Aesthetic movement and Oscar Wilde: tesina

L'Estetismo è un movimento letterario e artistico della seconda metà dell'800. Tesina di inglese sull'Estetismo di Oscar Wilde e descrizione del suo romanzo "The picture of Dorian Gray" (2 pagine formato doc)

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Oscar Wilde: The picture of Dorian Gray.

The illusion of the triumph of art over live. In the closing years of the century in opposition to philistinism, utilitarianism and to the prejudices of Victorian society was a new movement: The Aesthetism. This movement emerged in England, but also in whole Europe and the most exponent in England was Oscar Wilde. He was impressed by the English writers as John Ruskin and Walter Pater.
This movement is a reaction against materialism and in the 19th century John Ruskin protested against the indifference of the materialistic Victorian society to art and beauty. He workshipped beauty and insisted that the art is an expression of the spirit. In France Gautier advocated “Art for Art’s sake” and belived in the power of beauty. Walter Pater was the priest of the Aesthetic movement and he was convinced that art hadn’t a didactic aim. The artistic values are only real values.

Aesthetic Movement: riassunto in inglese


Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854. He studied at Oxford and then he went to London, where he had fame and success. He was called in the United States to make conferences. He had a extravagant style because he was dressed with silk stockings, velvet breeches and satin jackets. After he makes conferecens in England andhe increased his fame. Then he published “The Happy Prince and Other Tales”, “The Portrait of Mr W.H.”, “The Decay of Living”, where he criticized naturalism and defended the artificiality of art, and “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Later he had many problems with the low because of his homosexuality. He was prosecuted by the father of his lover and he was prisoner. After this experience he wrote “The ballad of Reading Gaol” and “The profundis”. He died in Paris in 1900.


In his plays and prose narratives Wilde shows his personality as a social critic. In fact in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, Wilde criticized the aristocratic classes, describing Lord Henry Wotton as a calculating and the aristocracy as cruel and stupid. In this work Wilde challenged the social conventions, saying that what is taboo is part for us and claiming that artistic excellence had nothing to do with good moral intentions. This work resumes the principles of Aesthetism (but in a negative way) and the principles of Dedadence, in fact Lord Henry Wotton is the main spokesman for aesthetic attitudes with his speech and his behavior that is not spontaneous but artificial and he use a figure of speech “The Paradox” that defies conventional notions of logic and his therefore more innatural.


He represents the spirt of decandence because he was opposed to everything that was considered natural both biologically and morality and he claimed that real beauty is unnatural and can only be produced by artifice.
The story. The aristocrat Lord Henry Wotton and the painter Basil are friends. One day Basil shows Wotton a portrait and Wotton is impressed with the beauty of the sitter Dorian Gray.