The Picture of Dorian Gray Questions and Answers
by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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?

Expert Answers info

M.P. Ossa, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer, ESL/TEFL Instructor

bookM.A. from Chapman University


calendarEducator since 2008

write5,713 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

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...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 555 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lucyann eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write5 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial