Last Updated 17 Aug 2022

Characterization of Mr. Jack Stapleton in Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles

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Authors use the four methods of Characterization to develop and describe characters in their story by using the narration and the thoughts of other participants to show how the character looks, behaves, and sounds. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle utilizes Characterization to bring to life the antagonist of the story, Mr. Jack Stapleton. Normally, an author uses physical appearance to intimate the personality of the character. In Doyle's book, the narrator describes Mr. Jack Stapleton’s physical appearance: “He was a small, slim, clean-shaven, prim-faced man, flaxen-haired, and lean-jawed, between thirty and forty years of age, dressed in a gray suit, and wearing a straw hat. A tin box for botanical specimens hung over his shoulder and he carried a green butterfly-net in one of his hands. ” (Doyle 89) While reading this it is impossible to detect the evil in Mr. Stapleton. Doyle uses the calm facade of Mr. Stapleton to trick the reader into thinking that there is nothing odd or malevolent about him yet he is a scheming manipulative villain.

One cannot judge simply by outward appearance, for his looks deceive the reader which is why other methods are used to determine a character. A character's speech, thoughts and actions can reveal more about who they are and their personality. For example in Doyle’s book, Mr. Stapleton’s actions and words show his personality more explicitly, ‘” But, dear me what’s this? Somebody hurt? Not—don’t tell me that it is our friend Sir Henry! ’ He hurried past me and stooped over the dead man.

I heard intake of his breath and the cigar fell from his fingers. ‘Who—who is this? ’ he stammered ‘It is Seldon, the man who escaped from Princetown. ’ Stapleton turned a ghastly face upon us, but by a supreme effort he had overcome his amazement and his disappointment. ” (187) This makes Stapleton’s character more understandable by giving an inking of his greatest desire, the want for Sir Henry Baskerville dead. It is possible to note this because Doyle shows that Stapleton is obviously disappointed to find out that the dead man is not Sir Henry.

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Actions demonstrate a lot about the characters identity. But more tools are needed to ascertain full knowledge of a persona. The third method of Characterization is using the thoughts or comments of other figures in the book to tell more about the character. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Mrs. Stapleton describes him, '“... Oh this villain! See how he has treated me! ' She shot out her arms out from her sleeves, and we saw with horror that they were all mottled with bruises. “ (216-217) The statement of Mrs. Stapleton describing Mr. Stapleton as being a villain for hurting her is an obvious sign of malevolence and clearly shows his disposition This is not the last method of Characterization for all four are needed to completely identify a character.

The last method of Characterization is given by the narrator through a firsthand comment on the person To finalize the identification of Mr. Stapleton Sir Arthur Conan Doyle provides this statement from the narrator's point of view, “But there was no sign within it of that desperate and defiant villain whom we expected to see” (215) this final example dictates that Mr. Stapleton was indeed a desperate and defiant villain and verifies the way that Mr. Stapleton perceived as a foul and wicked man. Many methods are used by authors to give life to their extraordinary characters. Showing great skill in the area of Characterization, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brings forth intriguing and thought provoking personas that make his tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles so unique to readers everywhere.

Characterization of Mr. Jack Stapleton in Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles essay

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Characterization of Mr. Jack Stapleton in Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. (2017, Apr 07). Retrieved from

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