Picture of Dorian Gray Tragically Essay

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Although Dorian has clearly been touched (figuratively) by Lord Henry, he immediately "falls in love" with the young actress he sees during a stage performance of a Shakespeare play. It seems to the reader that Wilde intentionally makes Dorian's feelings for Sibyl unrealistic and not true to Dorian's character by having Dorian come from nowhere with news that he is engaged to Sibyl, and then a few days later growing to detest her. While it is true that Dorian is capable of having strong and quickly picked up emotions towards people, it does not seem realistic that he would suddenly declare he wants to marry Sibyl unless perhaps he was trying to repress other feelings he was experiencing. In this way, critic Sedgwick's theory of "homophobic male panic" is also developed in the Picture of Dorian Gray.

Overall, the feelings of tragically repressed homosexuality in the Picture of Dorian Gray are neither explicit but are not too hidden as well. This repression by both Basil and Dorian has tragic results. Basil is eventually murdered in the blink of an eye by Dorian. Dorian, meanwhile,
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has taken on a life full of corruption and sin, frequenting brothels and engaging in other questionable and hedonistic activities in the eyes of his peers. Perhaps one strong cause, in addition to Dorian's repressed homosexuality, is that he never grows old, a fact caused by the portrait painted by Basil that instead ages for him. Dorian can't stand the painting that has taken on all his grotesque and awful qualities, and eventually furiously stabs the piece of art with a knife. In doing so, Dorian kills himself. One cannot help but think that perhaps these two tragic deaths of Basil and Dorian could have been avoided if their homosexual feelings could have been allowed to flourish.

Bibliography

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985. Print.

Sedwick, Eve Kosofsky. "The Beast in the Closet: James and the Writing of Homosexual Panic," Sex, Politics, and Science in the Nineteent-Century Novel: Selected Papers from the English Institute, 1983-84, ed. Ruth Bernard Yeazell. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. 148-86. Print.

Dellamora, Richard. "Representation and Homophobia in the…

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Bibliography

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985. Print.

Sedwick, Eve Kosofsky. "The Beast in the Closet: James and the Writing of Homosexual Panic," Sex, Politics, and Science in the Nineteent-Century Novel: Selected Papers from the English Institute, 1983-84, ed. Ruth Bernard Yeazell. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. 148-86. Print.

Dellamora, Richard. "Representation and Homophobia in the Picture of Dorian Gray," the Victorian Newsletter, Vol. 73, Spring 1988. 28-31. Print.

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