Oscar Wilde


I feel that Lord Henry is satin himself. Contrary to popular belief, the devil does not always come to you wearing read hornes and a tail; he is much more suductive. As the book of Genesis attest, the Devil is able to take shape in any creature: ie, snake, LORD HENRY etc.
A prime example of Lord Henry portraying characteristics of the Devil is in the beginning of the book when Basil and Dorian both speak about gaining youth. It is Lord Henry who instills the thought that youth is something very desireable and ephermal. This is simply one example of LH's diabolicial characteristics.

>>By Hershey   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 12:57)


>>By padha   (Thursday, 30 Jan 2003 16:39)

I don't think Henry Wotton was supposed to be Satan. Rather, he and Basil Hallward were both aspects of Oscar Wilde's personality. Wilde himself said that Henry was how the world saw him; Basil was how he saw himself. In public, Wilde was Lord Henry, a charming but heartless gadfly to whom nothing was quite real. Inside, he was Basil: passionate, spiritual, vulnerable---and a sucker for a pretty face. Shortly after the book was published, Oscar met a young man named Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, who was as beautiful, charming, immature and self-absorbed as Dorian Gray. Like Basil, Oscar fell in love with a young man who destroyed him.

>>By kujata   (Wednesday, 14 May 2003 06:35)

The only "real" character in the novel is surely Dorian himself. Henry and Basil prove too two-dimensional to be anything more than mere anthropomorphic representations of emotional extremes. Sadly, Dorian ends the novel without a single redeeming feature left in his frail character aside from his supernatural good looks. Surely a complete defeat for Aestheticism and an ironic one, considering the style of the novel.

>>By Lullaby of Birdland   (Monday, 1 Dec 2003 22:41)

Oscar Wilde himself has said that the novel was an experiment, an experiment in theoretical symbolism. As such, none of the characters were real enough to be 3-dimensional. Dorian symbolises Desire, and Aesthetic purity, but i don't agree with Lullaby that it is a defeat for Aestheticism. One could argue that the Aestheticism that Dorian espouses is a violent one, just as Hitler's project for the establishment of a superhuman race of men is an aesthetically violent excercise. It is this that fails, the Violence with which Aestheticism is espoused, a Desire, oscar Wilde says, that finds a natural home in all Humanity.

>>By dionysus   (Tuesday, 2 Dec 2003 09:37)

What does everyone think about the Importance of Being Earnest?

>>By My name is G   (Wednesday, 10 Nov 2004 15:06)

In the book, Lord Henry is very much against influence but then again he influences a lot of people including Dorian Gray which in some sense tries to live like Lord Henry. I do believe that the three characters were like Oscar Wilde's mind split into two opinions . The first, Basil who is the morally just character . The second, Lord Henry which is the wild nature character that everyone is attracted to because he is more freeing. I think that The Picture of Dorian Gray portrays the struggle between being good and being bad. Dorian is also the innocent child like beauty that is sometimes controlled by fear but influence in itself is the corruption of beauty. I think that there is an importance to being earnest but i also believe that it's our nature to want more than we give. I also think that Lord Henry does portray some devilish characteristics but people dont seem to mind that. (even Basil the morally just character is good friends with him)

>>By *love*is*a*malady*   (Thursday, 16 Dec 2004 02:18)

Wow. It's been a long time since anyone's posted in here. Don't tell me I'm the only Wilde fan left.

What about some of his poetry and plays? You cannot tell me that the Ballad of Reading Gaol is not one of the most beautifully sad things ever written. Reading that is almost like wittnessing the destruction of a soul. You can compare it to poems before his incarceration, such as By The Arno or Italia and you see such a drastic change from this man who lost everything beautiful when he went to prison. Plus, there is De Profundis, which is an unbelievable chance to get deep into his character and read first hand what he becomes as a result of all this.

Besides PDG, some of my favorite works of his are Requiscat, Ballad of Reading Gaol, The Cantubury Ghost, and Salome. Plus, has anyone else read his lecture upon returning to England after doing a lecture tour of America? He said he found there the best form of music criticism ever. It was a sign hanging over a piano in a saloon which said "Please do not shoot the pianist, he is doing his best."

>>By Lanen   (Thursday, 28 Apr 2005 22:21)

The discussion board is currently closed.