Sherlock Holmes Research Paper

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Adaptations Studies The consistent musicality of Sherlock Holmes on the screen is remarkable considering the diversity of adaptations. Compared to the three other most often adapted literary figures (Count Dracula, Tarzan, and Frankenstein’s monster), Sherlock Holmes is the lone musician, one moreover associated with iconic props: his violin, pipe, hat and coat. Although Doyle consistently relies on these identity-anchoring props, the stories of the Canon are hardly unified. The narrative tone imparted through Dr. Watson remains largely the same, but the length, time period, subject matter, and secondary characters constantly change between stories. Adaptors are challenged not by a single novel by a myriad of short stories written over a…show more content…
This tendency is evident even in the earliest of Holmes films. For example, Fenn Sherie’s review of Eille Norwood’s performance from a 1921 article in The Strand praises the actor’s “naturally calm and contemplative temperament” which was “extremely in keeping with the character of Holmes.” Most critics, both professional and amateur, care little for the time period: though there was some consternation among the strictest of Holmes-lovers when BBC and CBS announced their respective modernized stories, this idea was hardly an original one. In fact, most adaptations in the early twentieth century were placed in contemporary settings as opposed to the Victorian period. This same situation arose in response to the Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Rathbone films – though audiences were at first put off by the lack of hansom cabs and Canonical plots, the fact that, as David Stuart Davies explains, “the playing and much of the writing were in character” appeased them. Likewise, very few adaptations present faithful Canonical stories; even the Granada series starring Jeremy Brett, lauded for its close ties to the Canon, took liberties, especially toward the end of its

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