Duality Of Human Nature

Decent Essays

One of the most predominant themes in literature is the duality of human nature. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, dualism is a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements. Many pieces of literature concentrate on how every human possesses an animalistic and barbarous nature. In the novel The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and the short story William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe, the idea of duality is explored deeply and is one of the main themes of these works.
In The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, Dr. Jekyll is a well-respected scientist in London. This novel takes place in the Victorian Era, or in the mid-1800s to …show more content…

Jekyll used Edward Hyde as a way to satisfy his secret pleasures without feeling guilty about whatever Hyde has done. Another way duality is explored in the novel is the fact that if the balance of good and evil is uneven, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cannot coexist peacefully. “Hence, although I had now two characters as well as two appearances, one was wholly evil, and the other was still the old Henry Jekyll...”(Stevenson 51) This is why near the end of the novel when Hyde’s evilness takes over Dr. Jekyll, its causes their relationship to implode. “This, then, is the last time, short of a miracle, that Henry Jekyll can think his own thoughts or see his own face…”(Stevenson 61) When Dr. Jekyll allowed Hyde to be exposed to the world too much, Hyde began to have more control over Dr. Jekyll. This caused Jekyll to eventually give in to Hyde.
Like in Jekyll and Hyde, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare shows multiple examples of duality. For example, “In man as well as herbs, grace and rude will;”. In this quote, Friar Laurence compares people to plants in the sense that both man and plants can be good and evil, and how some herbs can be used for medicine but can also be poisonous. The author also uses double entendres to display duality. For example, when Juliet is speaking to her mother about

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