Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Dr. Hastie Lanyon Character Analysis

is one of Dr. Jekyll’s professional contemporaries and an old friend of both he and Utterson, though at the outset of the story, he is revealed to have qualms with Jekyll’s scientific methods, calling them “devilish”. Later, we realize that Lanyon’s disapproval comes from fear of the new world that Jekyll’s ideas threaten to create. Lanyon’s shock, at witnessing the “unnatural” transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde is so extreme, that he dies and passes on the burden of his secret to Utterson.

Dr. Hastie Lanyon Quotes in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Hastie Lanyon or refer to Dr. Hastie Lanyon. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Signet Classics edition of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde published in 2012.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“He began to go wrong, wrong in mind; and though of course I continue to take an interest in him for old sake's sake, as they say, I see and I have seen devilish little of the man. Such unscientific balderdash," added the doctor, flushing suddenly purple, "would have estranged Damon and Pythias."

Related Characters: Dr. Hastie Lanyon (speaker), Dr. Jekyll
Page Number: 57
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Dr. Lanyon, one of Dr. Jekyll's oldest friends, complains that Dr. Jekyll has changed greatly in recent months. Where once Jekyll was calm, rational, and kind, he's become deeply "unscientific," experimenting with strange chemicals and potions and disappearing for days at a time. ("Damon and Pythias" alludes to a famous Greek story about two close friends--Lanyon is saying that he's a good friend to Jekyll, but Jekyll's behavior is trying their friendship.)

Lanyon fails to respect the near-magical nature of Dr. Jekyll's experimenting. Lanyon dismisses Jekyll's current work as "unscientific," and indeed, Jekyll's potion is almost magical in its power (it's capable of transforming Jekyll into Hyde). In short, Lanyon could be said to embody the 19th century spirit of enlightenment and logic, while Jekyll, via his experiments, embodies the "dark side" of the era--emotion, violence, and cruelty.

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Chapter 6 Quotes

"I have had a shock," he said, "and I shall never recover. It is a question of weeks. Well, life has been pleasant; I liked it; yes, sir, I used to like it. I sometimes think if we knew all, we should be more glad to get away."

Related Characters: Dr. Hastie Lanyon (speaker)
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Utterson speaks with Dr. Lanyon. Lanyon has had a horrible shock, and senses that he is going to die very soon (suspend your disbelief, okay?). Lanyon seems unafraid of death--in fact, he implies that he's glad to be at the end of his life, since he's come upon some important and disturbing information recently.

What Lanyon doesn't say (and what we don't know yet) is that he's discovered Dr. Jekyll's secret: Jekyll is Mr. Hyde. Lanyon has accidentally stumbled upon the secret that Jekyll was hiding, and now that he's aware of the truth, he can't bear to live any longer. Lanyon's observation about "knowing all" reinforces the novel's themes of repression and secrecy, suggesting that human happiness hinges on our ignorance of the world around us, and of ourselves. Inside each one of us lurks a Mr. Hyde--once we become aware of such a thing (as Lanyon must be), it becomes difficult to go on living normally, or living at all. 

Chapter 9 Quotes

What he told me in the next hour, I cannot bring my mind to
set on paper. I saw what I saw, I heard what I heard, and my soul
sickened at it; and yet now when that sight has faded from my
eyes, I ask myself if I believe it, and I cannot answer.

Related Characters: Dr. Hastie Lanyon (speaker), Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde
Related Symbols: Letters and Documents
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

Lanyon has just witnessed Mr. Hyde drink a potion and transform into Dr. Jekyll. Now that Dr. Jekyll has regained his true form, he tells Lanyon about the scientific discovery he's made: a discovery that allows him to turn into Mr. Hyde. Lanyon writes that he can't bring himself to write what Jekyll tells him next--presumably, Lanyon is going to hear about Dr. Jekyll's "career" as Mr. Hyde.

It's strange that even after Dr. Lanyon has seen first-hand evidence of the success of Dr. Jekyll's scientific discoveries, he continues to feel "sickened" by Jekyll. One could say that while Dr. Jekyll is the better scientist, Dr. Lanyon is the better human being. Lanyon instinctively avoids scientific discoveries that lead to evil, while Dr. Jekyll bravely (and recklessly) pursues his scientific research, leading him to transform into Mr. Hyde.

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Dr. Hastie Lanyon Character Timeline in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Hastie Lanyon appears in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Utterson goes to visit his friend Dr. Lanyon, whose house is always crowded with eager patients. The butler brings Mr. Utterson straight to... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
Mr. Utterson is glad of this explanation from Dr. Lanyon because he thinks that his dispute with Dr. Jekyll is based on a difference of... (full context)
Chapter 3
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...him. Jekyll comments that the only person who’s been more upset with him is Dr. Lanyon. Jekyll mentions Lanyon’s strong opinion that Jekyll is involved in “scientific heresies” and adds that... (full context)
Chapter 6
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...months. In January, Dr. Jekyll holds a dinner party for some friends including Utterson and Lanyon and it seems just like old times. But the next three times Utterson tries to... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Lanyon confesses immediately that he has had a terrible shock and will die within weeks. He... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
...answers. Jekyll replies in a long, tragic letter. He says first that he doesn’t blame Lanyon for their falling out but also doesn’t want to rekindle their friendship. In fact, Jekyll... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Dr. Lanyon is, as he predicted, dead within a couple of weeks. After the funeral, Utterson, in... (full context)
Chapter 9
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Jekyll goes on to urge Lanyon to postpone all other engagements and to take a carriage directly to his house. Poole... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Bachelorhood and Friendship Theme Icon
Dr. Jekyll adds that he trusts Dr. Lanyon completely, and he asks him to think of his friend, who is in a terrible... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Dr. Lanyon is sure that his old friend has gone mad but is determined to follow his... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
...occasional, one word remark, exclaiming “total failure!!!” and other such negative statements. Reading all this, Lanyon grows increasingly sure that Dr. Jekyll’s is a case of insanity and he prepares himself... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Lanyon receives a visitor at midnight, and meets him on the porch. The visitor is a... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
The visitor is very excitable and demands impatiently whether Lanyon has the drawer. Lanyon maintains his patience and shows the man a chair, and the... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
The visitor asks Lanyon for a graduated glass and Lanyon fetches one for him. Then the man makes a... (full context)
Science, Reason and the Supernatural Theme Icon
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
...out a cry and reels and gasps. What follows is a physical transformation that causes Lanyon to scream with terror. When it is finished, Henry Jekyll stands before him. Lanyon then... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Innocence and Violence Theme Icon
...to drive to an inn and, keeping as much undercover as possible, write to Dr. Lanyon (the letter from Jekyll that is mentioned in Lanyon's letter of Chapter 9). After the... (full context)
The Duality of Human Nature Theme Icon
Reputation, Secrecy and Repression Theme Icon
Lanyon’s fear and condemnation affects Jekyll (who has transformed back from Hyde into Jekyll before Lanyon’s... (full context)