A Comparison of Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray Essay

A Comparison of Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray

One novel that stands out as literary masterpiece is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Wilde wrote a dark tale of a man, Dorian Gray, who destroys his life by exchanging his soul for eternal youth and beauty. The character of Dorian Gray, in many aspects, mirrors the self-destruction of the author’s own life. Therefore, Oscar Wilde portrays his own life through Dorian Gray, the main character of the novel.

Oscar Fingal O’ Flahertie Wills Wilde is one of Birtain’s most well known authors. What many people do not know is that “the life story of Oscar Wilde has become…one of the tragic legends of the ages” (Broad v). Wilde was born in 1854 in Dublin, Ireland to Sir William Wilde, a distinguished surgeon specializing in opthalmology, and Lady Wilde, a poet who ran a literary salon in Dublin. Being an excellent student, he won a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford in 1874. Wilde soon adopted his parents’ talents for ostentation always dressing flamboyantly and speaking in a wry, ironic matter when pertaining to subjects that he held in distaste. He graduated with honors and became a very distinguished man, but even his high stature could not prevent him from the tragedies of life. The Picture of Dorian Gray “is very much the author’s autobiography” (Belford 170). In 1883, after he moved to London, he married Constance Mary Lloyd and had two sons. Wilde is thought to have married Constance “in order to quell rumors about his possible homosexuality, as well as to provide him with a regular income” (Holland 113) because it was not looked upon kindly in England in the 1800’s if one was a homosexual. In 1891, The Picture of Dorian Gray was published in book form, and …

…lde and Dorian are homosexual and find pleasure in being with men. Wilde greatly reflects his life and tells his own life story through one of his most well known and controversial novels of all time The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Works Cited

Belford, Barbara. Oscar Wilde. New York; Random House, 2000

Broad, Lewis. The friendships and Follies of Oscar Wilde. New York; Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1954.

Ericksen, Donald. Oscar Wilde . Boston; G. K. Hall & Co., 1977

Holland, Merlin. The Wilde Album. New York; Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

Hyde, H Montgomery. Oscar Wilde/ The Aftermath. New York; Farrar, Straus & Co. , 1963

Pearson, Hesketh. Oscar Wilde: His Life and Wit. New York; Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1946

“Pink Monkey.’ www.pinkmonkey.com 15 Jan. 2001

Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York; Random House, 1956.

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