1. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson’s masterpiece of the duality of good and evil in man’s nature sprang from the darkest recesses of his own unconscious—during a nightmare from which his wife awakened him, alerted by his screams. More than a hundred years later, this tale of the mild-mannered Dr. Jekyll and the drug that unleashes his evil, inner persona—the loathsome, twisted Mr. Hyde—has lost none of its ability to shock. Its realistic police-style narrative chillingly relates Jekyll’s desperation as Hyde gains control of his soul—and gives voice to our own fears of the violence and evil within us. Written before Freud’s naming of the ego and the id, Stevenson’s enduring classic demonstrates a remarkable understanding of the personality’s inner conflicts—and remains the irresistibly terrifying stuff of our worst nightmares.GoodReads
2. Oedipus Rex – Sophocles
Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex has never been surpassed for the raw and terrible power with which its hero struggles to answer the eternal question, “Who am I?” The play, a story of a king who acting entirely in ignorance kills his father and marries his mother, unfolds with shattering power; we are helplessly carried along with Oedipus towards the final, horrific truth.GoodReads
3. Macbeth – William Shakespeare
One night on the heath, the brave and respected general Macbeth encounters three witches who foretell that he will become king of Scotland. At first sceptical, he’s urged on by the ruthless, single-minded ambitions of Lady Macbeth, who suffers none of her husband’s doubt. But seeing the prophecy through to the bloody end leads them both spiralling into paranoia, tyranny, madness, and murder.
This shocking tragedy – a violent caution to those seeking power for its own sake – is, to this day, one of Shakespeare’s most popular and influential masterpieces.GoodReads
4. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s only novel is the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty.GoodReads
In this celebrated work Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde’s most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind.
5. The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
This masterpiece of science fiction is the fascinating story of Griffin, a scientist who creates a serum to render himself invisible, and his descent into madness that follows.
The Invisible Man to whom the title refers is Griffin, a scientist who has devoted himself to research into optics and who invents a way to change a body’s refractive index to that of air so that it neither absorbs nor reflects light. He carries out this procedure on himself and renders himself invisible, but fails in his attempt to reverse it. A practitioner of random and irresponsible violence, Griffin has become an iconic character in horror fiction.GoodReads and Wikipedia
Now I’m aware that GoodReads and Wiki are a finger tap away. Why bother reading through this post when you can just find some recommendations there? I’ve recently read up on how people have both good and bad inside of them and what the Freudian theories are around this particular concept. If you’ve picked up an interest in this the way I have, I just wanted to make you a list for easy access.
Try out these titles and let us know which ones were heart-wrenching for you in the comments below!