Post image for Extras: THE LEGACY OF JEKYLL & HYDE

by Aveline MacQuoid on February 23, 2022

in Archives,Extras

The legacy of Jekyll & Hyde.

There have been many great adaptions of popular novels in several forms of media and entertainment but non likely come more popular with greater inspiration and evolution than Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ with the fictional novel still remaining as a household name over 200 years since its initial publication.

The history surrounding this exceptional read spans back to the late 1800s when the  prestigious novelist and lively poet Robert Louis Stevenson constructed a title that would grow to become a mainstay in all forms of literature studies and media adaptations for years to come.

The Victorian novelist was already a renowned writer following the publication of another popular title labelled ‘Treasure Island’, but in January of 1886 Stevenson published arguably his most popular novel titled ‘A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ which flourished into a staple for all future pop culture merchandise and inspirations, mainly due to its fascinating plot and unique characters.

The title focuses on a respected professor by the name of Dr. Jekyll during Victorian London, with the practitioner experimenting with various advanced sciences before creating a split personality of himself that commands over Dr. Jekyll’s body throughout the night, committing various atrocities and evil acts by the name of ‘Mr. Hyde’.

What makes this novel unique to many is how it focuses on the split personality persona of an individual especially with the themes that an everyday, normal has a dark side but look to cover all aspects up with a respectful reputation.

As stated above, the novel is almost described as a must-read for almost any book dweller and has since transitioned into various forms of pop culture and entertainment, with numerous other titles and even popular characters taking a keen inspiration behind this title.

The film adaptations of Jekyll and Hyde:

With the original novel being a major draw and top seller across the film and musical industry, it comes as no surprise that this title has become a staple for various media adaptations from the entertainment sector.

The novel has since translated into a popular musical title on various theatrical sites including Broadway, but has also produced a near endless string of film and TV series adaptations that span way back to the 1920s.

Perhaps the most popular film adaptation of the novel, that many would argue remains the preferrable choice due to its classic roots and longevity, remains to be the 1931 release of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ with Fredric March playing both characters which he would win an Oscar for his sublime performance of the pivotal role.

The film itself remains as a classic title almost a century since its initial release with the title still drawing in major numbers of viewers for various theatrical viewings and online downloads which is a greater testament to how unique of a concept the original novel stands to be since its release and how Fredric March’s now legendary performance retains as perhaps the best ever when relating to original formula provided.

In terms of what genre the film aims to aspire, it is unsurprising that the film filters into a horror/sci-fi title and has since seen various media releases including the prior 1920s adaption bearing the same name to the later 21st century musical releases.

The impact Jekyll and Hyde has brought to pop culture:

The longevity and lasting impact that Stevenson’s novel has left behind on pop culture is beyond impeccable given how well his title has developed into a mainstream brand across an effortless collection of mediational platforms, the Dr Jekyll Goes Wild game features in this range of online slots.

Stevenson’s unique character arc and narrative have also likely been inspirational towards various other characters that have since become mainstays and even global icons in various forms of pop culture media, which likely includes famous Batman rogues such as Two Face and even the Joker himself given the startling contrast of personality that both villains are often presented with throughout their many comic book and media adaptations (including the 2005 comic book Batman: Jekyll & Hyde focused around Harvey Dent’s twofaced personality).

There has been various merchandise and labelled remixes of the original novel in various forms of digital media, with the overall context and plot still retaining near identical properties of the original source of material, leaving Stevenson’s Victorian title as one of pop cultures most influential and crucial concepts that have likely ever been produced.

Stevenson’s novel has stood the test of time and has become a cultural icon throughout all forms of mainstream media and reenactments for its stupendous plot and overlapping message making this an exceptional title for various adaptations and also spanning into the wider literature studies for eager students across the globe, leaving behind a legacy that cannot be matched.

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