The picture of Dorian Gray: analisi

Analisi dettagliata, struttura e riassunto in inglese del romanzo di Oscar Wilde, The picture of Dorian Gray (2 pagine formato pdf)

Appunto di federicasaporiti


The picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde. Plot Basil Hallward is an artist, fascinated by the youth and beauty of Dorian Gray and for this reason he decides to paint his portrait.
When he finished it, he show it to Dorian and he is immediately fascinated by his own beauty, but he also understands with horror that the beauty of the portrait will last forever, while he himself will grow old and ugly. At this point, under the influence of Basil’s friend, the amoral aesthete Lord Henry Wotton who believes that youth is the supreme value, Dorian expresses a wish that comes to be true.
His desire is that the portrait would absorb all the signs of age, experience and vice, while he will remain young and beautiful forever. Alarmed by Dorian’s reaction, Basil tries to destroy the painting but Dorian stops him and takes the picture with him.

The picture of Dorian Gray: analysis, themes and characters


Dorian and Wotton become friends and the young man begins to frequent the theatre where he meets a brilliant actress Sybil Vane, who falls in love with him, but Dorian cruelly rejects her when she renounces her art to be with him. Noticing that an expression of cruelty has appeared on the face of the portrait, Dorian returns to Sybil, but it’s too late because Sybil has killed herself. Therefore, Dorian begins to live a life of vices, letting his portrait, which he hides in an unused room upstairs in his house, bear the weight of his corrupting soul. Years later Dorian, totally corrupt and evil, but still beautiful and young as ever, lets Basil see the new hideous face of the portrait and then kills him to prevent him from revealing his secret. For Dorian to keep his secret, several other people have to die. Meanwhile the portrait continues to bear the blood of his crimes and it becomes more and more ugly. In a certain point Dorian realizes the horror of his acts and so he decides to destroy the portrait and begin a new life. But in doing so he kills himself, becoming a disgusting old and dead man, while the portrait magically turns to its original image of Dorian young and beautiful.

The picture of Dorian Gray: riassunto


•The exchange of art and life First of all it’s important to say that the story, through its theme of temptation, reminds us of “Faust”, written by Goethe and so of the “Faustian Pact” with an absent devil. For this reason, we can consider this work as a nineteen century’s rewriting of Faustian myth. In fact, Dorian makes his life an untouchable work of art, while his portrait becomes the mirror of his real inner soul. To seduce Dorian into this corrupted world, Lord Henry gives him a copy of an unnamed book, possibly “A Rebour”, written by Huysmans, that was a key text for the Aesthetic movement and whose central character Des Esseintes, bored with reality, surrounded himself with an artificial world of precious objects.