Character Analysis Of Sherlock Holmes

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Sherlock Holmes hit the streets of Britain in 1887 with Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, A Study in Scarlet. These stories became instantly popular because of Holmes’ keen observation skills and spectacular crime solving ability. He, paired with Dr. Watson, takes on numerous crimes and takes on the most intelligent criminals, such as the brilliant Professor Moriarty. Dr. Watson takes on the role of narrator as he follows and records all of Sherlock Holmes’s moves during these crimes. He travels with Holmes wherever he goes, reporting in his journal almost everything that happens.As Sherlock Holmes says, “A trusty comrade is always of use; and a chronicler still more so” (Doyle, A Strand Magazine 189). This describes the relationship between the …show more content…
This is displayed in the short story “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange.” A woman’s husband has been murdered by what is thought to be a notorious gang. Holmes and Watson are invited to solve the crime. While at the crime scene, Holmes and Watson are discussing the significance of the wine glasses. Watson, however, overlooks their importance. He asks Holmes, "What about the wine glasses?" and Holmes explained to Watson that there was only beeswing in the third glass. Holmes then responded with his theory on the significance of this. He tells Watson, "that only two glasses were used, and that the dregs of both were poured into a third glass, so as to give the false impression that three people had been here" (Doyle, Abbey Grange 1022). Of course, Holmes was correct, and Watson displayed his incompetence in regards to detective work. This is similarly shown in “The Resident Patient.” After Holmes and Watson have listened to the doctor’s story and heard all of the information, Watson still can not make anything out of the case. He even admits, “I can make little of it” (Doyle, 675). He is unreliable in regards to crime-solving. Highlighting Watson’s incompetence in crime-solving further shows that his role is reduced to that of just a …show more content…
Watson acts as a foil character of Sherlock Holmes in regards to detective work and his social life/friendship. This difference is exposed through the cases they solve and shows that Holmes is an expert in the detective field but not as adept in all facets of his life. A foil character defined by Britannica, is “a character who is presented as a contrast to a second character so as to point to or show to advantage some aspect of the second character.” Sherlock Holmes is the world’s most renowned detective, and this greatness highlights Dr. Watson as the narrator of these stories (Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). As Watson tells these stories, important details that Holmes is able to see, because of his observatory brilliance, Watson misses because he lacks the skill of Holmes. Thus, when Holmes solves a crime, he displays his brilliance. Holmes shows his expertise in Doyle’s, “The Adventure of The Speckled Band.” When the snake enters the room, Holmes screams at Watson, wondering if he saw the snake. However, Watson writes, “But I saw nothing”(Doyle, Speckled Band 180). Now, some believe that this scene is just a matter of not seeing rather than not observing. However, Holmes through making observations throughout the story, allows him to know what to look for and where to look for it. Watson in this case has no idea what to search for because he has not developed the knowledge of the case that Holmes’s had. Holmes tells Watson this once the situation simmers, and

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