Essay on Homosexual Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Essay on Homosexual Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Length: 1610 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Homosexual Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray

 
    In spite of the novel's heterosexual text, many critics agree that it has various homosexual elements in its characters, in the dialogues, and even in the portrait itself. One of the critics, Richard Dellamora, mentions this feature of the text, and comments that "By definition this context is heterosexual. Wotton is married and pursues actresses. Basil himself is a graduate of Oxford, a well-established artist, and respectable to a fault" (28). However, he also remarks the intensity of male friendships, and referring to Basil, he continues "Later, he repeatedly enjoins Dorian to conformity. Both older men live in a network of male friendships that ramify through the novel " (28). As we can infer from what Dellamora says, it is obvious that all the homosexual events are happening in a heterosexual milieu. Examples of this situation might be Dorian's love for Sybil, and Lord Henry's marriage, which make them seem rather heterosexual men.

            In this narrative, we mostly see the homosexuality as a male desire, in other words a desire for a  beautiful male body or attractive male images. Ed Cohen suggests that Dorian Gray himself represents the male desire: "Within the narrative structure, Dorian is an image - a space for the constitution of male desire" (806). His observation of how Basil Hallward sees Dorian Gray as a male desire is that, "Dorian's  'personality' enchants Basil and throws him back upon himself,  evoking a physical response that is then translated into a psychic, verbally encoded interpretation...His fascination with


Dorian leads him to foreground their erotic connection... and at the same time legitimate it in the sublimated language o...


... middle of paper ...


...ry's competition with Basil for this handsome young model, Dorian's admiration for his own beautiful body, and the portrait's visionary descriptions of male beauty are the clues of the male characters' homosexual identities. Even though Wilde does not articulate this phenomenon of his men, it is such a strong impression that homosexuality covers the whole story.

Works Cited

Cohen, Ed. "Writing Gone Wilde: Homoerotic Desire in the Closet of Representation" PMLA 102  (1987): 801-13.

Dellamora, Richard. "Representation and Homophobia in The Picture of Dorian Gray" The Victorian Newsletter 73 (1988): 28-31.

Gold, Barri J. "The Domination of Dorian Gray" The Victorian Newsletter 91 (1997): 27-30.

Jullian, Philippe. Oscar Wilde. New York: The Viking Press, 1969: 213-223.

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of  Dorian Gray. London: Penguin English, 1992.

 

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Gothic Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

- Oscar Wilde`s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is written primarily out of the aesthetic movement of the Nineteenth Century. Therefore, the text contains a profuse amount of imagery which reflects the concepts of beauty and sensory experiences. By taking the aesthetic approach, Wilde was able to revive the gothic style through grotesque imagery of the portrait and the character whose soul it represents. Wilde is not using gothic elements to shock his audiences; rather he uses the gothic to capture the hideousness of Gray`s corruptness which leaks out of the painting and into the tone of the entire text....   [tags: oscar wilde]

Powerful Essays
1161 words (3.3 pages)

The Supernatural in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Essay

- If you can get past most of the superficial and unlikeable characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray, this story does indeed have its place in the horror genre. While I understand the setting and the characters were a reflection of the actual class distinctions during the Victorian time period, I found the shallowness and narcissism of Dorian Gray and his circle of acquaintances tedious. "Fops" came to mind more than once along with "don't these people have a purpose other than to dine out and indulge themselves?" Even the women were for the most part portrayed as imbeciles....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Powerful Essays
792 words (2.3 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- The novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde there are many Archetypical images and symbols. In this paper I will example some of these images and symbols in the novel by using the mythological and archetypical approach to literature. In the book, A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature the mythological and archetypical approach critics “is concerned to seek out those mysterious elements that inform certain literary works, and that elicit, with almost uncanny force, dramatic and universal human reactions” (Guerin, Labor, Morgan, Reesman, and Willingham 182)....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Powerful Essays
1701 words (4.9 pages)

