Oscar Wilde as Dorian Gray
‘I have put too much of myself in it’ (Wilde 12), commented Basil Hallward, a fictional artist, about his newly completed masterpiece. Just like Oscar Wilde, the author of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890, revised 1891), who put so much of his life into his novel; his experience, surroundings, and the global happenings of his time, strongly influenced the production of the speculative, philosophical, gothic novel. The author’s homosexuality, the ridiculous social standards of Victorian England, and the Aesthetic Movement throughout Europe in the late 19th century, gravely inspired the creation of the Faustian fable. Oscar Wilde’s most well-known literary work – The Picture of Dorian Gray – had been greatly affected by his personal life, the environment he lived in, and the world during his time. Homosexuality, by definition, is the sexual attraction to one’s own gender. Oscar Wilde’s unique sex life had roused numerous debates about his sexual orientation, but many came to a consensus that Oscar Wilde was homosexual. Most biographers believed that Wilde was introduced to homosexuality in 1885, a year after marrying his beloved wife, Constance Lloyd. It was said that his first serious male-to-male relationship happened somewhere during that time. Wilde’s sexual timeline confirms that he had homoerotic behaviours during the writing of The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was released in 1890. Homosexuality in 19th century England was illegal; as a highly regarded figure in the public eye, Wilde was forced to keep his sexual orientation a mystery. Being unable to exhibit his true nature was a wicked torment. As an attempt to liberate himself from the bonds of misery, he expressed himself by incorporating homosexual characteristics in his literary work. A line from the novel by Basil Hallward, “As long as I live, the personality of Dorian Gray will dominate me.” (Wilde 23), is one of the many examples of Wilde’s pseudo confession. In the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document