The speckled band is a short story from the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and is written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is a typical traditional detective story, of which there was a raise in demand during the Victorian era, as there were famous murders happening such as Jack the Ripper and Sweeny Todd as London was consumed with crime at this time. There developed a stereotypical image of villains in detective genres and they were meant to have an evil and eerie personality and characteristics. In this essay I will explore the character of one, Dr Grimesby Roylott, and identify how he fits that stereotypical image.
Dr Grimesby Roylott is portrayed as a stereotypical villain during the Speckled Band. The reader first meets his character through the first person view of Dr Watson, Sherlock’s’ slightly amateur apprentice. He is described as someone who is intimidating and has motive along with the past form of murder. One of the reasons he is such a good villain is the incredible contrast between him and his innocent victim, Miss Stoner, and the clever and cunning detective, Sherlock Holmes.
The physical description of Roylott sounds like that of a traditional villain. When the reader first meets Roylott he is described as having ‘bile-shot eyes’ and ‘a large face, seared with a thousand wrinkles’. This immediately gives us a negative impression of him and he is also described as having a ‘high thin fleshed nose’ that gave him the ‘resemblance to a fierce old bird of prey’. This image suggests that he is the kind of thing that hunts on the innocent. This makes us feel intimidated by him as everyone he met was sure to have felt. Doyle also makes Roylott sound more vicious by saying that he ‘snarled’ at Sherlock which is a verb normally applied to vicious animals, once again suggesting that he is the kind of person that would hurt the innocent.
Roylott is presented as a typical villain as he has good...