Homosexuality In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Homosexuality in The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray is a well renowned book written by Oscar Wilde. When first published in July of 1880, the novel was edited and many passages were taken out by the British magazine, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. These passages that were deleted, included an explicit homosexual relationship between two of the three main characters, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray. During the 1880’s, the subject matter of the book was not acceptable to society’s standards. At the time, only men and women married and even the thought of the same sex marrying was detestable. Not only was this behavior frowned upon, but it was illegal and could get you arrested. Because of this, most homosexuals kept quiet and…show more content…
Wilde later moved to France and got married to a woman named Constance, later bearing two sons with her. The marriage may have been just to cover up his homosexuality because even though he was married, Wilde had a long list of male lovers that basically worshipped the ground he walked on. Throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde makes several hints towards his views of marriage that can be connected to his marriage with Constance. There is a scene in chapter 4 between Lord Henry and Dorian where the subject of marriage is brought up. Lord Henry warns Dorian to “Never marry at all, . . . Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed” (49). Wilde may have been tired in his own marriage, leaving his wife disappointed. If the only reason Wilde married Constance was to say get him off the radar then obviously it would leave the couple disappointed. In order to have a happy marriage, there needs to be a love connection and since Wilde was not attracted to the opposite sex, there were problems. On the other hand, Wilde wrote other pieces like poems and stories that contradicted his homosexuality. In 1895, Wilde was involved in a case with the Marquess of Queensberry. The Marquess of Queensberry denounced Wilde as a homosexual. Why did he accuse him of being a homosexual? It was known that Wilde had been in an affair with the Marquess of Queensburry’s son since 1891. This was a huge shock to the public. Many were disgusted. Once denounced, he then turned around and sued for libel. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of libel is “the act of publishing a false statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone.” While up on the stands, Wilde was asked to explain one of his most well-known quotes “The Love that dare not speak its name.” Wilde’s response explained

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