Art for Arts sake - Analysis of the Picture of Dorian Gray

Topics: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, Gothic fiction Pages: 4 (1328 words) Published: January 7, 2014
Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

The work of literature I chose to analyze is called The Picture of Dorian Gray. It is the only published novel that was written by Oscar Wilde. In these papers I am going to briefly describe the main characters and the plot of the novel, then I am going to write about the historical period in which was the book written and how is this period reflected in the book. The last part of my work will be an analysis of Lord Henry´s influence on Dorian Gray. The story is set in London towards the end of the 19th century. The main character of the book is a young and extremely handsome man named Dorian Gray. He is sitting to a painter called Basil Hallward. Basil is greatly inspired by the beauty of the boy and Dorian becomes painter´s muse. In the artist’s studio Dorian also meets Lord Henry Wotton, a man of great intellect and immoral views.

When the painting is finished, Basil and Henry are shocked by the exquisiteness of the picture. Dorian also admires the way the picture depicts his look, but he becomes frightened when his new friend, Lord Henry, tells him that his beauty will fade with age, whereas the picture will remain the same. Dorian makes a passionate wish that he would remain young and the picture aged instead of him. Being influenced by Lord Henry, Dorian abandons the life of virtues and starts the life of vices. His behavior seems to be reflected in the portrait and Dorian quickly realizes that his wish has come true. Scared by what he sees in the picture, Dorian decides to hide the portrait in a locked room. However, this event doesn´t change anything, Dorian continues his life of deception and cruelties. Then one evening he meets the artist again. After he showed him the picture, Dorian´s hatred of painter´s work overwhelms him and he kills Basil. Dorian tries to carry on with his life as usual, but the feelings of guilt grow stronger and stronger. Finally, Dorian decides to destroy the picture and all the...

Bibliography: BRONTE, Emily. Wuthering Heights. London: Penguin Books.1994. ISBN 0-14-062012-5
CUMMINGS, Michael J. The Picture of Dorian Gray, A study guide. Cummings Study Guides. [online]. 2012. [cit. 2012-01-12]. Dostupný z WWW: www.cummingsstudyguides.net
ROEBUCK, Olga. British culture of the 20th century. (Seminar) Pardubice. University of Pardubice, 14 October 2011.
SPARKNOTES Editors. SparkNote on The Picture of Dorian Gray. SparkNotes.com [online]. 2009, [cit. 2012-01-06]. Dostupný z WWW: www.sparknotes.com
VÍT, Ladislav. British literature II. (Lecture) Pardubice. University of Pardubice, 5 October 2011.
WILDE, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Oxford University Press. 1974. ISBN 0-19-281553-9
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