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Good and Evil: A Poem Based on Robert Louis Stevenson's Short Novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Updated on December 14, 2016
wingedcentaur profile image

The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is to ask the right questions. I reserve the right to lean on my ignorance.


You are my pollution, my vile, thick, sticky, black tar of primordial savageness

You are everything I get not to be, everything I ought not to be, and every-

thing I detest in others. You are the depository of my most base instincts and

monstrous inclinations. You are my frontman, my middleman. You are my

lightning rod, deflecting and absorbing away the wrath of God from me.

That means you are my sin and my deserving place in Hell, a Hell I will never see.

You are the dirt beneath my nails, but I love you, but I cannot embrace you.

I need you, but I cannot acknowledge you. You, stinking, foul, abominable beast

from the center of the Earth! You... You... darling, darling, darling man. You

are the true course of my arrow of benevolent vengeance. It is benevolent,

for I am a good man, just as the day is long in the Summertime. For I

punish no one who does not properly deserve it: an irresponsible, hack

reporter; a wanton, silly, cheating tart of a woman; a scientific society

made up of fools who confound me and reject my ideas and proposals!

But my public face is like the sun, brightly radiating its forgiving light

on one and all, warming them pleasantly and endowing them with

vitality. I am the light by which children play in the daytime, where a

young man charms his young lady, where the old warm bones that

chill too easily, where life thrives after a Spring renewal. I am the

unimpeachable proof of God's inexhaustible solicitude. For, He so

loved the world that He sacrificed His only Son. Isn't that right?

Oh, evil one, sometimes I wish I could take you with me to Heaven!

But He wouldn't understand. Our Lord is such a perfectionist, a truly

demanding Father, who thinks His Heaven is too good for the likes of

you, too pristine, too fine, too subtle, too elegant, too morally clean,

too spiritually sterile for one such as you, a contaminant of the soul,

you, the very abscence of light in your darkness.

But make no mistake, sinister colleague of mine. You shall not drag

me to Hell either. It is not a valiant heart that makes me say this.

It is fear, for I am afraid to die. I am afraid to die in the flesh.

How much more so am I afraid to die in the spirit.

My good man, do you really think you can escape me?

Do you think you can use me and discard me like a condom?

Do you think you can cleave me away from you blameless?

My good man: Is it not true that the criminal---if he must be caught

and face punishment---always desires that his confederates, who-

ever they may be, should face the condemnation of society and God

with him? Would he face such things in solitude, alone, by himself?

Isolated? Frightened? Yes, I can feel fear, you know.

The criminal transgresses the law of man and God because

there is something he wants, which he cannot... will not wait

for or toil for like some lunch pail-carrying slob. The criminal

acts for a reward. You win some and lose some, doctor.

Do you think that if I must lose one, doctor, that I will sit

there, not only denied my reward forever, but endure my

soul to be condemned forever, alone, all by myself?

What a weasly little man you are! You are like Jacob, who

cheated his brother Esau out of his blessing. You are like

the brothers of Joseph, whose brothers sold him into slavery

in Egypt. I will not let you go. I will not let you go.

Don't you know that I live vicariously through you, as you do

through me? Don't you know that? Didn't you ever suspect?

As a man of science, doctor, you should have at least recalled

that what goes up must come down, and that what is down

sometimes goes up. Yes, doctor, I enjoy getting to slip into

your skin and be loved and admired by the brightly lit world

of respectable society, walking down the street and tipping

our hat to white-haired matrons from old money families,

being given tax breaks and subsidies for our research---research,

which, after all, brought us together, you and I, doctor, smiling

at young beauties and having them smile back, instead of

shriek at me in fear because I am a beast!

Let me tell you this, my good man: You will not escape me!

I will coil myself around you inextricably like a killer King

Cobra, loudly proclaiming our unity, our partnership, your

guilt. And as one, doctor, fate will do with us what it will.


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    • wingedcentaur profile imageAUTHOR

      William Thomas 

      5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Thanks very much, writinglover! I'm glad you got something out of my humble verse.


    • writinglover profile image


      5 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      I love how you personify good and evil in this poem. I can easily visualize the yin and the yang (Jekyll and Hyde). You bring out the internal struggle of one man quite brilliantly.

      I tried my hand at something similar, but I think they are missing the mark, especially the Jeykll side of one of my main protagonists. The Hyde personality is much easier to write. However, looking at this poem, I don't think I'm too far off the mark, but I digress.

      Anyway, well done! Thumbs up for an awesome hub!

    • wingedcentaur profile imageAUTHOR

      William Thomas 

      5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Thank you so much, Frank. I'm glad you liked it, and, again, coming from you, your remarks are quite a compliment.

      Thanks again!

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Winged what a clever write.. it borders the fringes of reality and insanity. There a stratagic stronghold in your words that make Good and evil stand out... I like the style clever and and awesome :)


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