Aestheticism In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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1. Introduction The turn from the 19th to the 20th century has given to the world a whole group of literary geniuses. It was a time of cardinal changes, the death of the old principles, of revolutions and wars. Former ideas and rules disappear and it slowly, but inevitably leads to the generation of the new directions in literature, philosophy, and art. One of such movements was a new aestheticism, which roots go to romanticism. In the atmosphere of the contradictory ideas of the Victorian era, in the time of extreme optimism and extreme pessimism, a time where strict moral rules and exaggerated virtues contrasted with the widespread of prostitution and child labor, Oscar Wilde as the most notable follower of the new aestheticism has a particular position as the preacher of this new movement for which beauty was above morals, art was higher than reality (Abrams 3). Wilde urges the audience to consider that art reflects only itself. His aesthetic ideas are shown through the character of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton. But as well as the novel, which evokes a feeling of terror in the reader and has as a lot of typical gothic characteristics like the supernatural, doppelgängers, magic objects and the secret room, the key character—Lord Henry also has gothic features, he is a hidden devil in the novel. Aesthetic and hedonic ideas, expressed through diabolical gothic nature, make Lord Henry to an unordinary character with an essential role. Dorian’s
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