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Dorian Gray

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Alexandra Northrup

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of Dorian Gray

Don't Judge a Portrait by its Cover:
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray is a wealthy, handsome young man who immediately captures the attention of Basil Hallward, a painter. After a few attempts, Basil paints Dorian as he truly looks while his friend Lord Henry Wotton watches. Basil introduces Dorian to his scandalizing friend Lord Henry and fears that Dorian will be damaged by his negative influence. After hearing Henry's philosophies on the importance of youth and beauty, Dorian is fascinated and laments that if only the painting of him would age while he remained youthful and beautiful. A few weeks later, Dorian meets a young lady, Sibyl Vane and immediately falls in love with her acting abilities. Despite her brother's warnings, Sybil believes she is in love and agrees to marry Dorian. Soon after, Sibyl quits acting and Dorian breaks the engagement since he only loved her for her acting. When Dorian returned home, he noticed that Basil's portrait of him now sneers, as his wish was granted and the painting now absorbs his sins as well as his years. He was going to apologize to Sibyl the next day in hope that this sneer would disappear if he resolved this sin, but unfortunately Lord Henry called and informed him that Sybil had killed herself. Lord Henry gives Dorian a book about 19th century Frenchmen. This becomes Dorian's bible as he sinks deeper into his sins. Eighteen years pass and Dorian commits many crimes but is still accepted since he remains young and beautiful. However, his portrait grows increasingly hideous as he gives in more and more to Lord Henry's negative influences. One night, Basil comes over to talk to Dorian about penance, and Dorian decides to show Basil the portrait. Upon seeing it, he immediately begs Dorian to repent but Dorian says it is too late, and kills him. A few nights after Dorian got rid of Basil's body, he enters an opium den, where Sibyl's brother shows up and attempts to avenge Sibyl's death, but is deterred when he realizes Dorian's age. Dorian feels guilty and afraid for his life, until the next day, when Sibyl's brother was accidentally killed at a hunting party. The painting is now so hideous, Dorian finally feels the need to repent. He angrily picks up the knife used to kill Basil and stabs the painting. There was a large crash and Dorian's servants entered the room to find the unharmed painting of the young and beautiful Dorian Gray. On the ground lays an unrecognizable wrinkled body with a knife plunged through his heart.
Class Separation
The novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde includes the following elements from the Victorian Era:
class separation
hunting for sport
1. "But what does he see in me? I am not worthy of him. And yet - why, I cannot tell - though I feel so much beneath him," (page 65)
2. “Society -- civilized society, at least -- is never very ready to believe anything to the detriment of those who are both rich and fascinating”.
Connection to the Victorian Era
Class separation
Dorian Gray was in upper class
He was also rich and did not need to work
Dorian Gray had servants
1. “I love acting. It is so much more real than life".
2. “Before I knew you, acting was the one reality of my life. It was only in the theatre that I lived. I thought that it was all true”
Connection to the Victorian Era
People i the Victorian play often watched plays
The character Sibyl in the novel is a part of many plays
Dorian Gray watches Sibyl act in a few of her plays
1. ".. the hideous hunger opium began to gnaw at him." (page 182)
2. " There were opium dens, where one could buy oblivion." (page 182)
3. " The side windows of the hansom clogged with a grey-flannel mist." (page 182)
Connection to the Victorian Era
This was a very popular drug during the Victorian Era
Dorian Gray enters an opium den with some friends
Opium is essentially unprocessed heroin
Hunting for Sport
1. "... and then drove across the park to join the shooting party." (page 198)
2. "... the hoarse cries of the beaters ringing out from time to time, and the sharp snaps of the guns that followed." (page 198-199)
3. "... as the hare bounded into the thicket he fired." (page 199)
Connection to the Victorian Era
Dorian Gray goes hunting with his friends
As in the Victorian Era, this was a common passtime for Dorian and his friends
They were shooting hares
1. "... every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter." (page 13)
2. " You must certainly send it next year to the Grosvenor. The academy is too large and too vulgar." (page 10)
3. " A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England and make the old men quite jealous if old men are ever capable of any emotion." (page 10)

Biography of Oscar Wilde
Connection to the Victorian Era
Due to lack of technology, moments were captured through paintings
Basil was an artist in the novel who had a passion for painting
He believed paintings expressed the emotions of the artist
The novel also makes reference to paintings being sent to the Grosvenor for show
Personal Life
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854 in Dublin, Ireland.
His father, William Wilde, was an acclaimed doctor and his mother, Jane Francesca Elgee, was a poet
Wilde was extremely smart and enjoyed reading. He was awarded the Royal School Scholarship to attend Trinity College. At the end of his first year, he placed first in the school's classics examination and received the college's Foundation Scholarshipas well as the Demyship scholarship for further study at Magdalen College in Oxford. It was at Oxford that Wilde made his first attempts at creative writing.
On May 29, 1884, Wilde married a wealthy Englishwoman named Constance Lloyd. They had two sons: Cyril, born in 1885, and Vyvyan, born in 1886.
Acclaimed Works
Wilde published his first collection,
, in 1881.
In 1888, Wilde published
The Happy Prince and Other Tales
, a collection of children's stories
In 1891, he published
, an essay collection, and that same year, he published his first and only novel,
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilde's first play,
Lady Windermere's Fan
, opened in February 1892.
Over the next few years, Wilde produced several great plays, including
A Woman of No Importance
An Ideal Husband
(1895) and
The Importance of Being Earnest
(1895), his most famous play.
A Wilde Time in Prison
The Dole of the King's Daughter
By: Oscar Wilde
The king’s daughter is one that is loved by almost everyone. Her remarkable beauty catches the eyes of all the men who are willing to fight for her love. Seven have died fighting for her love. Normally there would be one battle to determine who her knight would be but the daughter made the chosen night fight against five other men and one page. The knight had to fight and kill for his love and yet the King’s daughter is still undecided. She is uncertain if she and not completely open to the idea of marrying the man who has proven himself worthy of her hand in marriage. The Knight decides that the daughter has pushed him too far and refuses to kill more innocent people. He then realizes that the blood of the six men that she made him kill lie upon her soul. The knight then kills the daughter and in the end seven sins lie upon the daughter’s soul and one upon the knight’s. Seven for killing six men and making one man kill others. The knight has one sin, for killing the daughter.
How it Relates to the Victorian Era
1. Battling for Love
2. Victorian Era characters
3. Daughter wears a girdle
4. Makes reference to riding horses

