Sherlock Holmes Characteristics

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Holmes’s heroic performance in the Civil War in a sense previewed his performance in civil life. Holmes had courage in battle, but his real heroism was of another order. The older heroism of the battlefield became the superior heroism of the mind, the hero as thinker. Some of the personality and character traits he showed as a soldier he showed again later as a scholar and judge. Just as Holmes during the war was in the first rank courageously waving his sword and leading an infantry charge, so too in law he was in the first rank bravely wielding his pen and leading an assault, implicitly shouting, “Will no one follow me?” Just as in war he marched into what he called “debatable land,” so too as a legal thinker he marched into debatable intellectual territory. But there was…show more content…
Besides his daily tasks as a shirtsleeve lawyer, he somehow also found time to read, think and write about the law. He totally immersed himself in the law. Almost obsessively, and to the exclusion of everything else, he devoted whatever free time he had to these intellectual activities. A regular day of law practice done, Holmes went to the law library for hours of research for his scholarly writing. Holmes viewed his intellectual efforts as heroic. “To think great thoughts,” he said to Harvard students in 1886, “you must be heroes as well as idealists.” He was referring again to the extreme loneliness and uncertainty of original intellectual work. “Only when you have worked alone — when you have felt around you a black gulf of solitude more isolating than that which surrounds a dying man, and in hope and despair have trusted to your unshaken will — then only will you have achieved.” We hold dear the notion of the solitary thinker or creator, courageously overcoming the odds. Holmes was now trying to vanquish a new, perhaps more dangerous Confederacy, the confederacy of dunces allied and arrayed against
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