In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, the hedonistic aristocrat, teaches the protagonist, Dorian, how to embrace a libertine lifestyle.
Dorian is a young man noted for his incredible beauty. This beauty inspires a new mood in the artist Basil Hallward, and Basil paints a full-length portrait of Dorian. This relationship leads Dorian to meet Lord Henry. Lord Henry believes that aesthetic beauty and sensual fulfillment are the only ideals with pursuing in life, and Dorian becomes enamored with this worldview.
Lord Henry early in the narrative explains his view on marriage:
The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet,—we do meet occasionally, when we dine out together, or go down to the duke’s,—we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. My wife is very good at it,—much better, in fact, than I am. She...
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