1. Seven
• Seven deadly sins made popularized in churches at the time
• Also an unlucky number

2. Red
• The colour of love
• She is the cause of the death of the men murdered by the night

3. Black
• Colour of death
• The ravens

The Picture of Dorian Gray
By: Rebecca Greef
A picture of perfection,
A curious sight.
Hidden form view,
A wondrous delight.

Never aging or dying,
Not changing at all,
Just a price to be paid,
so your life will ne’er fall.

To barter ones soul,
Is to truly give in,
To admit defeat,
And to let darkness win.

But to stay young forever?
An incredible feat,
To impress those around you,
And all those you meet.

Yet inside youre dying,
Subject to a curse.
Pleasure and desire
Have emptied your purse.

A picture in ruins,
A curious sight.
Hidden from view,
A monstrous fright.

Relation to Novel
This poem does not attempt to relate to the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” with any sort of subtlety. Besides sharing the same title, the poem directly references many of the major themes in the novel, such as the act of Dorian “bartering his soul” in order to attain eternal youth, which is clearly the prevailing theme and forms the basis for most of the plot. It also references how Dorian refuses to show anyone the painting, even refusing to look at it himself eventually, when it quite literally states that the painting is “hidden from view”. Dorian’s immense charm that he earns from his eternal youth and beauty is also referenced when the poem says: “But to stay young forever/An incredible feat/To impress those around you/And all those you meet”, referring to how everyone around Dorian is fascinated by his youth and good looks, allowing them to overlook his sins and evil deeds. Finally, it refers to the degradation of the picture over time as a result of Dorian’s aging and sins, changing from being as beautiful as Dorian on the day it was painted to becoming an unrecognizable horror. This is evident because the first line of the first stanza is “A picture of perfection” and the first line of the last stanza is “A picture in ruins”.

by: Oscar Wilde

EVEN stars in the still water,
And seven in the sky;
Seven sins on the King's daughter,
Deep in her soul to lie.

Red roses at her feet,
(Roses are red in her red-gold hair)
And O where her bosom and girdle meet
Red roses are hidden there.

Fair is the knight who lieth slain
Amid the rush and reed,
See the lean fishes that are fain
Upon dead men to feed.

Sweet is the page that lieth there,
(Cloth of gold is goodly prey,)
See the black ravens in the air,
Black, O black as the night are they.

What do they there so stark and dead?
(There is blood upon her hand)
Why are the lilies flecked with red?
(There is blood on the river sand.)

There are two that ride from the south to the east,
And two from the north and west,
For the black raven a goodly feast,
For the King's daughter to rest.

There is one man who loves her true,
(Red, O red, is the stain of gore!)
He hath duggen a grave by the darksome yew,
(One grave will do for four.)

No moon in the still heaven,
In the black water none,
The sins on her soul are seven,
The sin upon his is one.

In 1895, Wilde commenced an affair with a young man named Lord Alfred Douglas.
Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, who had heard a rumor of the affair, left a card at Wilde's home addressed "Oscar Wilde: Posing Somdomite," (a misspelling of sodomite.)
Although Wilde's homosexuality was something of an open secret, he was so outraged by Queensberry's note that he sued him.
Queensberry and his lawyers presented evidence of Wilde's homosexuality—homoerotic passages from his literary works, as well as his love letters to Douglas—that quickly resulted in the dismissal of Wilde's libel case and his arrest on charges of "gross indecency." Wilde was convicted on May 25, 1895 and sentenced to two years in prison.
Wilde emerged from prison in 1897, physically depleted, emotionally exhausted and broke. He went into exile in France, where, living in cheap hotels and friends' apartments. Wilde wrote very little during these last years; his only notable work was a poem he completed in 1898 about his experiences in prison, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol."
Wilde died of meningitis on November 30, 1900 at the age of 46.

To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute on which all winds can play,
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom, and austere control?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll
Scrawled over on some boyish holiday
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
Which do but mar the secret of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights, and from life's dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of God:
Is that time dead? lo! with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance —
And must I lose a soul's inheritance?
Helas! by Oscar Wilde
by Oscar Wilde
Relation to Victorian Era
Oscar Wilde's "Helas!" examins the thoughts of the narrator, who is questioning the decadence he has chosen. The narrator clearly finds happiness indulging in many passions, but he is held by a doubt which disrupts his bliss. He is reevaluating the life he once had and the life he now has. Though he doesn't state his yearning for the "ancient wisdom" and "austere control" that he gave up, he does put these virtues up for comparison . By the end of the poem, his thinking leans more toward a condemnation of decadence — and that certain walks of life are now unattainable.

Wilde died of meningitis on November 30, 1900 at the age of 46.
More than a century after his death, Wilde is still better remembered for his personal life—his exuberant personality, consummate wit and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality—than for his literary accomplishments.
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