Homosexuality In The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

Homosexuality In The Works Of Oscar Wilde

Homosexuality in Oscar Wilde's Work

    "I turned half way around and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself" (7). During the Victorian era, this was a dangerous quote. The Victorian era was about progress. It was an attempt aimed at cleaning up the society and setting a moral standard. The Victorian era was a time of relative peace and economic stability (Marshall 783). Victorians did not want anything "unclean" or "unacceptable" to interfere with their idea of perfection. Therefore, this quote, taken from Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, brimming with homosexual undertones, was considered inappropriate. Due to the time period's standards, Oscar Wilde was forced to hide behind a thin layer of inference and parallel. Wilde was obsessed with the perfect image. Although he dressed more flamboyantly than the contemporary dress, it was to create an image of himself. Wilde was terrified of revealing his homosexuality because he knew that he would be alienated and ostracized from the society. Through his works, Oscar Wilde implicitly reflected his homosexual lifestyle because he feared the repercussions from the conservative Victorian era in which he lived.

Oscar Wilde was born in 1854 and led a normal childhood. After high school, Wilde attended Oxford College and received a B.A. in 1878. During this time, he wrote Vera and The Importance of Being Earnest. In addition, "for two years Wilde had dressed in outlandish outfits, courted famous people and built his public image" (Stayley 317). Doing so earned Wilde a job with Richard D' Oyly, a producer. His task was to advertise opera in America. While in America, Wilde not only found a producer for Vera, but also wrote The Duchess of Padua for the American actress, Mary Anderson (Stayley 317).

Upon his return to England in 1883, Wilde began lecturing on his experiences in America. This is how he came to meet Constance Lloyd, whom he later married on May 29, 1884. The couple had two children together. However, the marriage began to have problems after Wilde met Canadian, Robert Ross, which "began his involvement in the disordered, destructive homosexual lifestyle so luridly suggested in The Picture of Dorian Gray and catalogued in his sensational trials" (Stayley 318). Robert Ross forced Wilde to confront the homosexual tendencies that he had been trying desperately to suppress. A whole new world opened for Wilde, and his only resource in which to channel this new energy was through his literary works.

In 1888, Oscar Wilde published a set of fairy tales, The Happy Prince and Other Tales and "The Young King." These stories, "revealed another approach to moral situations and human relationships" (Stayley 319). The fairy tales were perhaps the first time Wilde introduced...

Loading: Checking Spelling


Read more

The Misunderstood Legacy of Oscar Wilde

2106 words - 8 pages The Misunderstood Legacy of Oscar Wilde Surrounded by scandal caused by his own deception, Oscar Wilde left this world with a legacy of often misunderstood wit, a brilliant collection of writing, and sordid tales of an extramarital homosexual affair. The playwright progressed from a fashionable, flippant fop immersed in London society to a man broken by the public discovery of his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas. In his prime, Oscar...

Oscar Wilde "The Birthday of Infanta"

1752 words - 7 pages A very famous playwright, novelist, essayist, poet and epigrammatist wrote the story entitled "The Birthday of the Infanta". This story by genre is partly short story and partly fairy-tale. The story told the readers about a little Dwarf, who was ugly, hunchbacked, monster, but did not realize it by himself. And one day he looked in the invisible wall of clear water and saw his own reflection. He could not ever imagine that he is so ugly, so...

Biography of Oscar Wilde

1181 words - 5 pages Oscar Wilde (real name Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde) was born onOctober 16th, 1854 in Dublin. His father, William Robert Wilde, was an eminent eyedoctor, with an interest in myths and folklore. He was the founder of the first eye and earhospital in Great Britain, as well as the appointed Surgeon Occultist to...

The Influence of Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

2467 words - 10 pages In analyzing Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, concepts such as influence and the origin of evil in Dorian Gray play an exceptionally valuable role in understanding the motives of the characters. Although some critics argue characters such as Lord Kelso significantly influence Dorian’s corruption, Lord Henry Wotton’s toxic personality undeniably impacts Dorian the most. Throughout the course of the novel, Lord Henry remains the ultimate...

The Influences of Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray

1591 words - 6 pages The Influences of Oscar WildeThroughout his life Oscar Wilde had many strong influences exerted upon him. During his early childhood his mother influenced him and into college some of his professors and certain philosophers left a substantial impression upon him. Into adulthood these influences leaked out in his writing. These influences gave him ample ideas for writing The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde's study of the Hellenistic ideals...

Real Face in the Art: "The Picture of Dorian Gray" - Oscar Wilde

1525 words - 6 pages There is almost nothing clear in our world these days. People try to hide everything that is not wanted from the eyes of the world. They are careful about not showing their real character, their nature, their secrets, and their sins. They do not want others to get to really know them and they often pretend to be someone else. The great artist is able to bring the things we are not able to see in the reality to his art. It is the art that can...

How does Oscar Wilde explore self love in "The picture of Dorian Gray"

686 words - 3 pages How does Oscar Wilde explore self-love in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray'?

Matriarchal Figures in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Persuasion by Jane Austen

2761 words - 11 pages Matriarchal Figures in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Persuasion by Jane Austen ‘A dominant female member of the family’[1] is often described as a matriarch. Lady Bracknell in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and Lady Russell in ‘Persuasion’ fulfill this role therefore can be described as matriarchs, and as such they play vital roles. They affect the lives of Gwendolen and Anne, by imposing their beliefs on them. ...

Play: The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

1219 words - 5 pages Marriage in The Importance of Being Earnest The Importance of Being Earnest is a play by Oscar Wilde. Oscar describes his play as A Trivia comedy for serious people. The protagonists in the play maintains being fictitious in order to escape burdensome social obligations. The play is lighthearted with flippant comments and offhand jokes, however the play contains serious undertones and social commentary about marriage and the society. Oscar Wilde...

Analysis of Oscar Wilde´s The Picture of Dorian Gray

612 words - 2 pages “The picture of Dorian Gray” is considered the most important work of Oscar Wilde_a greatest English literary writer in nineteenth century. Wilde’s style is typical for the gospel of “Art for art’s sake”, it is also the reason why the fans of Gothic literature would find this novel absolutely attractive. The novel was written in 1891 which told a story about the life of a young man, Dorian Gray, or to be more exact, his spiritual life. The author...

The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

1454 words - 6 pages In The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde revealed that animalistic traits can tint a character’s intellectual attributes. All of the characters possess an overwhelming desire which seems to diminish their morality. Wilde uses Jack Worthing’s animalistic behaviors to reveal that his animal self is damaging his intellectual self. The play is presented to show that the characters retain an exaggerated pleasure with food, which shows their...

Homosexual Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

1608 Words7 Pages

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 "…show more content…

A curious

sensation of terror came over me. I knew that I had come face

to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating

that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature,

my whole soul, my very art itself... Something seemed to tell me

that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life... I take no

credit to myself for trying to escape... We were quite close,

almost touching. Our eyes met again. It was reckless of me, but

I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him. Perhaps it was

not so reckless, after all. It was simply inevitable. We would have

spoken to each other without any introduction. I am sure of that,

Dorian told me so afterwards. He, too, felt that we were destined

to know each other. (11-12)

Towards the middle of the novel, Basil confesses his worship of Dorian to the young model himself :

...Dorian, from the moment I met you, your personality had the

most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul,

brain, and power by you. You became to me the

Show More

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Homosexuality In The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *