Homosexuality in the picture of dorian gray essay

Your influence would be bad. This influence, as Basil foresees, is primarily negative—if Dorian is like Faust, the fictional character who sells his soul for knowledge, then Lord Henry is something of a Mephistopheles, the devil who tempts Faust into the bargain. Lord Henry is a cynical aesthete, a lover of beauty with a contempt for conventional morality, and he views Dorian as a disciple with the potential to live out his philosophy of hedonism.

Homosexuality in the picture of dorian gray essay

Critics of the time argued the book would corrupt those who read it based on what popular opinion considered abhorrent behavior at the time.

Critics of the novel were afraid that reading the book would tempt young men into experimenting with homosexuality. At the time homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior or a phase, but certainly not a lifestyle. In fact homosexual acts were criminalized.

The book does not explicitly depict Dorian as living a homosexual lifestyle, but it is clearly the implication. The underlying thought behind such criticism is that by reading about the behavior, the behavior is encouraged. This logic is flawed.

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Essay

However the publication of the book and the subsequent controversy did help to bring an end to the taboo of homosexuality as a topic for public discussion. In that sense, the book did change popular opinion which arguably makes the critics correct.

What critics largely ignored, and the reason Wilde thought the book was "too moral", was that Dorian Gray eventually suffers for his lifestyle. In saying that the book was "too moral" Wilde is referring to this inner conflict because he does not feel society should subject people to such guilt.

According to Dorian, Basil is

He does however recognize that this guilt exists, most likely from personal experience.The picture of Dorian Gray, “the most magical of mirrors,” shows Dorian the physical burdens of age and sin from which he has been spared.

For a time, Dorian sets his conscience aside and lives his life according to a single goal: achieving pleasure. Indeed, in one respect, The Picture of Dorian Gray seems to be a novel of extremely moral sensibilities, since Dorian suffers because he allows himself to be poisoned by a book.

In other words, he defies the artistic principles that structure the yellow book. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY: NOTES HOMOSEXUALITY: Dorian’s relationship between Henry and other male characters The relationship between various male characters in the novel is a demonstration of understanding the theme of the novel.

Sexuality basically has the same role in The Picture of Dorian Gray – it's a big, impossible-not-to-notice scandal. There's a lot going on beneath the surface here, and as a contemporary reader you'll notice undertones of homoeroticism in this text.

Homosexuality in the picture of dorian gray essay

Perversion and degeneracy in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Article created by: Roger Luckhurst; Themes: Gender and sexuality, The Picture of Dorian Gray as first published in Lippincott's Magazine.

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Wikipedia

Pater’s emphasis on pleasure and passion alarmed critics and it became associated with homosexuality. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Essay about Homosexuality in Wilde's Picture of Dorian Grey - A critical analysis of Oscar Wildes only novel would yield that it is in fact a homosexual allegory of doomed, forbidden passion.

The relationship between Lord Henry and Dorian, as well as Basil and Dorian is, clearly Homoerotic and must.

SparkNotes: The Picture of Dorian Gray: Study Questions