Dorian Gray's extraordinary beauty wins the admiration of an artist who begins painting portraits of him, all but one depicting him as an ancient hero.
This single portrait is of Dorian in his very essence; an honest depiction of his character and beauty. But when someone tells Dorian that beauty fades, he begins to see the portrait as a menacing thing, which will inevitably remind him of the beauty he once had.
Dorian pledges his soul for a critical exchange: that the picture bears the burden of ageing and dishonour, and that he stays young and beautiful forever.
As Dorian indulges in the most hedonistic of lifestyles, exploiting his own beauty and completely disbarring all morality, the portrait grows uglier and older while he shows no signs of physical degradation. Dorian Grayis a story of extreme selfishness, masked by the appeal of eternal beauty.
Oscar Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, to the Irish nationalist and writer “Speranza” Wilde and the doctor William Wilde. After graduating from Oxford in 1878, Wilde moved to London, where he became notorious for his sharp wit and flamboyant style of dress.
Though he was publishing plays and poems throughout the 1880s, it wasn’t until the late 1880s and early 1890s that his work started to be received positively. In 1895, Oscar Wilde was tried for homosexuality and was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. Tragically, this downfall came at the height of his career, as his plays, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest, were playing to full houses in London. He was greatly weakened by the privations of prison life, and moved to Paris after his sentence. Wilde died in a hotel room, either of syphilis or complications from ear surgery, in Paris, on November 30, 1900.
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