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Homoerotic Desire in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

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  1. Introduction
  2. Wilde's story of Dorian Gray: Rooted in contemplation of the situation of the homosexual male
  3. The plot of Dorian Gray
  4. Wotton's massive influence over Dorian
  5. Sensual descriptions in the novel
  6. Conclusion

?What if someone wrote a novel about homosexuality and no body [sic] came?? Ed Cohen writes of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (75). Actually, at the time the book was written, the term ?homosexuality? was nonexistent. Wilde, himself, became one of the leaders of the movement that defined homosexuality. Oscar Wilde, one of the most (in) famous homosexuals of the nineteenth century, portrays through the three main characters in Dorian Gray, the difficulty of coping with the life of secrecy that unavoidably went hand in hand with being a homosexual male in nineteenth century England.

[...] These are simply a few of the many startlingly sensual portrayals of men in The Picture of Dorian Gray that shocked so many of its first readers. Like Oscar Wilde himself, Dorian Gray does not hold that critical distance from his passions that are so necessary to avoiding the dangerous consequences that he subsequently experiences. ?Once the ?Hellenic ideal' upheld by Lord Henry Wotton inspires Dorian to enjoy unabated pleasures, every turn the young man takes in his life is definitely for the worse? (Bristow 212). [...]

[...] As the title suggests, the plot of Dorian Gray revolves around a picture that is painted of Dorian by Basil Hallward. As the story progresses, the picture changes to reveal the increasing degeneracy of Dorian's soul. However, it is not only Dorian's soul that is revealed in this painting; it is also that of the artist. . ] every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter,? Basil says to Lord Henry. [...]

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