The relationship between Good and Beauty as well as Life and Art in.
In my essay I am going to examine how appears in The Picture of Dorian Gray the question of "Beauty- and, what is strongly related to it especially at Wilde, the question of art. I refer to some of his former writings especially to The Decay of Lying (In Intentions, 1891) which has a conceptual similarity to the novella. I look into the connection between Beauty and another complex aesthetic concept, the concept of Good. I will examine Lord Henry's character as the "Seducer-.
One of the main motives of the novel is Beauty and the search for it. What does Beauty mean? According to the Dictionary of Philosophy: Property of an object giving rise to pleasure or approval. Various theories of its meaning exist: It may stand for a felt or intuited quality, or for a causal property evoking a special reaction in the speaker, or in people generally; or it may have meaning by expressing non-possesive love."" In The Picture of Dorian Gray Beauty is connected with Innocence. Beautiful = innocent = good. This theory recalls the Greek idea of calocagathia- which considered that beauty- and good- are related to each other. In the novel this appears in the idea that sins make people ugly. Sin is a thing that writes across a man's face But you, Dorian, with your pure bright, innocent face, and your marvellous untroubled youth- I can't believe anything against you."" Lord Henry's and Basil's devotion to Dorian's beauty is actually a kind of admiration for his unspoiled goodness and childlike innocence that both of them have already lost. One loses this gradually and unconsciously and realises it only much later during examining his wrinkles in the mirror. What is tragic in Dorian's case is that he is initiated too early. Becoming conscious of his position he makes a Faustian contract for his own soul to avoid his destiny. It is also very similar to the one in The Wild Ass's skin by Balzac.