The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a classic 1886 novella written by the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson. The tale illustrates what later would be described by psychiatrists as sociopathy (or psychopathy).
In the novella the once honorable and philanthropic Dr. Jekyll becomes absorbed with the problem of good and evil. To gain esoteric knowledge he divides his nature by drinking a concoction. This transforms him into the purely evil Mr. Hyde, with moments of reverting to the sunnier side of Dr. Jekyll. He desperately tries an antidote but eventually the dark side overtakes his personality. He finally commits suicide in what he believes is his last humane act.
We’ve probably all encountered a person or two (male or female) who reminds us a bit of Dr. Jekyll. They can seem quite intelligent by forwarding clever (if morally twisted and self-serving) rationalizations of their harmful behavior.¹ Or they may use fancy, pretentious language to try to cover up their abuses and to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. But once one gets wise to their upsetting combination of half-truths, outright lies and betrayal, one might never want to deal with such a person again.
¹ God fearing people do not call that “intelligence” but evil, which at bottom is just stupid.
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