Dorian gray aestheticism essay

Yet, while he enjoys these indulgences, his behavior ultimately kills him and others, and he dies unhappier than ever.

Soon the periodical Punch made him the satiric object of its antagonism to the Aesthetes for what was considered their unmasculine devotion to art. In the end, as a testament to the purely aesthetic life, the only legacy Dorian leaves behind—everything that identifies him as who he was—is his superficial jewelry.

This attitude was revolutionary in Victorian England, where popular belief held that art was not only a function of morality but also a means of enforcing it.

Despite his hatred of the portrait, Dorian keeps it and continues to check on it as it changes, because it has become his only perception of his own true nature, and of his own soul.

Embarrassed, Dorian rejects Sibyl, telling her that acting was her beauty; without that, she no longer interests him. Arnold focuses on its detrimental effects on society and the possibility for societal improvement when aesthetic tendencies are properly controlled.

Arnold is optimistic that some may pursue beyond the immediately pleasurable and act to perfect themselves both morally and intellectually. Yet in Kant's own day, one did not need Beethoven to derive similarly "permanent impressions" from Bach, Hayden, or Mozart -- whose 40th Symphony equals Beethoven in majesty.

As Dorian evolves into the realization of a type, the perfect blend of scholar and socialite, he experiences the freedom to abandon his morals without censure.

In this one sentence, Wilde encapsulates the complete principles of the Aesthetic Movement popular in Victorian England. The triviality of music is not just of a piece with the "play" of gamblers and jokers but of the quite serious practice of religion, where song in the Protestant North of Europe had replaced the plastic arts that were thoroughly destroyed by Lutherans and Calvinists -- evidence of whose iconoclasm still disfigures old German churches.

It is at these times that the virtues of the wholly aesthetic life become questionable. But music, giving us the Will itself, is ontologically prior to phenomenal reality.

An Annotated, Uncensored Edition.

The Conflict Between Aestheticism and Morality in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

If, as Dorian observes late in the novel, the imagination orders the chaos of life and invests it with meaning, then art, as the fruit of the imagination, cannot help but mean something. You may be able to receive WR transfer credit for it.

Dorian displays no such pursuit of intellectual perfection as he is slowly corrupted and in turn corrupts others, luring them with him into the slums and opium dens of London. Dorian reveals his epiphany to Lord Henry: This pursuit of perfection, however, is likely an arduous and uncomfortable task, and is therefore incompatible with pure aestheticism.

Aestheticism and Morality in Oscar Wilde

Not artist is ever morbid. Scholars generally accept the character is partly inspired by Wilde's friend Lord Ronald Gower. My parents belonged to a Puritan religious group and disapproved of pleasure. She confirms that the man was Dorian Gray and explains that he has not aged in 18 years.

The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied and amoral experiences, while staying young and beautiful; all the while his portrait ages and records every sin.

Urged to flee to France by his friends, Wilde refused, unable to believe that his world was at an end. Dorian deceives James into believing that he is too young to have known Sibyl, who killed herself 18 years earlier, as his face is still that of a young man. Lord Harry's libertine world view corrupts Dorian, who then successfully emulates him.

While Kant allows that the plastic and presumably some performing arts can rise to a "serious business," he explicitly disallows this to music -- which leaves me to play with a scene in my imagination of someone like Beethoven giving Kant a lesson in the seriousness of music -- the Fifth Symphony is about as playful as a thunderstorm.

In his pursuit of his own pleasures, a distinctly narcissistic attitude emerges, and the incompatibility of morality and unconditional aestheticism becomes all the more apparent. British reviewers condemned the novel's immorality, and said condemnation was so controversial that the W H Smith publishing house withdrew every copy of the July issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine from its bookstalls in railway stations.

A renowned philanthropist, his dispensary for the care of the city's poor at the rear of Trinity College, Dublinwas the forerunner of the Dublin Eye and Ear Hospital, now located at Adelaide Road. Part gothic novel, part comedy of manners, part treatise on the relationship between art and morality, The Picture of Dorian Gray continues to present its readers with a puzzle to sort out.

Author Oscar Wilde was known for his acclaimed works including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as his brilliant wit, flamboyant style and infamous.

Andrew Elfenbein is Professor of English at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. He is the author of Byron and the Victorians (); Romantic Genius: The Prehistory of a Homosexual Role (); and Romanticism and the Rise of English (); for Longman Cultural Editions, he has edited Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

An essay examining the use of aestheticism ideas in Oscar Wilde's tsfutbol.com Role of Aestheticism in Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Around the time of the later ’s, in the Victorian Era during wh.

Read the essay free on Booksie. Aestheticism in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay Words 10 Pages Aestheticism was a popular dogma in the late s that centered. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a Gothic and philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine.

Fearing the story was indecent, the magazine's editor without Wilde's knowledge deleted roughly five hundred words before publication. Oscar Wilde, in full Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, (born October 16,Dublin, Ireland—died November 30,Paris, France), Irish wit, poet, and dramatist whose reputation rests on his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (), and on his comic masterpieces Lady Windermere’s Fan () and The Importance of Being Earnest ().

Dorian gray aestheticism essay
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Picture of dorian gray aestheticism essay