© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Dr. Henry Jekyll Timeline and Summary
*This timeline is based on Dr. Jekyll’s final account. Dr. Jekyll lives a comfortably well-off, respectable life, but he has hidden desires for pleasure and sin. He becomes convinced that man has a dual nature, best described as good and evil. In his laboratory, he experiments with a number of potions designed to separate these two natures. He succeeds in creating a potion that transforms him into evil Mr. Hyde, and vice versa. For a while, he maintains a respectable existence as Dr. Jekyll and a disreputable existence as Mr. Hyde. Mr. Hyde commits several violent crimes, leading Dr. Jekyll to renounce the life of Mr. Hyde. But Dr. Jekyll can’t help himself. In his own persona, he commits some sin that "destroys the balance of his soul." Dr. Jekyll grows weaker; Mr. Hyde grows stronger. Finally, the transformations begin occurring without the potions, whenever Dr. Jekyll’s mind turns to evil thoughts. In despair, Dr. Jekyll locks himself in his laboratory and keeps trying to transform his body back. He runs out of potion and sends his servants around town for more supplies, but he can’t seem to duplicate his original potion. Dr. Jekyll pens his confession right before (presumably) Mr. Hyde takes full control of his body. Or possibly right before he kills himself and Hyde.