Philosophy And Ideas In Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’

1854 words - 7 pages

UNIVERSITY OF PRISHTINAFACULTY OF PHILOLOGYENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATUREPHILOSOPHY AND IDEAS IN OSCAR WILDE'S 'THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY'Student: Instructor:Gentiana Bicaj MA. Sazan KryeziuID: 131765May, 14th 2014IntroductionVarious definitions of art and its function were given during the nineteenth century. Perhaps, no other literary era has dealt more with the purpose of art. Accordingly, several movements including Realism, Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetic movement proclaimed their own ideologies of it. These different ideas of art presented a great impact in the poetical development of Oscar Wilde, who agreed and disagreed with some of them, until his critical artist appears with the creation of his own theory of art."Some said my life was a lie, but I always knew it to be the truth, for like the truth it was rarely pure and never simple" was a response of Oscar Wilde, before he died, to Jean Dupoirier who questioned him about his life in London (Raby, 1997). Certainly, comprehending Wilde is not simple, but at the same time this fact adds a reason more to analyze his works, since he occupies a great place in the intellectual stature of the nineteenth century.The Picture of Dorian Gray is ranked among the most prominent examples of aestheticism in the nineteenth century literature, with its protagonist Dorian Gray and Lord Henry's aesthetic lifestyles. This essay's purpose is an interpretation of the philosophy and ideas of Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Thus, this essay will briefly introduce the reader with the Aesthetic movement and its reflection in the philosophy of the novel, presenting Wilde's 'New Hedonism' and Homoeroticism. It will also provide information about Oscar Wilde's standpoints of Realism and 'Anti-Victorian morality' and Wilde's attitude and interpretation of art in the novel.Aestheticism and its reflection in the novelSince the classical times, the Greek term 'Aesthetics' is given to the study and the nature of the beautiful. "In the second half of the nineteenth century, fuelled by the writings of Walter Pater and Baudelaire and the art of the Pre-Raphaelites, British poets, painters, designers and architects began to turn to aesthetic concerns and to place more emphasis on ornament and on the past (Lambourne, 1996)".Also the Pre- Raphaelites, who did not accept to heighten the effect of art, had a view of art which was related to the single phrase stimulated by the Aesthetic movement 'Art for Art's sake'. The supporters of the Aesthetic movement believed that art's values were superior since they were 'self-sufficient' and had no 'aim beyond its own perfection' (Gillespie, pp. 141-142).In the middle of the nineteenth century, aesthetics was defined as something beautiful, and it was mainly related with art.Wilde's powerful support of an aesthetic life is illustrated through Lord Henry's influence in Dorian Gray: "We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind,...

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