November 16, 2012
The Reality and Truth of an Artist
Oscar Wilde’s definition of an artist is the creator of beautiful things to reveal art and to conceal the artist. In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is controversial whether or not Lord Henry and Dorian Gray are true artists or not. Both are creators of beautiful things and revealers of art, yet blunder out from the artistic world and come to the real world. Overall, Lord Henry and Dorian Gray do fit the definitions as artists in Oscar Wilde’s perspective by having no desires to prove anything, by having to express everything, and by having no ethical sympathies.
Lord Henry and Dorian Gray are artists, according to Oscar Wilde, because no desires are arousing to prove anything. “Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful” (Wilde 34). Lord Henry tells this to Dorian, and Dorian takes it to heart. He repeatedly hears how he should not desire anything since the truth can be proven, and it is sometimes something that is not necessary to see. Both of these characters have no true desires because it has no significant importance and it is an unnecessary detail in life. All focus needs to be directed on them and revealing art and being creators.
Correspondingly, Lord Henry and Dorian fulfill Wilde’s definition of being an artist by having to express everything. Being the arrogant and obnoxious character Lord Henry is, he always states what is on his mind. He influences Dorian Gray, which shows through the choices and actions of Dorian. Dorian also expresses everything, especially to Sibyl Vane. The night of Sibyl’s show where she acted terribly, Dorian bluntly told her how she “killed [his] love [and how she is] shallow and stupid” (Wilde 63). Dorian did not care how his words affect Sibyl, and is only...