Dorian Gray Falls From Grace: Term Paper


Is this 'good' or natural one might ask, if Basil is one of the moral characters of the book and defying nature and wishing for eternal youth is immoral? Henry's counsel to Dorian that Dorian yield to his every natural temptation and not bow down to societal morality could be seen as an endorsement of the natural, but Henry also celebrates youth to an unnatural, unchanging degree and he too falls in love with Dorian's image before Dorian. Also, Henry, like Basil, is clearly amoral and self-interested himself, as seen in his disapproval that Dorian's impulses do not conform to Henry's own when Dorian is attracted to a pretty young actress. Henry is a tempting figure, like Mephistopheles, but Dorian easily outdoes him in 'evil' or transgressions and unnaturalness. Dorian's love of youth, spawned by Henry, takes on a life of its own, just like Faustus' taunting of nature and the Pope. The plots suggest defying nature and wishing for eternal life and youth is evil, but there also, as suggested by the journeys of both texts, seems to be an...


And for all of their unnaturalness and evil, the protagonists remain the most 'naturally' compelling characters of their respective dramas, given the unrealistic and 'unnatural' one-dimensionality and weakness of those individuals who are unfortunate enough to encounter Dorian and Faustus.
Works Cited

Clausson, Nils. "Culture and Corruption": Paterian Self-Development vs. Gothic

Degeneration in Oscar Wilde's the Picture of Dorian Gray." Papers on Language and Literature. Fall 2003. 21 Apr 2007.

Marlowe, Christopher. "The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus." Project Gutenberg Etext.

1997. 21 Apr 2007.

Wilde, Oscar. The Portrait of Dorian Gray. ExtraTEXTure Etext.

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