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Beauty In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1001 words - 5 pages

In Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, beauty is depicted as the driving force in the lives of the three main characters, Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry. Dorian, the main character, believes in seizing the day. Basil, the artist, admires all that is beautiful in life. Lord Henry, accredited ones physical appearance to the ability of achieving accomplishments in life. Beauty ordains the fate of Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry. The novel embodies the relationship of beauty and morality. Beauty is not based on how attractive an object is to everyone, but how attractive it is to one.
Dorian Gray's life is dictated by his physical appeal. His beauty lies within his youth. Dorian's ...view middle of the document...

But, as he destroys the picture, he kills himself, and the picture is cleansed and beautiful again.
Basil's life is also driven by beauty. He is infatuated with Dorian's beauty in the beginning. He appreciated Dorian's beauty but did not wish to possess it for himself. Basil exclaims, “When our eyes met, I felt that I was growing pale... I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.” His love for Dorian changed the way he perceived art. Basil eventually paints a portrait of Dorian to capture his beauty forever. Basil’s portrait marks a new phase in his career. Once he has painted Dorian, he fears that he has put too much of himself into the work. Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to Lord Henry, who he fears will have a damaging influence on Dorian. He admits, “Yes, that is his name. I didn't intend to tell it to you.” Basil is later envious of the relationship between Lord Henry and Dorian. Lord Henry upsets Dorian with a speech about the transient nature of beauty and youth. Basil, wishing to protect and defect him, voices his objection to Lord Henry’s influence over Dorian. Dorian felt Basil had come to realize his true personality and that he would bring it to someones attention. Basil is murdered by Dorian. The murder of Basil marks the beginning of Dorian's end. He cannot overcome the realization that he killed his friend.
Lord Henry is captivated by the beauty that others see in Dorian. Lord Henry argues, “Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil.” Lord Henry cherishes Dorian's beauty. With Dorian's beauty anything can be achieved, in the eyes of Lord Henry. He discloses to Dorian that his...

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