The purpose of this essay is to explore the character of Lord Henry Wotten, from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
Oscar Wilde once said:
I only know that Dorian Gray is a classic and deservedly.
With this in mind, this essay is aimed at looking at how Lord Henry Wotton manipulates various conversations and how he effects the story with his challenging speeches, which is the reason The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic. Henry is such a memorable, cleverly developed character, that his influence on the text elevates the novel’s value.
In the conversations of Lord Henry Wotton and the behaviour of Dorian Gray [Wilde shows that] …. self-expression can be turned into an art. – Acroyd.
Lord Henry’s conversations are used to introduce humour and intelligence to a tragic story. Lord Henry has a cynical view of the opposite sex, and also to marriage or any form of relationship which involves both genders. Henry says:
Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.
Henry here is humorously analyzing marriage, and summing it up in one sentence, which is typical of his conversation. He says things quickly and sharply so the story can move on with humour arising from the conversation. In this example Henry is giving quite a bleak outlook on marriage. This theme is explored further when he says:
Young men want to be faithful, and are not, old men want to be faithless, and cannot.
In this example, Henry explores the driving force between the nature of old and young men, and how they relate to the opposite sex. He uses irony to demonstrate his knowledge of how males relate t…
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… parallel, as Henry’s influence on Dorian Gray is evident, but Dorian Gray doesn’t affect Henry’s character at all.
The reader also gets a contrast with Basil’s relationship to Henry. Basil appears to ignore the humorous speeches that Henry gives by dismissing them as being “not serious” in nature. Because of this, Henry doesn’t effect Basil in a negative way, as he does Dorian. Dorian appears to hang on every word that Henry gives, whereas Basil practically ignores what Henry says.
Lord Henry’s influence in the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is that is gives a meaningful, ethical story a further contextual layer. Dorian Gray is a superb story, but the character of Lord Henry Wotton is what elevates the novel to its classic status.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray; For Love of the King. London: Routledge/Thoemmes Press, 1993.
Essay on Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of Dover Beach
Technical Qualities, Symbolism, and Imagery of “Dover Beach”
In “Dover Beach,” Matthew Arnold creates a dramatic monologue of the Victorian Era that shows how perceptions can be misleading. Arnold conveys the theme of “Dover Beach” through three essential developments: the technical qualities of the poem itself, symbolism, and imagery. The theme of illusion versus reality in “Dover Beach” reflects the speaker’s awareness of the incompatibility between what is perceived and what truly is real.
The technical qualities of the poem include rhythm and meter, rhyme, figures of speech, sound, and irony of the words. The mechanics alone do not explain why illusion and reality differ, but they do help to explain how Arnold sets up the poem to support the theme.
The most prominent mechanisms include the rhythm and the meter of the lines and the stanzas of the poem. Line 1 is an iambic trimeter: The sea/is calm/to-night. The gentle pulsating rhythm of the iamb mirrors the ebb and flow of the sea. The actual words of the first line manifest this idea to picture a calm sea gently lapping at the beach. The second line, an iambic tetramater, also reveals a calm sea. However, line 3 breaks the pattern and forces the reader to break his or her own rhythm. Line 3 includes: Upon/the straits,//on the French/Coast/the light. The line begins and ends with an iamb, but the middle is broken up with an anapest. The anapest is a foreshadow of the tumult to come. The fourth line breaks up even farther with an anapest at the beginning, but the fifth line recovers the rhythm. Glimmering/and vast//out in/the tran/quil bay.
The rhythm recovers by the end of the first stanza, but the original trimeter has not. The number of feet per lin…
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…he speaker is supported by the rhythm and the meter, the lack of a consistent rhyme scheme, the figures of speech, the sound of the words, and the irony of the entire poem. The symbolism of the sea and the imagery of light and dark bring out the alternating visual and auditory qualities, which elaborate on illusion and reality, respectively, Arnold’s portrayal of one person’s battle with illusion and reality shows a complex view of humanity in a simple poem.
Arnold, Matthew. “Dover Beach.”  Literature. 5th ed. Eds.
James H. Pickering and Jeffery D. Hoeper. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice, 1997. 952-53.
Ciardi, John. How Does A Poem Mean? Boston: Houghton, 1975. 196.
Untermeyer, Louis. The Pursuit of Poetry. New York: Simon