A character analysis of the most brilliant fictional character ever created: Sherlock Holmes.
He is the life work and greatest success of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing habit. Conan Doyle devoted all of his writing effort to the creation and development of this genius work. Sherlock is the most intriguing, most alluring, most addictive character in all of classic literature. But what most people fail to realize is that he is only so because of six major things. Indeed, these six things drive and validate his entire existence.
- Ingenious criminal organizations in the underground of Britain.
- His companionship and character balancing element wrapt in the personage of John Watson.
- Britain’s need of a crime solver and her intense, often unrealistic state of constant peril.
- Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s older brother and the only man in England who is more intelligent than he.
- An obligation to his country that calls him to jeopardize his freedom and transcend the laws of that country to protect it.
- Irene Adler.
If one of these major component in his character is absent, Sherlock Holmes ceases to exist, or at least ceases to be an interesting character.
Conan Doyle was genius in establishing three characters who were supposedly all more normal than Sherlock, but were regarded as his betters in intelligence: each in their own way. John Watson is the half of Sherlock that is missing from his character as a whole. Sherlock Holmes is not a self-contained character, pieces and elements of Sherlock are built into his peers and partners. Watson is common sense that Holmes cannot have. Watson is perspective Sherlock needs to think from every possible angle.
Mycroft Holmes has devoted his life to a much different calling than Sherlock, giving his mind to numbers and figures rather than names and facts. Mycroft is informed and ingenious, he is the half of Sherlock’s wisdom and intelligence that could not be contained in Sherlock without making him superhuman.
Irene Adler is the one woman on earth, possible the one person on earth that Sherlock can truly respect. If Mycroft beats him, it is in an area that he has devoted little time to, thus the victory is incomplete and his respect is lessened if not completely abolished. If Watson bests him, it is in the simplicity of a fact that he overlooked and therefore Sherlock attributes the victory to his own negligence and time constraints; the respect is absent. For Irene however, who can figure out his schemes as quickly as he can produce them, and still be able to guard against, and even counter them, Sherlock owes a great deal of respect.
Irene is the only person whom Sherlock can truly respect as an equal if not a better. Some might argue that Sherlock respects Moriarty as an equal, but he eventual figures out that they are not equals; that they think so much alike that he can predict every move the man will make. Eventually, when the climax comes and Sherlock ends up besting Moriarty for the last time, we see how little he respects the man.
These three people: Irene Alder, John Watson, and Mycroft Holmes each hold within their characters a piece of Sherlock that makes his character complete. It is for this reason that I have been strongly considering writing an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, (the story series), to fully capture the essence of this quartet of a character. I know that adaptations have been done to death on this theme, but that emphasizes my statement of how addictive Sherlock can be.
This is a casting call for the main character of a new short story series based upon the character of Sherlock Holmes!
I want to hear your opinions and ideas. Should I keep the name the same or change it? What kind of story should the first one be? Where will this adaptation take place? Hopefully this will begin my fantasy/fiction writing career, and I would like my readers to take part in that. This is an exciting opportunity to make something that is old new again. It’s like salvation for a story.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist