A Scandal in Bohemia

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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A medical doctor and close friend of Sherlock Holmes, Watson narrates “A Scandal in Bohemia” and assists Holmes in his investigation. He has also chronicled and published a number of Holmes’s cases, and clearly admires the detective for his extraordinary powers of observation and deduction. He used to live with Sherlock at 221B Baker Street, but recently got married and moved in with his wife; he had not seen much of Sherlock since then, and he begins “A Scandal in Bohemia” by coming to visit his friend, wherein he is swept up in Sherlock’s latest case. Watson is tolerant of Sherlock’s eccentricities because he truly believes in the detective’s genius, describing him as “the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen.” He participates enthusiastically in the investigation, expressing to Holmes that he will gladly break the law and risk arrest for a good cause. While Watson is very intelligent in his own right, it is his admiration for his friend Sherlock that takes center stage in “A Scandal in Bohemia.”

Dr. John Watson Quotes in A Scandal in Bohemia

The A Scandal in Bohemia quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. John Watson or refer to Dr. John Watson. 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:
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bantam Dell edition of A Scandal in Bohemia published in 2003.
Part 1 Quotes

You see, but you do not observe.

Related Characters: Sherlock Holmes (speaker), Dr. John Watson
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:

Not a bit, Doctor. Stay where you are. I am lost without my Boswell. And this promises to be interesting. It would be a pity to miss it.

Related Characters: Sherlock Holmes (speaker), Dr. John Watson
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Quotes

“That is excellent. I think, perhaps, it is almost time that I prepare for the new role I have to play.”

Related Characters: Sherlock Holmes (speaker), Dr. John Watson
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:
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Dr. John Watson Character Timeline in A Scandal in Bohemia

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. John Watson appears in A Scandal in Bohemia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Doctor John Watson declares that his friend and former housemate, Sherlock Holmes, is a man with a “cold,... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Recalling when Holmes met Adler, Watson notes that he had recently gotten married, and their difference in lifestyles had, for a... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Watson can tell that Holmes is happy to see him, despite his typical cold and calculating... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Holmes invites Watson to read the letter he has received from a potential client, who announces that he... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
...mask and dressed luxuriously, calling himself Count von Kramm, a Bohemian nobleman. Holmes insists that Watson be allowed to stay for the consultation, and the man begins to tell his story.... (full context)
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
...steal the photo and letters but have had no luck. Holmes takes the case, telling Watson to return at three o’clock the following day. (full context)
Part 2
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Watson arrives at 221B Baker Street at exactly three o’clock the next day, but Holmes has... (full context)
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
...a different direction. Holmes then returned to plan the next phase of his investigation with Watson. (full context)
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
Holmes asks Watson if he will help, even if it means breaking the law and running the risk... (full context)
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Once Watson has agreed to the plans, Holmes changes into his disguise—that of a clergyman. Watson notes... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
As they wait for Irene, Holmes and Watson discuss her marriage to Godfrey Norton, guessing that she will not want her new husband... (full context)
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Justice Theme Icon
...is on her sofa, he asks for some fresh air; when the window is opened, Watson throws the rocket into the house and shouts fire. After a few moments of confusion,... (full context)
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Justice Theme Icon
Once the men are reunited on the street, Holmes explains to Watson that he employed everyone on the street, other than Irene, as part of his plan.... (full context)
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Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Holmes and Watson make plans to retrieve the photo the following day, in the company of the King,... (full context)
Part 3
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
Watson spends the night at 221B Baker Street. In the morning, he and Holmes are met... (full context)
Logic vs. Emotion Theme Icon
Disguise and Deception Theme Icon
Love, Friendship, and. Admiration Theme Icon
...had turned the tables on him by disguising herself and eavesdropping on his conversation with Watson. She and Norton decided they must leave England immediately, and have taken the photo with... (full context)