Oscar Wilde's, "The Picture of Dorian Gray".

Essay by little_balerHigh School, 10th grade May 2003

download word file, 5 pages 3.4 1 reviews

Downloaded 95 times

In Oscar Wilde's, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde uses many historical concepts in his novel, three of them being Theatre, Art, and Literature. While some of these concepts were used to progress the story, others were used to influence the story itself. Wilde uses Shakespeare's, Romeo and Juliet, and his own view of art to develop the story. Along with using his theme, there is strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that Wilde's novel was in fact inspired, if not a "spin off" off Robert Stevenson's novel: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Oscar Wilde's use of Shakespeare not only foreshadowed things to come, it also allowed a slow progression of the plot. For example, one of the many themes portrayed in the novel is, "Sibyl's portrayal of Juliet from Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet, foreshadowing the doomed nature of Sibyl's relationship with Dorian Gray" (Spark notes N/A). Another example of Wilde using Shakespeare for the plot to progress was the description of Sybil, "But Juliet! Harry, imagine a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with a little, flowerlike face, a small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were like the petals of a rose.

She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen in my life" (37). This shows that Sybil is constructed as Juliet, which allows the plot to progress. Another example is, "They waited some time for her, but she did not come down again. They ultimately found her lying dead on the floor of her dressing room. She had swallowed something by mistake, some dreadful thing they use at theatres." (72) Similarly to Romeo and Juliet, "Romeo learns only of Juliet's death and decides to kill himself rather than live without her. He buys a...