Literary Critique Of "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" By Oscar Wilde.

1707 words - 7 pages

Corruption caused by art, scandalous homoerotic bonds, and even the Anti-Christ himself have been said to be figured in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Critics have ranted and raved about the novel's supposed advocacy of seeking out the sensual and often taboo pleasures of life and denying the senses of nothing. They've praised and condemned Wilde's ambiguous representation of the homosexual triad formed by the three central characters, Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward, and Lord Henry Wotton. Dorian's abuse of experience and his preference of illusion to reality have been explored in depth. One critic even claimed the novel's antagonist Lord Henry Wotton to be a representation of the Devil (Spivey 501). While many literary critiques discuss the implications of the themes laid out by Wilde, few have sought to determine the implications of the mood and the stylistic approach taken in the creation of the novel.The relationships between the male characters of The Picture of Dorian Gray have been the main subject of discussion in many literary critiques. While the homosexual nature of Dorian, Basil, and Harry are undeniably apparent, the message Wilde is emphasizing through his vague depiction of homosexuality in the characters is debatable. Critic Jeffery Meyers claimed that the underlying assumption behind this depiction is the fear, guilt, and self-hatred which accompany homosexual pleasure. Wilde demonstrates these emotions through Dorian's endeavors to suppress his homosexuality by means of a pure woman. Societal repression of homosexuality instilled in Dorian fear and self-hatred of his own sexual orientation, and this guilt tormented Dorian's conscience up to the day of his suicide. Thus, Wilde personifies Dorian's homosexuality as an "undefined and pervasive evil" (Meyers 374). Others find this view to be "a distortion based on egregious misrepresentations," refuting the nobility of homosexuality by examining the powerful effect Basil's love for Dorian has on his portrait (Summers 399). Both these views are irresolvable because they are based on presumptions which Wilde purposely leaves indeterminable.Throughout the entire novel, the focus of homosexuality is implied and hinted subtly by Wilde, but never stated openly. Perhaps Wilde's purpose for this ambiguity was to avoid some of the controversy and accusations that may have arose due to writing about a subject which was considered taboo at the time. He tactfully veered from directly expressing the sexual orientation of his characters, playing "hide and seek" with his readers by alternating Dorian's affections (Summers 398). During the first four chapters, both Basil and Lord Henry express sentiments toward Dorian Gray hinting at a homoerotic nature. Lord Henry described Dorian as such; "Yes, he was wonderfully handsome, with his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold hair" (Wilde 16) The tone in which Wilde characterizes Dorian's appearance through the voice of...

Find Another Essay On Literary critique of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde.

Frankenstein Language Analysis, The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde

683 words - 3 pages . The "thunder sounds," while no storm is actually present, is a motif to let the reader know that the monster is coming. From the storm that incited Victor's original ambition, to the monster's stormy creation, a tempest precedes the monster's arrival. This storm shows the chaos that comes with the monster instead of the fame and success that Victor originally envisioned.SparkNotes Editors. "SparkNote on The Picture of Dorian Gray." SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 1 Feb. 2012.

The Influence of Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

2467 words - 10 pages Henry’s dominating nature, showing there are no limitations in relationships when it comes to influence. The topic of which character primarily influences Dorian to turn to a dishonest lifestyle is undeniably significant in understanding the purpose of the characters as well as the deeper meaning of the text. Work Cited Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1993.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" (by Oscar Wilde) - brief plot outline - character analysis - critical evaluation

1605 words - 6 pages The Picture of Dorian Gray(Oscar Wilde)Plot OutlineThe story is about a handsome and eloquent young man named Dorian Gray. He has a special friendship with the painter Basil Hallward, who, inspired by his extraordinary beauty, makes a portrait of him.Basil, extremely fond of Dorian, does not want him to get in contact with his friend, Lord Henry Wotton, a sinister aristocrat, who has a certain influence to other people. His cynical outlook on

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

1722 words - 7 pages Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray      The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel by Oscar Wilde. The genre of this novel can be classified as a comedy of manners or a gothic novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Another version with an additional six chapters was published in 1891. One of the major themes in the novel was the Supremacy of Beauty and Youth. A very attractive man

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

1105 words - 4 pages Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray - What is the author trying to say about life through this book? Explain why you think so. I am not to sure on exactly what the author is trying to say through this book. I think he is telling us to live a full and moral life. Well I don't think he expects us to lead a completely moral life, but because of the picture of Dorian's soul I think he was trying to say lead a good life. He wants us to know

Right and Wrong in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennesse Williams

2418 words - 10 pages Picture of Dorian Gray and A Streetcar Named Desire, emphasize the capitulating to unethical behavior for narcissistic reasons and the inability to determine right from wrong. In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray’s true nature is revealed through a graceful portrait that a man by the name of Basil Hallward paints. This painting resembles Dorian’s beauty and purity. “When he saw it he drew back, and his cheeks flushed for a

How does Oscar Wilde explore self love in "The picture of Dorian Gray"

686 words - 3 pages How does Oscar Wilde explore self-love in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?Oscar Wilde explores many different types of love within his novel. The most notable form shown is self-love; this is the most apparent form due to the blatant narcissism and conceit shown by the main character Dorian and others within the book. Dorian's aesthetic beauty is expressed very early on in the book "clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a

Real Face in the Art: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" - Oscar Wilde

1525 words - 6 pages show the real face much better than the mirror can reflect it.I consider Oscar Wilde's work The Picture of Dorian Gray to be a great example of how powerful, effective and influential the art can be. In this book it is the painter Basil Hallward, who made a Dorian's portrait so perfect like the reflection of him in the mirror. Later in the book the portrait changed and Dorian found out that it showed something that could never be seen in the mirror

Criticism of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

1148 words - 5 pages Criticism of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray          The novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde originally appeared in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890.  It was then published in 1891, in book form, containing six additional chapters with revisions. The first reviews of Dorian Gray were mostly unfavorable.  It was condemned for its speculative treatment  of immoral or at least uncomfortable subjects. A

"The Color of Innocence" about "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. Examines the color white motif in the novel and the way it's meaning evolves.

1324 words - 5 pages The Color of InnocenceIn the context of "The Picture of Dorian Gray," one of the most noticeable and important motifs is that of the color white and its variants, including, but not limited to, pale and listless. The meaning of this color evolves as the novel progresses, changing in relation to Dorian's character. While the motif may never physically alter in appearance, it succeeds in reversing meaning completely, signifying the great contrast

Abstract Aestheticism in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

2706 words - 11 pages Literature. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2011. Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc. Gomel, Elana, "Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the (Un)Death of the Author." Narrative, Jan2004, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p74-92, 19p. (Article) Maier, Sarah. "decadence." In Maunder, Andrew. Facts On File Companion to the British Short Story. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2007.Bloom's Literary Reference Online. Facts On File, Inc

Similar Essays

The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

560 words - 2 pages Say, on a particular day, a good friend asks of one to perform an unmentionable immoral action on his or her behalf; should one accept? An internal conflict will arise from the risk of sacrificing a relationship for one's moral's and values. Such an internal conflict is depicted in The Picture of Dorian Gary, a novel by Oscar Wilde, where the protagonist is of two minds between his friends, Basil and Lord Henry, good and evil, and pursuit of

"The Picture Of Dorian Gray" By Oscar Wilde

1498 words - 6 pages to look to the inside - into the soul. This is the place where the real beauty and ugliness are hidden.The notion of inner and outer beauty is perfectly presented in the novel 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. The story described in this book shows how the external attractiveness influences people's behavior and corrupts the inner beauty. The plot situated in the XIX England perfectly describes the higher class of this period. Shallow

The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

1523 words - 6 pages show the real face much better than the mirror can reflect it.1. I consider Oscar Wilde's work The Picture of Dorian Gray to be a great example of how powerful, effective and influential the art can be. In this book it is the painter Basil Hallward, who made a Dorian's portrait so perfect like the reflection of him in the mirror. Later in the book the portrait changed and Dorian found out that it showed something that could never be seen in the

The Influences Of Oscar Wilde The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1591 words - 6 pages such a glorious creature should every grow old'. The artist agreed, adding, ' How delightful it would be if he could remain exactly as he is, while the portrait aged and withered in his stead.'"(Jullian, 406) It was this which inspired the story of Dorian Gray and the character of Lord Henry was influenced by Wilde himself.Throughout his life time Oscar Wilde had many influences for The Picture of Dorian Gray. His mothers want of a daughter