In The Adventure of the Speckled Band, in what way is Dr. Roylott as clever as Sherlock? When does he break down?for a detective story to be interesting, the detective's opponent must be almost as...

In The Adventure of the Speckled Band, in what way is Dr. Roylott as clever as Sherlock? When does he break down?

for a detective story to be interesting, the detective's opponent must be almost as clever as the detective. in what way is Dr. Roylott as clever as Sherlock? Where does he break down? it wold be helpful if you could support with some textual evidence.

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Dr. Roylott is a worthy adversary to Holmes. To begin with, Roylott is smart enough to track his stepdaughter, Helen, to Holmes' flat, so this shows that he has the powers of deduction that Holmes himself is so famous for having. Helen says, "He is so cunning that I never know when I am safe from him" when she learns he has followed her to Holmes' flat.

The way that Roylott has arranged the pull chord over the bed in which he wants Helen to sleep is clever, but not clever enough because Holmes recognizes right away that there is a bell pull chord but no bell. The fact that Roylott has been able to train a snake to do what it does, however, is brilliant. The snake also is trained to come when Roylott whistles, so that, too, is pretty brilliant and must have taken a long time to accomplish. This shows that Roylott is not only evil and devious, but dangerously patient. Other examples of his cleverness: he clamps Helen's bed to the floor so she cannot move it away from the vent, from which the snake must enter the room; Dr. Roylott chose a type of snake whose poison could not be identified.

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