Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment

Colonel Killigrew Character Analysis

Colonel Killigrew “wasted his best years … in pursuit of sinful pleasures,” meaning that, at the very least, he was probably an alcoholic—and now he suffers the negative effects of his behavior, both physically and spiritually. When he drinks from the Fountain of Youth, he becomes intoxicated and sings drinking songs. He is the most aggressive of the men in the experiment in his pursuit of Widow Wycherly.

Colonel Killigrew Quotes in Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment

The Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment quotes below are all either spoken by Colonel Killigrew or refer to Colonel Killigrew . 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:
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment published in 2011.
Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment Quotes

And, before proceeding further, I will merely hint that Dr. Heidegger and all his four guests were sometimes thought to be a little beside themselves,—as is not unfrequently the case with old people, when worried either by present troubles or woeful recollections.

Page Number: 99
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Before you drink, my respectable old friends,” said he, “it would be well that, with the experience of a lifetime to direct you, you should draw up a few general rules for your guidance, in passing a second time through the perils of youth. Think what a sin and shame it would be, if, with your peculiar advantages, you should not become patterns of virtue and wisdom to all the young people of the age!”

The doctor's four venerable friends made him no answer, except by a feeble and tremulous laugh; so very ridiculous was the idea that, knowing how closely repentance treads behind the steps of error, they should ever go astray again.

“Drink, then,” said the doctor, bowing: “I rejoice that I have so well selected the subjects of my experiment.”

Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Yet, by a strange deception, owing to the duskiness of the chamber, and the antique dresses which they still wore, the tall mirror is said to have reflected the figures of the three old, gray, withered grandsires, ridiculously contending for the skinny ugliness of a shrivelled grandam.

Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“Yes, friends, ye are old again,” said Dr. Heidegger, “and lo! the Water of Youth is all lavished on the ground. Well—I bemoan it not; for if the fountain gushed at my very doorstep, I would not stoop to bathe my lips in it—no, though its delirium were for years instead of moments. Such is the lesson ye have taught me!”

Related Symbols: Water
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
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Colonel Killigrew Character Timeline in Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment

The timeline below shows where the character Colonel Killigrew appears in Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
...singular man” named Dr. Heidegger invites four “venerable” friends to his study: Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Killigrew, Mr. Gascoigne, and Widow Wycherly. All four friends are very old and have experienced a... (full context)
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
Mistakes and Morality Theme Icon
...he lost his fortune in a risky business investment and is now very poor. Colonel Killigrew “wasted his best years … in pursuit of sinful pleasures,” and now he suffers the... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Mistakes and Morality Theme Icon
All three men—Medbourne, Killigrew, and Gascoigne—were once Widow Wycherly’s lovers, and at one time they had been locked in... (full context)
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
Science and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Mistakes and Morality Theme Icon
Not believing Dr. Heidegger’s story, Colonel Killigrew asks what effect the water has on the human body. Dr. Heidegger responds by saying... (full context)
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
...bodies seem younger, their hair grows darker, and suddenly they are all middle-aged again. Colonel Killigrew remarks on Widow Wycherly’s beautiful appearance. Knowing that the Colonel’s compliments were not always measured... (full context)
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
Mistakes and Morality Theme Icon
...he is talking about, or to whom, or what year he thinks it is. Colonel Killigrew is drunkenly singing “bottle songs” and eyeing Widow Wycherly. Mr. Medbourne has begun hatching a... (full context)
Youth, Old Age, and Death Theme Icon
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Colonel Killigrew, Mr. Gascoigne, and Mr. Medbourne argue over who will be Widow Wycherly’s dance partner. One... (full context)