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The publication of the book, Picture of the Dorian Gray, portrayed Wilde as a very immoral artiste. However Wilde’s multifaceted character is ardently portrayed as a artistic and creative. Within the preface through which Wilde endears to introduce his characters, he emerges as not only artistic but also very philosophically artistic and moralist. While within this book, Wilde presents a series of meaningful epigrams, his remains both an aesthetic work and inherently purposeful masterpiece.
At the very time of the development of the literary piece of work, immorality was rife and literature needed to play a role in the curbing of the ever increasing immorality. It perhaps this that propels Wilde towards the development and the painting of the picture that he ardently does for his character which is reflective of the internal person that Wilde is. It is for this reason that it is imperative that one considers the social and moral climate of the time is undertaking a literary analysis of the Picture of the Dorian Gray. While Wilde has always been found to be a proponent of aesthetic literary discourse, he was apparently motivated by the bourgeoisies’ morality which appeared to be in utter contempt.
The characters used by Wilde evidently bring out the ideals for which he stood. Within the Dorian Gray, Henry embodies much sensitivity and humor. It is perhaps this humor that makes Wilde outstanding and multifaceted. Nevertheless, the discourse brings out the ethical certainties shocks that the society of the time was presenting. He went out of the expectation to make his art more meaningful than had been believed at the time; art was meant to remain beautiful and aesthetic.
The character of Wilde is perhaps what informs his painting of the characters in the Dorian Gray. Taking both Basil and Henry, both are presented in much sensitivity, allure and functionality than the expectations of the time. The presentation serve much purpose than is just aesthetic, on the one hand they mean to present the mirror image of the writer and on the other the road map of the days prospects to infamy. Wilde presents himself through the character as a man who abhors morality but hates idolisations of subjects regardless of the stature of such subjects.
The breach of the aesthetic philosophy endears to make the entire discourse more of a precautionary tale, yet ends up unravelling insurmountable moral lesson than was earlier intended. Nevertheless, the intended warning, if ardently taken as such, eludes sufficient precaution than could have been perceived by both philosophers and linguists. In additions, it appears a one for Wilde to have presented his discourse replete of restrictive doctrines, but had the discourse remain within the precincts of Victorian morality: this is ideally the score. A thorough dissection of the character of Lord Henry, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray should shade more light on the ideals and the character of Wilde.
Dorian Gray is painted from the very onset as youthful and beautiful. It is this attractive and appealing sensation that seems to catch the eye of the painter Mr. Hallward and subsequently the attention of Mr. Henry, some nobility. Whether Wilde is a pleasure seeker or far from it remains to be known. However, the fact that Dorian is painted as a pleasure seeker finds Wilde as having passion and hatred for pleasurable characters. Dorian appears to be very gullible falling in with the least conviction. Dorian is also a very unrealistic character imagining that beauty and attractiveness can last through eternity is by any standards a misnomer. He does not wish to visualise the beauty going away because of age. This presents the alienability of the age, where most persons will do anything treacherous to maintain their perceived beauty. The implacable thought that ageing would make him less attractive is farfetched and beyond human standards.
Dorian lives in much guilt and seems to be submerged in a crisis of some sought because of the treatment that he offers Sibyl. This treatment deprives Sibyl the freedom that is due to him. This curtailment is characteristic of the time when Wilde was writing the Picture of the Dorian Gray. This is exhibited with treacherous precision in the fact that Dorian views the death of Sibyl as an achievement rather than a tragedy. Dorian has the least tinge of humanity as is evidenced in the fact that despite the fact of his responsibility, he appears least remorseful.
The cruelty that is presented by Dorian is beyond humanity in saying the least. This is evidenced through the hideous liking of Basil’s portrait. Ideally, his conscience is so heinous though his desire to repent makes a paradox of his character. Appreciably, the desire for repentance brings him out as human anyhow. In spite of the many beautiful and worthwhile unfolding in the life of Dorian, he fails to delineate himself from the dissipation of his soul. His murder of Basil seems to mark the beginning of his demise; receiving a lot of conscientious torture from within him. Ideally, all that is evident is that there is much individualism in the generation of the time; faltering Dorian because of his failure to live within the self established moral code. This is inherently the gullibility of the human nature. This intricate character seems to be in utter contrast with that exhibited by Henry.
Lord Henry on his part is presented as a fascinating, brilliant and of famous wit. Henry is such an astute and charming talker who leads conversation with much allure. It is that character that makes Dorian fall inevitably for him. Henry has very high standards of expectation as a radical aiming at toppling untested yet very established notions and truths. The character of Henry is relatively static with the least sign of changing.
He is apprehensively unshakable, composed and possessive of his dry wit. While he evidently remains immutable Dorian and Hallward change significantly. Henry has such an amusing yet enticing philosophy that is evidenced through the first half of the book; though disappears in the second half of the book. Even if Henry is such self-proclaimed hedonist advocating for equal pursuit of moral and immoral coexistence, he leads a staid life. Lord is both closed-minded and gullible as is evidenced in his over protectiveness of Dorian, arguing that Dorian would not commit such acts which were a preserve of the lower order.
Hallward is presented by Wilde as a talented person. The love he has for art is changed by his relation with Dorian. Basil paints Dorian as a romantic figure. Unfortunately, he does this with much antiquity and veracity. His perception of Dorian remains ardent through the discourse taking him as truly as he ideally was. He is very defensive of Dorian, which brings him out a protective and truth seeking mortal.
In conclusion, Wilde comes out as a creative yet overprotective personality, giving credit where he doe deem due. The literary discourse paints most of the characters as static in what they stood for; particularly with respect to morality. This makes Wilde present himself through the characters as a moral person seeking human perfection. Overall, Wilde emerges as writer who advocates for realistic morality with practical stature.