The Picture Of Dorian Gray 3

1511 words - 7 pages

The only novel by Oscar Wilde, one of the well-known characters of British literature, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is a brilliant work from the end of the 19th century containing horror features. The narrative is set in London and the main characters are: Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, who wishes to be young forever; Lord Henry Wotton, a witty and very sociable man, who plays a vital role in Dorian’s life; an artist, Basil Hallward, who is extremely fond of Dorian. Other characters are Sibyl Vane, a young beautiful actress, and her brother, James.

The story begins in a studio where the artist finishes his masterpiece, the portrait of Dorian Gray. Basil is amazed by Dorian’s beauty ...view middle of the document...

Many literary works were concerned with contemporary social problems, for instance, the effects of the industrial revolution, the influence of the theory of evolution, movements of political and social reform. Wilde also used these features in his novel. Even the "poisonous book" that spoils Dorian exists. The book, called A Rebours, was published in 1884, during the French decadence. Although the cult did not catch on much in England, it influenced Wilde's literary imagination a lot.

A similar topic of good and evil can be seen in Robert Louis Stevenson's fiction called The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. While Dr Jekyll's alter ego is Mr Hyde, Dorian finds his other self in his picture. While Dr Jekyll kills his evil `double`, Mr Hyde, therefore himself, Dorian stabs the picture. However, it is Dorian who dies as a wrinkled loathsome man and the picture which shows youth and beauty again. Both works have inspired many artists from all around the world to various adaptations.
In the 19th century, the work was criticised for its features of homosexuality. Wilde had to revise his work so that it could be published in a book form. Nowadays, the work is surely considered to be one of the most remarkable pieces. It is colourful and full of epigrams and symbols.

Youth and beauty are themes that appear in the book from the very beginning. But what is beauty? Is it only physical beauty or can we talk about inner beauty as well? According to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, beauty is described as “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially by being looked at”. Lord Henry describes this word as a “form of Genius“. “...Beauty is a form of Genius - is higher, indeed, than Genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts of the world, like sunlight, or spring-time, or the reflection in dark waters of that silver shell we call the moon. ... It has its divine right of sovereignty. It makes princes of those who have it. ... To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders.” (45) And he adds: “It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible...” (45) Can we also judge beauty according to what we are interested in, what we study? In a higher society, beauty is often associated with wealth. No matter if it is a piece of art or jewellery.
Lord Henry has a great influence on Dorian. At their first meeting, he tells Dorian about the importance of being young and beautiful. He says that it is the key to happiness. “...youth is the one thing worth having. ... When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you, ... You will suffer horribly...” (45-46) At the end of the book the Duchess of Monmouth points out that he appraises beauty too much. Nevertheless, Dorian is too scared of losing his youth and...

Other Essays Like The Picture of Dorian Gray 3

The Picture of Dorian Gray: Research and Analysis Paper

1028 words - 5 pages ;. Rader, Melissa. “Oscar Wilde.” Victorias Past. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Oct. 2011. <‌OscarWilde/‌OscarWilde.htm>. “The Victorian Era (1837 - 1901).” Eras of Elegance. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <‌history/‌victorianarts.html>. “A Wife’s Need.” Victorias Past. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. <‌LifeofVictorianWoman/‌LifeofVictorianWoman.html>. Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. 1891. New York, New York : Penguin Group, 2001. Print.

Vanity In "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" And "Frankenstein"

417 words - 2 pages "The quality or state of being vain; want of substance to satisfy desire; emptiness; unsubstantialness; unrealness; falsity", is the definition of vanity according to Webster's revised unabridged dictionary. Vanity destroys lives. In the novels "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" by Thomas Hardy, and "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, one can see the way vanity destroys the lives of a character.In Frankenstein

Essay on Picture of Dorian Gray: A Jungian Analysis

970 words - 4 pages   The Picture of Dorian Gray begins with Basil describing his fascination with Dorian, and ends with his masterpiece reverting to its original splendour. He describes his reaction to Dorian in these words: "When our eyes met, I felt I was growing pale. A curious sensation of terror came over me. I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my

‘the Novel’s Contrasting Settings Portray a Gulf Between Social Classes in Victorian Society.’ How Far and in What Ways Do You Agree with This View of the Picture of Dorian Gray?

1010 words - 5 pages ‘The novel’s contrasting settings portray a gulf between social classes in Victorian society.’ How far and in what ways do you agree with this view of The Picture of Dorian Gray? The novel’s contrasting settings do portray a gulf between social classes in Victorian society but also represents the dualism in The Picture Of Dorian Gray. Wilde specifically chooses to pick two opposite settings, the East End and the West End, and ignores the

Steinbeck's Picture Of Life On The Ranch

1436 words - 6 pages Steinbeck's Picture of Life on the Ranch Works Cited Missing I think that Steinbeck's picture of life on the ranch was mainly pessimistic, but it still held a little hope. The story took place in the 1930s, during the Great Depression. The economic situation was in a terrible state. The unemployment problem was so serious

Picture of the Insight to Moral Issues

640 words - 3 pages societies are usually secular Secularist increased largely in the younger generations; 19.4% of 40-49 year old while 26.9% for 20-29 year old 3 reasons why Secularism developed: Replacement of science on religious practice/belief Multiculturalism through immigration that embraced variety of religions and relative religions Modern society began to refuse authoritarian organisations The increase of Secularism is evident through: Low number of people attending to church (approximately 12% attends church every Sunday) Society’s laws are no longer depended on religion but on ‘human rights’

The 1992 Best Picture Of The Year, Unforgiven, Is A

2370 words - 10 pages The 1992 best picture of the year, Unforgiven, is a tribute to the ever-popular western, it shows aspects of racism, feminism, ageism, and revenge, areas all coinciding with the society in 1992. Unforgiven was a highly acclaimed movie. It was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 4 for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, and Best Film Editing. It showed a negligible amount of racism and showed the feminist ideals of the power of

The Ultimate Betrayal: Cordelia Gray, Ronald Callender, and the Establishment of an Anti-Heroin

1608 words - 7 pages The Ultimate Betrayal: Cordelia Gray, Ronald Callender, and the Establishment of an Anti-heroin In the contemporary literary scene, heroes enjoy an increased moral complexity. Mid-20th century playwrights such as Samuel Beckett and Tom Stoppard have given viewers anti-heroic protagonists recognizable by their lack of identity and determination. Film noir detective stories of the mid-20th century have seen characters such as Sam Spade, who

Short Analysis of Act 3 Scene 3 of the Tempest

1052 words - 5 pages Topic Scene 3 IN this scene of the play we see the weary Alonso and his follerwers pause in their serarch for Ferninand .Alonso is broken hearted and expresses his deep despair . However, Antonio encourafes Sebastian despite the Kings low spirits he should continue with his plan to kill him , seeing as they are now weary and cannot be as alert as when fresh, Propsero appears, invisible to them and a strange music and dancing of creatures of

The rebelloin of Lance Part 3

520 words - 3 pages part was always looking for this one person or this one cathedral. Then suddenly that part of him went off like a fire alarm. He ran towards it. He was finally at the place where he wished he were for a long period of time. He was at the cathedral where so much happened to him. He was at the only place he knew that would hold the one person he cared for the most. Elaine.Lances heart was beating faster than when he ran for 3 days strait. His

Portfolios of the Poor Chapters 1-3

713 words - 3 pages Chapter 1- About 2.5 billion people live on less than two dollars a day. Two dollars a day does not mean literally mean “two dollars a day.” It is an average over time. Those who live on so little seek to manage their money. They save as much as they can and borrow when they need to. “Money management, for the poor [is] a fundamental and well-understood part of everyday life” (3). -The authors conducted studies that they called financial

Related Papers

Influences In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1304 words - 6 pages . b. Faults in idolization and their consequences. IV. Art can exert a detrimental influence. a. Dorian’s realization of his own beauty because of the portrait. b. The portrait’s scars looming over Dorian. V. Conclusion Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray depicts a character that barters his soul for eternal youth, and in turn, engages in murder, scandal, and drug abuse. The fall of the protagonist

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

The Picture Of Dorian Gray 5

838 words - 4 pages The Picture of Dorian Gray   Harry is Pan, the piper who leads Dorian on his path to destruction, decadence, and moral decay. As with Pan, the merry and much-loved god, the victim of the god's attention does not fare well. As Pan had Syrinx and Echo, Harry has Dorian. Pan caused madness and panic with his passions; Harry seems to have had the same result with Dorian. Wilde reveals much of Harry's character in the writing. His is the

Dandyism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

4021 words - 17 pages When Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in 1890 it was on the receiving end of some very hostile reviews (Mighall ix). It was so ill-received not because it was poorly written, but rather because of the ideas it presented, ideas which were seen as dangerous and polluting. The reason was that it called into question the bourgeois constructions of masculinity which were considered the norm in nineteenth century England. In