The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Homoerotic codes in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Luljeta Muriqi A60 Literary Seminar Spring 2007 Department of English Lund University Supervisor: C. Wadsjö Lecaros

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION................................................................1 AESTHETICISM .................................................................2 HELLENISM .......................................................................4 Art ...................................................................................4 Education .........................................................................5 SECRECY AND SHAME ...................................................9 Basil/Dorian.....................................................................9 Dorian/Lord Henry/other men .........................................11 EFFEMINACY ....................................................................14 CONCLUSION ....................................................................16 WORKS CITED...................................................................18

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INTRODUCTION
Although Oscar Wilde 's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) is considered to be one of the best known homoerotic novels ever written, the novel does not contain any explicit statements of homoeroticism which leaves the novel to be more of a suggestive work of such a theme. The popularity of the novel has much to do with its author and the scandals surrounding him. Oscar Wilde was a master of controversy, but the greatest scandal of his life was the charge and conviction of sodomy and gross indecency for which he was sentenced two years of hard labour in prison (Raby, xxi). In the Victorian age, homosexuality and sodomy were punishable crimes. Following the publication of the novel many reviews appeared labelling it as indecent. Wilde defended it, saying there was nothing sexual about it. The novel is partly set around an artist 's profound admiration for his muse, a young beautiful boy. Since



Cited: Primary source: Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray 1891. London: Penguin Books, 1994 Secondary sources: Carroll, Joseph. “Aestheticism, Homoeroticism, and Christian Guilt in The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Philosophy and Literature vol 29:2, p.286-304, 2005. Cohen, Ed (ed.). “Writing Gone Wilde: Homoerotic Desire in the Closet of Representation”. Publications of the Modern Language Association of America vol. 102:5, p.801-813, 1987. Dowling, Linda. Hellenism and Homosexuality in Victorian Oxford. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1994. Glick, Elisa. “The Dialects of Dandyism”. Cultural Critique vol 48:1 p. 129-163, 2001. Mason, S (ed.). Art and Morality. London: 1908. Loesberg, Jonathan. Aestheticism and Deconstruction. Pater, Derrida, and De Man. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991. Nunokawa, Jeffrey. “The Disappearance of the Homosexual in The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Haggarty & Zimmerman (eds). Professions of Desire, New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1995. Pedley, John Grifiths. Greek Art and Archaeology. 2nd ed. London: Laurence King Puplishing, 1993. Raby, Peter. The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. 21 Rasmussen, Mary Lou. “The Problem of Coming Out”. Theory Into Practice vol 43:2, p. 144-150, 2004. Schaffer, Talia. “Fashioning Aestheticism by Aestheticising Fashion: Wilde, Beerbohm and the Male Aesthetes ' sartorial codes”. Victorian Literature and Culture vol 28:1, p. 3954, 2000. Small, I. The Aesthetes. A Sourcebook. London, Boston and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979. Standfort, Theo G.M. ”Sexual Orientation and Gender: Stereotypes and Beyond”. Archives of Sexual Behaviour vol 34:6, p. 595-611, 2005. Internet & encyclopaedia sources: Norton, R (ed.) “Newspaper Reports for 1707” Homosexuality in eighteenth-century England: A Sourcebook. 11 August 2000, updated 9 February 2003. <http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/1707news.htm> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homoeroticism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality Hornblower, Simon & Spawforth, Antony. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd ed. 1996.

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