Essay on the Gay as a Literary Figure in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Essay on the Gay as a Literary Figure in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Length: 753 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Gay as a Literary Figure in The Picture of Dorian Gray       


   This paper shall explore the gay as a literary figure based on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. The aim of the essay is threefold. Firstly, to show how the gay is related to two of the most potent archetypal images: those of Dionysos and Apollo. Secondly, to demonstrate that the Wildean gay is profoundly afraid of life, and that his interest in form and aesthetic proportion rests on a principle of "evasion." Thirdly, to contend that the humor in this novel, and by extension also in Wilde's plays, is a symptom of the author's fascination with an archetypal "gay."

The Picture of Dorian Gray revolves around Dorian's dual nature. On the one hand, he is the young hero whose adventures the novel records; on the other, he is a painted image of "extraordinary personal beauty." When Lord Henry tells him that his exceptional looks will not last, the young man prays that he be allowed to remain as he is in Basil's portrait of him. Dorian wants to enjoy his youth for ever. His "mad wish" is a key to the archetypal factors which...


... middle of paper ...


... intoxication and Apollonian form; of Dionysian involvement and Apollonian unapproachability. He is able to enjoy the Dionysian pleasures to which he wants to abandon himself, but at an Apollonian distance. Works Cited

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ed. Isobel Murray. London: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Wilde, Oscar. The Letters of Oscar Wilde. Ed. R. Hart-Davis. London: Hart-Davis, 1962.

Jung, C.G. The Collected Works. Ed. Sir Herbert Read etc. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953-1976. Vol. 9.ii; par. 73. Also CW 11.283.

 

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

- Many people influence our lives, shaping the way we act, talk, and even think. People can affect others in many positive ways; however, they can also corrupt the people around them. In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry influences Dorian Gray to the point where Dorian loses all respect, dignity, and integrity that he had and eventually leads him to experience his downfall. In William Shakespeare’s Othello, Iago clearly feels no allegiance to even one other character in the play yet he makes each feel as if he is his or her personal confidant and most trustworthy friend and advisor....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Oscar Wilde]

Better Essays
1678 words (4.8 pages)

Reflections of the Author's Personality in Different Characters of 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wild

- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde remains an enigma in literary circles. Is it a scathing commentary about the philistinism of the Victorian time period. Is it a morality tale against allowing the influence of others to overcome one’s own individualism. Is it a criticism of a society that values youth and beauty over morality and substance. All of these have been the focus of scholarly inquiry in the century since the novel’s release. However, its most fascinating line of examination involves the author himself....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Better Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde Essays

- Dorian has accepted that his soul is full of sin. When he shows Basil his true form, the one with sin written across its face, he believes he has no hope to be good. He let's Basil in on the truth because the guilt of watching Basil praise him despite the rumors about him is too much to bear. Basil is shocked to see the gross, wrinkled effigy of Dorian and implores that they ask God for forgiveness. He believes there is still a chance, and Dorian only needs to repent his sins. Dorian says with skepticism,“It is too late, Basil” (Wilde, 140)....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Free Essays
2472 words (7.1 pages)

Literary Elements Used in Mackinlay Kantor's A Man Who Had No Eyes Essay

- “A Man Who Had No Eyes” by Mackinlay Kantor is a short story full of twists and suprises that contains three elements of literature, flashback, foreshadow, and character. These elements fill the story with excitement and bring the story to a higher, more advanced level that is more enjoyable for the one reading. To begin with, flashback takes a major role in this story, informing the reader of past events that were unknown by breaking the plot of a story in order to inform of a previous event. The beggar had a flashback to the day he became blind....   [tags: literary analysis, literary techniques]

Better Essays
717 words (2 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]

Better Essays
1701 words (4.9 pages)

Use of Conventions in Literary Works Such as Shakespeare's Hamlet Essay examples

- Conventions are commonly known as a customary feature of a literary work such as the use of a chorus in Greek tragedy or an explicit moral in a fable. They are found in stories, plays, essays, poetry, and movies. Conventions are found frequently in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and Othello. They are also detected in D. H. Lawrence’s The Horse Dealer’s Daughter and The Rocking Horse Winner, and lastly in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House. These literary devices all grasp the same conventional concept....   [tags: Props Hamlet Tragic Tragedy Analysis]

Free Essays
1285 words (3.7 pages)

The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay example

- “There were passions in him that would find their terrible outlet, dreams that would make the shadow of the real evil” (Wilde,115). The author reveals pleasure as the driving force of many characters within Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but this search for pleasure becomes fatal once taken into the hands of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel Dorian Gray changes his opinion on pleasure based on what he requires in order to escape reality. With each death and misdeed he is responsible for; Dorian must search harder for a more drastic form of release....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray 2016]

Better Essays
2300 words (6.6 pages)

Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

- 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....   [tags: Wilde Dorian Gray Picture Essays]

Better Essays
1733 words (5 pages)

Evil in The Picture of Dorian Gray: Essay

- Evil in The Picture of Dorian Gray: The Picture Of Dorian Gray is yet another novel portraying evil. The theme is very much reflected by the book's setting, plot structure and characterisation. It shows how individuals can slowly deteriorate because of the evil lying within themselves. The evil of this book is the evil created by one's self and thrusted upon one's self. The power of greed and selfishness take over Dorian Gray and create an ugly evil side to him. The mid eighteenth century was a very influential era, specially in England....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Essays]

Free Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)

Free Essays on Picture of Dorian Gray: Dorian as Faust

- Dorian as Faust in The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray is a rich story which can be viewed through many literary and cultural lenses. Oscar Wilde himself purposefully filled his novel with a great many direct and indirect allusions to the literary culture of his times, so it seems appropriate to look back at his story - both the novel and the 1945 film version - in this way. In many ways, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a retelling of the Faust story. A temptation is placed before Dorian, as with Faust, and he falls for it--offering up his soul to get it....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Essays]

Free Essays
3302 words (9.4 pages)