The Picture Of Dorian Gray Analysis

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“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly” (Bible Psalm 1:1). It is ironic that both Oscar Wilde and his fictional character Dorian Gray both fell victim to bad counsel. Wilde refused to listen to his close friends when they insisted that he ignore the accusation made by Marquess Queensberry. Instead Wilde sided with his close friend and possible lover Lord Alfred Douglas, who instructed him to fight the accusation. Because of Douglas’s advice and Wilde’s pride he ended up in jail, which eventually led to his early death. Douglas advised Wilde to fight something that they both knew to be true, if only they had humbled themselves. Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray should have given him some foresight into what it meant to be corrupted by vanity. There are so many parallels when comparing writer and character. Dorian Gray fell victim to Lord Henry Wotton just as Oscar Wilde was encouraged by and in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. Both writer and character believed that they were above the law, biblical and social. In the novel: The Picture of Dorian Gray, both good and evil are represented and clearly evil prevailed, in the sense that Dorian Grey died unrepentant.
While reviewing The Picture of Dorian Gray many critics have seen it as a debate between two of its major characters, Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton. Basil and Lord Henry represent a choice between good and evil. Basil is good, talented, and conventional. He has faith and pure values. He believes that “the universe is a moral order in which God punishes evil and rewards good, and that human beings be guided by a moral code in which sympathy and compassion are primary values” (Liebman, 1999). He believes in the goodness of man. As a mora...

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...y unacceptable weaknesses. They say that Wilde was figuring out his own conflicted feelings on the subject through his novel.
The Daily Chronicle of London called The Picture of Dorian Gray poisonous, unclean, and heavy with foul odors of moral and spiritual decomposition.
The St. James Gazette deemed it nasty and nauseous, and suggested that the Treasury or the Vigilance Society might wish to prosecute the author.
Most ominous was a short notice in the Scots Observer stating that although “Dorian Gray” was a work of literary quality, it dealt in matters only fitted for the Criminal Investigation Department.

Sodomy was a very serious crime and considered evil in England starting in the 1500’s, at one point it was punishable by death. So for Wilde to write so openly about the subject was either brave or very foolish, especially since he led a suspicious lifestyle.
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