The Writing style of Oscar Wilde in His Story: The Picture of Dorian Gray

- ... The last line of the passage indicates that the ideas are supposed to be Dorian's, but the narrator's first person ‘I’ in the answer to the rhetorical question implies that they are the narrator's thoughts as well. But however, the narration is really thoughtful and complete, if nothing. The figurative language is one of the most prominent elements of writing style in The Picture of Dorian Gray. Symbolism, metaphor and allegory are the most common ones. The most noticeable allegory is the picture itself, which is an interpretation of Dorian's soul....   [tags: Language, Vocabulary, Narration]

Powerful Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Oscar Wilde 's The Nightingale And The Rose Essays

- “Good writing” is not simply defined by proper grammar, spelling, or style. It is far more than sentence construction and plot structure. Good writing utilizes thoughtful imagery and eloquent text to capture the audience’s interest. Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Nightingale and the Rose” and Kenneth Burke’s essay “The Definition of Man” implement vivid narration and descriptive language to enthrall the reader. Through the use of metaphors and symbolism, both authors create compelling subject matter....   [tags: Metaphor, Literature, Fiction, Literary theory]

Powerful Essays
1137 words (3.2 pages)

The Mayor of Casterbridge Essay

- The Picture of Dorian Gray is a short novel by Oscar Wilde originally published in 1890. The story begins at the home of Basil Hallward and opens with a conversation between him and Lord Henry Wotton. Lord Henry is fervently admiring Basil’s latest portrait of a young, beautiful man, Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray is the main protagonist in the story. He is described as having a “simple and beautiful nature”, and he remains this way until he is corrupted by the antagonist of the story, Lord Henry, who reveals himself to be the epitome of selfishness and egocentricity....   [tags: Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Powerful Essays
1740 words (5 pages)

Essay on Picture of Dorian Gray: Dorian as Tragic Hero

- The Picture of Dorian Gray:  Dorian as Tragic Hero      In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, we see a beautiful young man who makes tremendous efforts to transform the actual world into the idealistic world of art, dreams and sensations.  Dorian's quest, however, culminates in his ultimate tragic destruction. Given that Dorian lives a corrupt life, one is likely to focus on the negative aspects of his character.  In spite of his significant character flaws, Dorian Gray may still be considered a hero.  This essay will examine Dorian's degradation from the innocent world to the vicious, sensation-oriented world.  The elements contributing to Dorian’s status of tragic hero will th...   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray Essays]

Powerful Essays
2335 words (6.7 pages)

Oscar Wilde 's The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- In Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, the character Basil Hallward is enamored with Dorian Gray’s youth and innocence. This love for Dorian is an example of Greek love or boy love that would have been popular during the late Victorian age, especially with the decadence. However, this love would have been frowned upon and in the case of Wilde, legally held against him. In the first chapter of the novel, Basil and Harry began speaking about Dorian. Basil tells Harry of his feelings toward Dorian: The merely visible presence of this lad—for he seems to me little more than a lad, though he is really over twenty—his merely visible presence—ah....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Powerful Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Essay

- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Art. It's Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art can be so beautiful or so hideous. So monotonous or poignant. So imaginative or clichéd. So………right or wrong. Art really has no moral, does it. Although the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray has no ethical stance, it was not Oscar Wilde's intention to have a moral. It was to show the splendor of art for art's sake. Through out the paperback of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, wildly shows his beliefs in art for art's sake (Cauti XIV)....   [tags: Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Analysis]

Free Essays
1814 words (5.2 pages)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Essay

- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde “Like the painting of a sorrow, A face without a heart.” - Hamlet When I went to the movies, I didn’t expect to be so intrigued by the characters that I would want to read about them individually. “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” had many interesting characters: Mena the vampire, Alan Quartermain the hunter, Skinner the invisible man, Nemo the pirate, Dr. Jekyll the scientist, Tom Sawyer of the CIA, and Dorian Gray the immortal....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Essays]

Free Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)