If his ideas are theoretical, purely intellectual, and his challenge to society is limited to words, Dorian Gray embodies the theory in practice. Dorian begins to lead a double life: a brilliant surface hides the criminal essence. Still, even while living freely, he is not frivolous, thus his youth and appearance allow him to maintain in the eyes of society the impression of the spotless purity: “Even those who had heard the most evil things against him, and from time to time strange rumours . . .
At the beginning of the play, the two bishops of Canterbury lauded Henry’s piousness, temperateness, and knowledge, qualities which greatly contrasted the recklessness of his boyhood. Furthermore, after the Dauphin scoffed at Henry because of his wildness as a prince, the French Constable rebuked him, answering, “You are too much mistaken in this king. / Question your Grace the late ambassadors / With what great state he heard their embassy, / How well supplied with noble councillors, / How modest in exception, and withal / How terrible in resolution” (2.4.32-37). However, although his contemporaries extensively praised Henry throughout the play, this does not mitigate his flaws, since humans are, in their ignorance, prone to be flawed in their judgment, and thus it is God and the Scriptures, not humans and their words, which alone are the ultimate judges of mankind. In addition, some may assert that Henry was an ideal king because the chorus also praised him.
This encourages Dorian to wish that the painted image of himself would age in his stead. Dorian Gray is a handsome, narcissistic young man enthralled by Lord Henry 's new enjoyment. He satisfies in every pleasure of moral and immoral life ultimately heads to death. Henry tells
Van Doren’s use of admiring tone allows readers to readily agree upon with his statements about Hester Prynne. In the essay, he comments that “she is set to cast a spell over those who behold her” (Van Doren). The portrayal of Hester mesmerizes him, therefore he delivers statements about her with confidence, in an admiring tone. In effect of this, the allure of Hester, which Van Doren creates, allows the audience to perceive her as a prominent woman figure, rather than a sinner. Van Doren also
Lord Henry mocks Dorian’s attempts to “moralize” and tells him that it is no use. Despite Lord Henry’s discouragement, Dorian felt a “wild longing for the unstained purity of his boyhood”(Wilde 183-185), and finally rejects the influence of hedonism over his life. In order to “kill the past” (Wilde 188), Dorian stabs the wretched portrait with the same knife he used to kill Basil. However, when he stabs the painting, all of the deformities from the painting transfer to him and kill him. This event symbolizes the final triumph of good over evil, in that Dorian finally paid for his sins, and refused to live a life of malevolence any
This is the only reason he lost interest of her all of a sudden, which is ridiculous and whimsical, even though her poor performance is somewhat, probably more than that, originated from him. Dorian is totally not responsible for his own decision. It reminds me the true meaning of falling in love. In my perspective, Dorian has never loved her. He merely loved her shell, how she is represented superficially.
Lord Henry consciously chooses Dorian Gray in pupils, attracted first of all with his appearance. “Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that” (Wilde 7). Not only his physical beauty, but his pure soul is so interesting for Lord Henry: “All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth’s passionate purity. One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from the world” (Wilde 17).
When he met Lord Henry, his eyes were opened and he was sure that it was his way to freedom for his desires. When they met, Henry says “You, Mr. Gray... with your rose-red youth... and ... boyhood ... you have had passions that have made you afraid... nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul”(Wilde, 25-26). Because of his desires, Dorian was influenced by Henry and he decided to follow his bodily desires because Henry made it clear to him that if he does not, his soul will be sick. Henry’s influence on Dorian was immense; in fact, he became an echo of Henry and followed every bit of what he said in order to satisfy his