This GCSE English Literature quiz looks at theme in Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A theme, in literature, is an idea conveyed by the text. Any work of literature contains multiple themes, ranging from the subtle to the obvious. Themes do not appear in isolation, but instead interact with each other. The essential elements of fiction, such as setting, character, plot and dialogue, are the vehicles through which an author develops the themes of the text.
When studying a text, explore the related ideas and concepts you find, tracing the development of its different themes. Check your own opinions on these ideas: do you notice any opinions which you have developed or changed over the course of the text?
It can be useful to compare your thoughts at the end of the text with those you held as you began reading. Have you changed your views on any of the key issues? If so, could you explain why? Try to identify the part in the text where you notice your personal views developing. A reader’s response to a text will be deeply personal because each reader brings individual thoughts, beliefs and experiences into consideration while reading.
The themes of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde concern the stuff of nightmares: how to reign in curiosity, rather than allowing it to go too far; whether the existence of evil is an inescapable part of being human, or whether humanity can excise it; repression and the fear of death, amongst others. How are you meant to respond to these themes? What do you think of Jekyll’s experiment? How far do you think Dr Jekyll is responsible for the murders committed by Mr Hyde? Do you agree with Dr Lanyon, or do you pity Jekyll?
Read the questions below and test your knowledge of the themes of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.