Oscar Wilde: the Picture of Dorian Gray

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Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde was one of the poets who‘s lyrics refused the problems of morality and philosophy which troubled the population during the Victorian era in the nineteenth century, and he found images for his own moods, loves and experience. His work as a dramatist and his legendary name, have given his verses a significant reputation. (Evans, I., 1976, p.114)

Wilde’s pleasure in provocation and his examination of different moral perspectives are presented in his most important work of fiction, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). It is a tragedy of sorts with the subtext of a morality play. The central character is at once a desperate suicide and a martyr. (Sanders, A., 1996, p.476)

The title of this book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, suggests that the novel is about the image of the man, rather than about the man himself. Dorian exists as a beautiful but basically insignificant image first, before he exists as a human being.

As he ages he keeps his good looks and indulges himself in all kinds of sensual pleasure without regard to moral consequences. But his portrait changes reflecting the corruption of his soul. (Carter, R., McRae, J., 1997, 309)

In the first chapter, we meet the two major characters of the novel as Basil Hallward the painter, who seems to be more attracted by Dorian as a model than as a person and Lord Henry Wotton, the cynic who corrupts Dorian and values beauty above all else. Very important aspect of the Basil character is that he is attracted by Dorian on more than a professional level. He finds Dorian very beautiful and pure which causes a later rejection by the boy and the Basil’s inability to create any more great art.

In the second chapter the protagonist first appears and meets Lord Henry who describes Dorian as a very handsome young man, "Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his finely-curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold...
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