Lord Henrys Characterisation in chapters 1-4
Lord Henry’s character is perhaps the most influential in the novel, serving as the one of the prime contributors to Dorian’s corruption.
In chapter 1, Basil pleas Wotton to stay away from Dorian as not to “spoil him”, then, after a pause states, “mind harry, I trust you”. Basil feels these words have been “…wrung out of him almost against his will”; this portrays Lord Henry’s power in influence as Lord Henry has gotten his way without so much as a word. We know Dorian is awfully important to Basil, as we know, he is absolutely infatuated “he is all my art to me now”. If Lord Henry were dangerous, why would Basil allow him to meet with Dorian? This is because Basil is powerless in the feat of Lord Henry’s manipulative powers.
Lord Henry is worldly, experienced and speaks with conviction., he is confident in his words and is self-assured. His statements are respected and are rarely challenged, even in his social group of learned aristocrats he is highly respected. From the first page Lord Henry uses complex figures of speech and never misses an opportunity to display his wit. His conversations are always filled with a great amount of puns, wordplay and paradox’s -”there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about” At times it seems he is speaking in riddles, adding to his allure and mysteriousness that captures the reader.
He is an artist of language and skillfully uses his art to experiment with people, this is clear in the unique development of his thinking up an idea shown in ”he played with the idea, and grew wistful; tossed it into the air and transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it (page 42)“ the actual attention to detail in his ideas as well as his thorough deliberation, convey what gives him such confidence and power.
Lord Henrys views are generally considered immoral, but, through his eloquent speech and his thoughtful presentation of dialogue the...
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