Aesthetic Moral Metaphor in The Picture of Dorian Gray and Its Influence on Modern Chinese Aesthetic Literature

Fang Yang


In “The Picture of Dorian Gray” Oscar Wilde displays his artistic pursuit on art, life and society. Although he advocates “art for art’s sake”, yet his works could not be isloated from the social morality. In the novel, as Dorian sells his soul to the devil for his eternal beauty in appearance, the portait burdens the change of his ugliness. In some respect, the portait is a moral metaphor of Dorian himself. Basil Hallward, the painter of the protait, can be regarded as an artist metaphor to Wilde himself. Lord Henry Wotton, a famous dandy in the novel, manifests Wilde’s aestheic belief in lifestyle. So by analyzing the three main characters, this paper probes into the aesthetic moral metaphors involved in the novel, and talks about its influence on the modern Chinese aesthetic literature.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)   E-mail:

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