The Island of Dr. Moreau

The Sayer of the Law is a sort of priest amongst the Beast Folk, the religious leader responsible for teaching the Law and venerating its commandments. Upon Prendick’s initial arrival in the Beast Folk’s community in the ravine, he is mistaken for one of Moreau’s creations and the Sayer of the Law instructs him in the ways he should act and how he must resist his animalistic desires. After Moreau dies, the Sayer of the Law is one of the first to ask Prendick if the Law has died with him, implicitly understanding the connection between Moreau’s authority and his own as the religious leader. When Montgomery gets the Beast Folk drunk with him after the death of Moreau, the Sayer of the Law kills him on the beach and is killed himself. This is symbolically fitting: the religious leader of the Beast Folk—and thus, the most aspirational to be human—dies in combat with the most degenerate human, who was the closest to regressing to the state of an animal.

The Sayer of the Law Quotes in The Island of Dr. Moreau

The The Island of Dr. Moreau quotes below are all either spoken by The Sayer of the Law or refer to The Sayer of the Law. 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:
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Island of Dr. Moreau published in 1996.
Chapter 12 Quotes

“For every one the want that is bad,” said the grey Sayer of the Law. “What you will want, we do not know. We shall know. Some want to follow things that move, to watch and slink and wait and spring, to kill and bite, deep and rich, sucking the blood…It is bad. ‘Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?’”

Related Characters: The Sayer of the Law (speaker), Edward Prendick / The Narrator
Related Symbols: The Beast Folk, The Law
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 18 Quotes

“Children of the Law,” I said, “He is not dead…he has changed his shape—he has changed his body,” I went on. “For a time you will not see him. He is…there”—I pointed upward— “where he can watch you. You cannot see him. But he can see you. Fear the Law.”

Related Symbols: The Beast Folk, The Law
Page Number: 80
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Sayer of the Law Character Timeline in The Island of Dr. Moreau

The timeline below shows where the character The Sayer of the Law appears in The Island of Dr. Moreau. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 12: The Sayers of the Law
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...them with a god-like reverence for him. As Prendick’s eyes adjust, he sees that the Sayer of the Law , the evident leader of the group, is a great grey-furred creature with a talon... (full context)
Chapter 16: How the Beast Folk Tasted Blood
Scientific Knowledge and Ethics Theme Icon
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
By Moreau’s command, the Sayer of the Law leads its recitation until they reach the prohibition of eating flesh. Moreau announces that this... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Finding of Moreau
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
Morality, Survival, and Circumstance Theme Icon
The Ape Man and the Sayer of the Law ask the humans if the Law still exists, now that Moreau is dead. Prendick proclaims... (full context)
Chapter 19: Montgomery’s “Bank Holiday”
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...Prendick running towards them they scatter. Montgomery is mortally wounded, having been attacked by the Sayer of the Law , whom he shot dead. M’ling’s dead corpse is also nearby, along with a few... (full context)
Chapter 20: Alone with the Beast Folk
Religious Authority and Order Theme Icon
Humans vs. Animals Theme Icon
...Prendick proclaims that none escape the Law or Moreau’s judgment, not even Montgomery or the Sayer of the Law . Prendick orders the three Beast Folk to carry the bodies deep into the ocean... (full context)