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Evil in English Literature: “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

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1 Evil in English Literature: “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

2 My goal was:  to investigate the Victorian's epoch  to get acquainted with a literary career of Oscar Wilde  to study and penetrate into his inner world  to consider the major ideas of the book





7 Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was born in Dublin. He was at his best when writing plays, the most popular and most esteemed of which are The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan.

8 In 1895 a British court found him guilty. After his release, he spent the rest of his life in Paris, where he died of meningitis.

9 The Picture of Dorian Gray. The young and beautiful Dorian returns to Victorian London after his grand father dies and is given a special gift. A beautiful painted portrait by the dear friend Basil Hallward. Upon viewing this painting for the first time he makes a wish to give anything to remain as he is in this portrait...even his soul.

10 As he makes his societal debut he is led by the charismatic Lord Henry Wotton who guides him on the path of debauchery.

11 At the end of the story, Dorian picks up the knife and plunges it into the painting.

12 The theme of influence. Influence is a recurring theme throughout the book. All people are influenced and act as influences, and ironically, the book itself may influence its reader, though the preface paradoxically states that no artist, in their work, "desires to prove anything" Dorian Gray is influenced toward his life of decadence by the hedonist philosophy of Lord Henry.

13 Dorian's painting also influenced him, though it was merely a work of art. Basil, too, was influenced by his own painting of Dorian. In addition to influence is the problem of who is to be considered responsible for certain actions.

14 Evil in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. The Picture of Dorian Gray is yet another novel portraying evil. The theme is very much reflected by the book's setting, plot structure and characterization. It shows how individuals can slowly deteriorate because of the evil lying within themselves. The evil of this book is the evil created by one's self and trusted upon one's self.

15 The author was very successful in finding the right means to represent the evil in this book. The book ends on more of a good note than a bad; that there is hope in stopping evil, we just have to have a want for it.

16 Adaptations of the novel. The Picture of Dorian Gray has been the subject of a great number of adaptations on television, film, and the stage. This is the fashion designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld's rendition of the novel in photography (2005). This is the Russian film. Dorian Gray is performed here by Yuri Yakovlev.

17 The film by Oliver Parker. Director: Oliver Parker Cast: Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, Rebecca Hall, Ben Chaplin, Emilia Fox, Rachel Hurd- Wood. Dorian Gray, played here by Ben Barnes, is the impossibly handsome yet naive socialite who is somewhat unaware of the power of his beauty until Colin Firth’s experienced gentleman Lord Henry Wotton opens his eyes to the possibilities.

18 Frames from the film.


20 Dorian Gray Syndrome. Dorian Gray Syndrome (DGS) denotes a cultural and societal phenomen characterized by an excessive preoccupation with the individual's own appearance accompanied by difficulties coping with the aging process and with the requirements of maturation. The syndrome was first described at a symposium on lifestyle drugs and aesthetic medicine.


22 My plans for the future: ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is an unsurpassed novel. I think it’s a really challenging task to translate it without losing the Oscar Wilde’s eloquence, and that’s why I’m interested in translation problems of this book. I’d love to continue my research in this direction next year.

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