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Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

16. Chapter 10 – Radically Both (pp. 55-6)

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About this Lecture


In this module, we read through the first part of the tenth chapter of the novel, focusing in particular on: (i) the structure of the novel as a whole and the sense in which the beginning of the final chapter feels more like the beginning of a novel as a whole ("I was born in the year 18––"); (ii) the concept of the 'psychological' novel, and the important of contemporary thinkers such as Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and William James (1842-1910); (iii) the sheer range of narrators and narrations in the novel – Mr Utterson, Dr Lanyon, the maid in the window, the newsboys, Dr Jekyll, etc.; (iv) the importance of guilt and shame, particularly in relation to religion; (v) the (post-Darwinian) idea that man is dual by nature ("I was radically both") and the extent to which this maps onto contemporary debates relating to sex and gender; and (vi) the idea of the fragmentation of the self, a precursor to the modernist literature and art of the first half of the 20th century.


In this course, Professor John McRae (University of Nottingham) explores Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. In the first two modules, we provide a broad introduction to the social, historical, cultural context of the novel, focusing in particular on Stevenson’s life and career, his literary and cultural influences, and his own influence on later writers. In the seventeen modules that follow, we read through the novel chapter-by-chapter, providing close reading and analysis, including commentary on themes and motifs, the structure of the novel, its multiple narrators and narratives, significant objects (keys, doors, hands, mirrors, etc.), literary influences (Shakespeare, Marlowe, James Hogg, etc.), intellectual influences (Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud), important elements from Stevenson’s own life – and much, much more.

Note: Page numbers in these lectures refers to the Penguin Classics edition of the novel (‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Other Tales of Terror’, ed. Robert Mighall). Students using a different version of the novel may encounter slight differences in page numbering.


John McRae is Special Professor of Language in Literature Studies and Teaching Associate in the School of English at Nottingham University, and holds Visiting Professorships in China, Malaysia, Spain and the USA. He is co-author of The Routledge History of Literature in English with Ron Carter, and also wrote The Language of Poetry, Literature with a Small 'l' and the first critical edition of Teleny by Oscar Wilde and others.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

McRae, J. (2020, October 22). Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Chapter 10 – Radically Both (pp. 55-6) [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

McRae, J. "Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Chapter 10 – Radically Both (pp. 55-6)." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Oct 2020,