The picture of Dorian Gray: analysis, themes and characters

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The Picture of Dorian Gray: analisi del romanzo in inglese e biografia di Oscar Wilde (2 pagine formato docx)


The picture of Dorian Gray.

Introduction. The picture of Dorian Gray is one the most important novel written by Oscar Wilde in the London of 19th century. It had two version one of 1890 and the other in 1891 which is longest and included also a Preface.
The Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a manifesto of the Aesthetic movement, expressing Wilde’s ideas on art in general.
The main themes of the novels are: aestheticism, beauty, truth, duplicity, influence, responsibility, art, eternity and life.

The picture of Dorian Gray: analysis and characters


Oscar Wilde’s life. Oscar Wilde is one of the most iconic figures from late Victorian society. He was born oh 16th October 1854 in Dublin where he grew up. His father was a famous doctor and his mother was a translator and nationalist poet. He graduated in classical studies at Trinity College, he won a scholarship to Magdalen College where he became familiar with the Aesthetic work of Walter Pater and John Ruskin. He travelled in Italy and Greece, then he settled in London where he became a popular and eccentric dandy. He gave a lecture tour in America, then he spent some months in Paris where he met Mallarmé, Verlaine, Hugo, Zola and Balzac. The previous year he had published his first volume of poems (fairy tails). These were followed in 1891 by the essay “The soul of Man under Socialism” and his famous novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. However he had a lot of success whit his witty comedies which were staged from 1892 to 1895. These included The Importance of Being Earnest where Wilde criticized Victorian values in a comic way.

The picture of Dorian Gray: riassunto in inglese


In spring of 1895 his popularity declined because of his homosexual relationship and at that time this was a scandal. He spent two years in prison during which time he wrote the poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” and his prose confession De profundis. Afeter Wilde emigrated to France where he lived in poverty and obscurity under an assumed name.
He died in Paris.
The Victorian Age (1837-1901). The Victorian age took his name from the queen Victoria who reigned at that time. It was an age of great prosperity for England. In fact this time the liberalization of trade with the magnification of the colonial empire brought great prosperity to the state. Because of this favorable economic conditions, the positivist ideology has spread, it is to say the unconditional trust that the scientific and technological progress can bring happiness. The men and women who lived in this era, following the example of Queen Victoria, were conformists, followed puritanical standards of living that such veto placed on topics like sex, and used to participate in charities.