The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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Can you analyze and describe the character of Lord Henry Wotton in The Picture of Dorian Gray and explain his influence and impact on Dorian?

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An aristocrat and hedonist, Lord Henry Wotton is the middle-aged, rich, and powerful nephew of Lord Fermor, and he is also the friend of Dorian Gray's friend and painter, Basil Hallward. 

As a hedonist, Lord Henry's life is dedicated exclusively to searching for pleasure and for "sensations"; such yearnings can only be satiated by engaging in any of the many temptations available to man.

Yes, there was to be, as Lord Henry had prophesied, a new Hedonism that was to recreate life, and to save from that harsh, uncomely puritanism that is having, in our own day, its curious revival. (Ch. 11)

Part of his "hedonist manifesto" also precludes the search and adoration of the ultimate forms of beauty. Henry takes particular interest in Dorian Gray because the young man is described as the epitome of male physical beauty. 

Lord Henry's fixation with Dorian could be interpreted from a homoerotic perspective, but Wilde gives less importance to this and more importance to the aesthetically-motivated purpose of Lord Henry: to make Dorian his ultimate creation by injecting this angelical-looking man's soul with the poison that comes out of giving into a life of extreme pleasures.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. (Ch.2)

In Lord Henry's mind, the mixture of forbidden pleasures and the beauty of Dorian would mean perfection perfected: a sensually inviting man leading a life of careless debauchery is what, ultimately, Lord Henry would...

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