Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. In revising the text the following year, Wilde included a preface, which serves as a useful explanation of his philosophy of art. The purpose of art, according to this series of epigrams, is to have no purpose. The Victorians believed that art could be used as a tool for social education and moral enlightenment, as illustrated in works by writers such as Charles Dickens and George Gissing.
Summary[ edit ] Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by Basil Hallward, an artist who is impressed and infatuated by Dorian's beauty ; he believes that Dorian's beauty is responsible for the new mood in his art as a painter.
Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, and he soon is enthralled by the aristocrat's hedonistic world view: Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade.
The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin. While sitting for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry espousing his hedonistic world view, and begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth pursuing.
This prompts Dorian to wish that the painted image of himself would age instead of himself. Under the hedonistic influence of Lord Henry, Dorian fully explores his sensuality.
He discovers the actress Sibyl Vane, who performs Shakespeare plays in a dingy, working-class theatre. Dorian approaches and courts her, and soon proposes marriage. The enamoured Sibyl calls him "Prince Charming", and swoons with the happiness of being loved, but her protective brother, James, warns that if "Prince Charming" harms her, he will murder him.
Sibyl, too enamoured with Dorian to act, performs poorly, which makes both Basil and Lord Henry think Dorian has fallen in love with Sibyl because of her beauty instead of her acting talent. Embarrassed, Dorian rejects Sibyl, telling her that acting was her beauty; without that, she no longer interests him.
On returning home, Dorian notices that the portrait has changed; his wish has come true, and the man in the portrait bears a subtle sneer of cruelty. Dorian Gray observes the corruption recorded in his portrait, in the film The Picture of Dorian Gray Conscience-stricken and lonely, Dorian decides to reconcile with Sibyl, but he is too late, as Lord Henry informs him that Sibyl has killed herself.
Dorian then understands that, where his life is headed, lust and beauty shall suffice. Dorian locks the portrait up, and over the following eighteen years, he experiments with every vice, influenced by a morally poisonous French novel that Lord Henry Wotton gave him.
One night, before leaving for Paris, Basil goes to Dorian's house to ask him about rumours of his self-indulgent sensualism. Dorian does not deny his debauchery, and takes Basil to see the portrait.
The portrait has become so hideous that Basil is only able to identify it as his work by the signature he affixes to all his portraits.
Basil is horrified, and beseeches Dorian to pray for salvation. In anger, Dorian blames his fate on Basil, and stabs him to death.
Dorian then calmly blackmails an old friend, the scientist Alan Campbell, into using his knowledge of chemistry to destroy the body of Basil Hallward. Alan later kills himself over the deed. A 19th century London opium den based on fictional accounts of the day.Everything you ever wanted to know about the quotes talking about Innocence in The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Home / Literature / The Picture of Dorian Gray / Quotes / Innocence ;. Everything you ever wanted to know about the quotes talking about Innocence in The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Home / Literature / The Picture of Dorian Gray / Quotes / Innocence ;. 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. About The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Oscar Wilde's preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray consists of a list of Wilde's aphorisms that deal directly with art, artists, critics, and audience but only obliquely with the novel. They speak to the importance of beauty espoused by the Aesthetic movement.
Dark desires and forbidden pleasure are at the centre of The Picture of Dorian timberdesignmag.com Buzwell examines the interplay between art and morality in Oscar Wilde’s novel, and considers its use of traditional Gothic motifs as well as the theories of the new aesthetic movement.
Oscar Wilde plots The Picture of Dorian Gray on a model of descent. Dorian Gray begins at the height of his beauty and innocence.
Dorian Gray begins at the height of his beauty and innocence. Basil Hallward is also at the height of his artistry at the opening of the novel.