Basil insists that his love for Dorian is "noble and intellectual," and there is no reason to doubt him. But he also speaks about Dorian in terms that a man would normally speak about a lover and about falling in love.
What are the mythic elements in the novel? There are allusions to two myths: The second chapter of the novel strongly suggests a temptation scene. It takes place in a garden. Basil Hallward, the painter, is like God the creator; he has just created the picture of Dorian in all his perfection.
The tempter is Lord Henry, who wants to persuade Dorian to ignore all the conventional rules of society, just as the serpent wants Eve to disregard the commandments from God.
Dorian is like the first man, Adam, innocent in his perfection, who is being told by the serpent to taste of the forbidden fruit of sensual experience. At various crises in Dorian's life, Henry retains the role of the tempter.
He is at Dorian's side encouraging him to adopt an attitude toward life that will cost him dear in the long run. For example, when Dorian and Henry discuss the death of Sibyl, Henry encourages him to view it from a detached point of view, like an episode in a play.
This means that Dorian never develops the moral sense necessary to balance his love of sensual experience. He "falls" and his soul is blackened. In the Faust legend, Faust sells his soul to the devil in order to gain knowledge and power.
Dorian is a Faustian figure because he wants to obtain eternal youth, something that under normal circumstances no human being can obtain.
He enters into a Faustian bargain when he prays that he might be able to remain forever young while the process of aging is confined to the picture. When the woman at the opium den says that "Prince Charming" sold himself to the devil for a pretty face, she is unconsciously referring to the Faust myth.
Wilde was condemned by his critics for writing an "immoral" book; he claimed it was a very moral work. What justification is there for either view?
On publication, The Picture of Dorian Gray met with a storm of hostile reviews which condemned the book for its alleged immorality. The tone of the reviews was often virulent. The critic for the Daily Chronicle wrote, "It is a tale spawned from the leprous literature of the French Decadents-a poisonous book, the atmosphere of which is heavy with the mephitic odours of moral and spiritual putrefaction.
Wilde replied, in letters to literary magazines, that the novel had a moral message that "all excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment.
Wilde is correct in the sense that Dorian does meet a bad end, and one could find passages where he is explicitly condemned, such as when he leaves the opium den, "Callous, concentrated on evil, with stained mind and soul hungry for rebellion.
There is a discrepancy between the moral framework and the overall tone of the novel. Wilde takes such relish in the luxurious sensual descriptions of Dorian's life that it can sound as if he approves of it.
His heart is more in the varieties of sensation that he gives to his protagonist than in his moral condemnation of him. There is perhaps a parallel here with Milton's Paradise Lost.
Many readers feel that the hero of the epic is not Christ but Satan, because Milton seems to put so much more energy and life into his devil than in his God. The poet William Blake once famously said of Milton that he was "of the devil's party without knowing it.
What are Lord Henry's views on women? Lord Henry's misogyny is a consistent element of his personality from beginning to end of the novel.Free Essay: Josh Nitz April 16, Professor Anders Response #7 Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde’s fictional piece The Picture of Dorian Gray is a wonderful story.
Art as a Mirror. This theme is exemplified by the titular portrait. Dorian Gray's image reflects his conscience and his true self, and serves as a mirror of his monstermanfilm.com fact echoes Wilde's statement (found in the preface) that "It is the spectator that art really mirrors.".
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a Gothic and philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine.
Fearing the story was indecent, the magazine's editor without Wilde's knowledge deleted roughly five hundred words before publication. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay. BACK; NEXT ; Writer’s block can be painful, but we’ll help get you over the hump and build a great outline for your paper.
Organize Your Thoughts in 6 Simple Steps Narrow your focus. Build out your thesis and paragraphs. Vanquish the dreaded blank sheet of paper. The Picture of Dorian Gray study guide contains a biography of Oscar Wilde, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.