Theme

The theme of the short story “A Scandal in Bohemia” by Arthur Conan Doyle is disguise and deception. 

In solving the case, Sherlock Holmes disguises himself and attempts to deceive Irene Adler by various means. At first, in order to spy on her, he disguises himself as a “drunken-looking groom, ill-kempt and side-whiskered, with an inflamed face and disreputable clothes.” He assumes this identity to learn more about Irene Adler, and under this disguise, he witnesses her wedding to Godfrey Norton. The second disguise he uses is that of an “amiable and simple-minded Nonconformist clergyman”. In this disguise, he gets invited into Irene Adler’s home and is able to trick her into revealing where she keeps the photograph.

Sherlock Holmes’ disguises do not involve only different clothes, but also sk...

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