yet a woman out smarts the great detective for once. 'A Scandal In Bohemia' is not as formulaic as the ordinary Sherlock Holmes stories; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has made some modifications. ...read more.


Sherlock Holmes is well aware of how good he is at his job and likes to impress his colleagues. Dr Watson is Holmes's friend and colleague, acts as a narrator to the story, he often fails to understand the case until Holmes explains, Is presented as foil to Holmes who treats his as inferior but in a friendly and caring way rather as one would a child. The King is a German King of a kingdom called Bohemia, is described as a 'Hercules' and his appearance being rich and handsome. The reader doesn't know much about the king however, all we know is that he has had an affair in the past with Irene Adler who has in her possession a photograph of them together, which he wants to get hold of because he believes that it may affect his reign and his upcoming marriage with a well known Scandinavian kings daughter. Irene Adler has the 'face of the most beautiful of women' and the mind of the most resolute of men', she's a retired opera singer and an actress. ...read more.


The style of the story is complex; the language that is used is very formal but out of date. Therefore in some parts it is hard to understand certain words, these are rarely used nowadays. It is narrated in the first person; everything is seen through Watson's eyes although we learn little about him. There are very long sentence structures, which are typical 19th century; this suggests that the writer enjoyed using words in an elaborate way. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has made good use of direct speech, Watson doesn't report what was said, and he quotes it exactly using speech marks. The story is Plot driven more than character driven, the writer has concentrated more on the events rather than what is going on in the characters minds. This makes the story interesting and more enjoyable to read. Overall, the story is very intricate yet entertaining, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle twisted the tale a little to make the outcome more of a social drama rather than a crime mystery like his other stories. He has been successful by his use of plot driven events and the addition of 19th century history to keep the reader interested. ...read more.

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