Aestheticism In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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that we were ever young; / It is to add, immured/ In the hot prison of the present, month/ To month with weary pain” (Arnold 21-25). Similar to Dorian Gray, the speaker would do anything to stay young and beautiful, aware of the better life one can live in society. During the late Victorian Era, there was an immense pressure put upon people to maintain their beauty. Aestheticism was an ongoing movement where individuals only had a value in society if they had a youthful appearance. Pressure to look a certain way took over the lives of many individuals. Both the poem and novel showcase this infatuation. After discovering the power that his charming look has, Dorian Gray places other important aspects of life below his need to stay …show more content…
Influenced by the teachings of Lord Henry, Dorian does not give second thought to putting aside morals and using his physical appearance in every problem he encounters. This is further evident when Dorian makes a habit of staring at himself through a mirror while observing the altering his self-portrait. After returning home one evening, Dorian locks himself to staring at his portrait intensely, growing “more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul [...] The curiosity about life which Lord Henry [...] first stirred in him [...] seemed to increase with gratification” (Wilde 112). Dorian is aware of how he is no longer the innocent man he once was, and that his soul is possessed by the intense want to constantly remain beautiful. In Robert Browning’s poem, “A Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church”, a fictional bishop shares the same motives as Dorian Gray; they both believe that beauty must be valued over everything else. During his final hours of life, the bishop gives orders to a group of young men that he refers to as his “nephews” on how he wants his tomb to be built. He gives the men intricate details on what to use to build his tomb. The bishop exaggerates to those surrounding him that his design for his tomb must be built more beautifully than Gandolf’s …show more content…
Dorian finds himself staring at the horribly altered portrait one last time, and a rush of regret begins to come over him. He realizes that his self-indulgence leads him to the state of sadness he falls into. After shattering his mirror, and while reflecting back on his past he

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