intro Essay

Imagine this, a young doctor, fresh from his deployment in India, wandering the bosling streets of Victorian London on the hunt for logdings. Suddenly, he stumples across an old friend in a local pub who for some unknown reason knows another gentleman looking for a flatmate. After, a short back and forth getting down central details of the mystery gentleman, the young doctor agrees to meet him or rather cannot wait to meet his new acquantance. His friend arranges a formal meeting at a undeclosed location in London.

Throughout this encounter the mystirious gentleman shows off his supreme intellect and by the end he introduces himself as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and gives away the now famous address of ‘221B Baker Street’ (Study in Pink 11:44) which he calls home. And, it is out from this initial encounter one of the most beloved friendships of in literary history is born.

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The reason why Mr Holmes’ relationship to Dr Watson is interesting to examine is because they have been seen as the ultimate partners since their conception.

And, their relationship is far deeper than antically meets the eye: they are far more than just colleagues or companions. This renowned relationship has been seen as everything from that of best friends, to homosexual lovers, some even going as far as relating it to that of a heterosexual couple where Watson acts as the lady and Mr Holmes as the man.

The following report wish to examine this many facaded freindship by firstly studying their similarities and differences, then it will investigte this long-lasting mystery through the lens of trianglar desire and finally consider the notion of homosocial bonds. So, as Mr Holmes so famously said ‘the game’s afoot.’ (Doyle, The Adventure of the Abbey Grange. Apple Books. pp. 613). The material which lays the foundation for this report will be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels, A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four, and the first episode of BBC’s Sherlock (2010-) called A Study in Pink. A Study in Scarlet is chosen because this was the first-time readers were introduced to the duo, and thus this now famous friendship. And, this was also the beginning of much speculation when it comes to the nature of these two gentlemen’s friendship. One may argue they are simply colleagues; others companions while BBC’s adaptation put great emphasis on the homosexual nature of their relationship.

Lastly, the report will be divided into three major sections, The Men who helped Mauled the Famous Sherlock Holmes, The notion of Male Companionship and other Major Concepts and The Many facades of Male Friendship. The first chapter will focus on the rise of detective fiction as a genre. And, how the works of Edgar Ellen Poe, Emile Gaboriau, Charles Dickens and Willie Collins served as a foundation and inspiration for the birth of Mr Holmes the consulting detective. Besides this, it introduces the social and political conditions of the Victorian Era which provides the backdrop for this emerging new genre. The following chapter will provide an explanation of the theoretical foundation of this report. The concepts this piece of writing will concern itself with are masculinity, male companionship, Eve Kasofsky Sedwick’s theory of male homosocial desire, Ren? Gerard theory on triangular desire and Aristotle’s attempt to define friendship as a whole. The final section will examine the comradeship of these gentlemen in-depth by using the above-mentioned theories and concepts. Additionally, it aims to answer the following question: (I) What contributes to easy comradeship of Mr Holmes and Dr Watson, especially as Holmes rarely has meaningful interaction with other individuals?

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