The Picture of Dorian Gray Questions and Answers
by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover
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In The Picture of Dorian Gray how does sexuality and platonic love play a role in the relationships between Dorian and Basil and Dorian and Lord Henry?

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In order to tone down what was originally meant to be Wilde's manifesto on Greek Love,The Picture of Dorian Gray was altered by Wilde, a suggestion by Walter Pater, because of the strong homoerotic undertones between the relationship of Basil, Lord Henry, and Dorian. Although Wilde intends to present a romantic connection between the three men, he disguises it as a mere platonic relationship because Wilde was aware that NOT doing so could have caused (and eventually did cause) him to go to prison.

The role of sexuality in the novel is to present Dorian as the ideal of Greek love that every aesthete (such as Wilde and Pater) seeks, but dares not to corrupt. The beauty and looks of Dorian are consistently mentioned throughout the novel as the most powerful charms of his existence. Sensuality, and not necessarily sexuality, pervade the atmosphere of the novel. Wilde does want Dorian's supreme aesthetic look to be at the center stage of the novel, but he is quite aware that any addition to...

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