Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

(2470 words)
  • Anne Markey (Trinity College Dublin )

Oscar Wilde’s longest work of prose fiction, The Picture of Dorian Gray, tells the disturbing story of the corruption of a young man. Dorian Gray is seduced by his own exceptional beauty and by a mentor, Lord Henry Wotton, who preaches the heady doctrine of a new hedonism. Dorian pursues a life of pleasure and increasing debauchery but never displays any sign of growing any older or any less beautiful. Nobody knows that he has a portrait hidden away that ages instead, becoming more loathsome, repulsive and accusatory as the years go by. From the time of its original publication, the novel has intrigued readers and confounded critics who have continually disagreed on its literary and moral merits.

Wilde wrote T…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Markey, Anne. "The Picture of Dorian Gray". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 May 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=7386, accessed 06 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Gothic, Grotesque& Supernatural Fiction