Dorian Gray Essay Introduction

The Picture of Dorian Gray Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Bibliography on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray was published simultaneously in Philadelphia's Lippincott's Monthly Magazine and by Ward, Lock and Company in England, in July, 1890. In England, the novella was condemned by many reviewers as shocking and immoral. Wilde tried to address some of these criticisms as he worked on an expanded version of the story, which was published as a full-length novel in 1891, along with a preface in which Wilde stated his artistic credo.

The novel centers on Dorian Gray, a young man of great beauty. When he meets Lord Henry Wotton, Lord Henry inspires him with a vision of life in which the pursuit of beauty through sensual pleasure is valued above ethical or moral concerns. Another friend of Dorian, the artist Basil Hallward, awakens Dorian's vanity. After admiring a portrait of himself painted by Basil, Dorian declares that he would give his own soul if he could remain eternally young while the portrait grows old. He gets his wish, and the picture shows the gradual disfigurement of his soul as he sinks into a life of degradation and crime.

As a variation on the Faust legend, with echoes of the fall of man and the Adonis myth, and as an examination of the relationship between art and life, The Picture of Dorian Gray fascinated readers into the early 2000s and gave rise to many different interpretations.

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Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay examples

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Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel by Oscar Wilde. The genre of this novel can be classified as a comedy of manners or a gothic novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Another version with an additional six chapters was published in 1891. One of the major themes in the novel was the Supremacy of Beauty and Youth. A very attractive man has a portrait painted of himself, and after being warned of the mortality of his youth the man, Dorian, trades his soul to remain young while his portrait bears the markings of his age and evil deeds. Dorian becomes increasingly evil thoughout the novel, while constantly being encouraged by Lord…show more content…

The yellow book represents how art can have a profound and horrible influence over a person. Dorian followed the yellow book as if it were his bible. Allowing him to be completely influenced by it. All of these symbols are recurring symbols in the novel.

Dorian Gray meets artist Basil Hallward in his aunt’s, Lady Brandon, estate. Basil was immediately inspired by the striking beauty of young Dorian Gray. Basil has Dorian sit for many portraits, quite a few of which depicted him as a hero from ancient Greece or a mythological figure. At the beginning of the novel Basil is finishing a portrait of Dorian in his true likeness. Basil shares with his friend, Lord Henry Wotton, his reluctance to show his painting because he was worried he had revealed too much about the way he felt for Dorian in painting it. Lord Wotton was known for causing scandals by his irreverent worshipping of youth and beauty and his selfish pursuit of pleasure. Lord Wotton, in true character, tells Basil that the portrait is his greatest masterpiece, admiring the beauty of the young man in portrayed in the painting. While Lord Wotton and Basil were discussing the painting, Dorian arrived at Basil’s studio. Basil did not want Dorian to meet Lord Henry Wotton because he was afraid the Lord Wotton would have a negative influence on Dorian.

As soon as Lord Wotton met Dorian he had already began to influence him. It was at this meeting that Lord Wotton

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