Posted on by

The Dorian Gray Summary Sample

Academic level:
High school
Type of paper:
Essay (any type)
English and Literature
Order similar paper

Gothic Elements in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is charged with gothic elements. The mysterious atmosphere, the sense of impending doom, and the inclusion of supernatural events all contribute to the gothic atmosphere in the novel.

An element of the gothic in The Picture of Dorian Gray is the sense of mystery. Basil’s determination to hide from Lord Henry the reason he won’t exhibit Dorian Gray’s picture sets a mysterious tone for the novel.

In addition, when Basil tells Lord Henry the story of meeting Dorian, he claims that the moment they met, “a curious sensation of terror came over [him]” (Wilde, 2008, p. 6). This prompts the reader’s curiosity and also hints at the sense of impending doom in the novel.

The sense of impending doom further infuses the gothic into The Picture of Dorian Gray. Early in the novel, Basil says “we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly” (Wilde, 2008, p. 3). This foreshadows the idea that Dorian Gray’s beauty will cause him to suffer, and reinforces the sense of impending doom which is characteristic of gothic novels.

Dorian’s portrait coming to life constitutes a supernatural event and adds to the gothic atmosphere in the novel. After observing the first change in the portrait, Dorian acknowledges that it is impossible but nevertheless sees that the portrait is becoming different from his own reflection (Wilde, 2008, p. 86). The portrait then becomes a living object through the novel’s language; one passage reads: “Yet it was watching him, with its beautiful marred face and its cruel smile” (Wilde, 2008, p. 87). The animation of this object is a supernatural event and solidifies The Picture of Dorian Gray as a gothic novel.

Thus through the inclusion of the supernatural via Dorian’s picture coming to life, along with the sense of impending doom and the atmosphere of mystery in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s novel embraces gothic elements and characterizes itself as a Gothic novel.

Works Cited

Harris, Robert. (2015, June 15). Elements of the Gothic Novel. Retrieved from

Wilde, Oscar. (2012). The Picture of Dorian Gray [Kindle version 1.16]. Retrieved from

Like this sample?
Get a paper like this only for $16.70/page
Order similar paper now

The Dorian Gray summary is a great example of how papers of similar type and topic should be written. You can’t copy the text and use it as your own, but you can order a similar paper from us. We work 24/7 to meet your needs and requirements and provide you with the best possible paper!

Topic suggestion tool
Instantly find great topics for your essay
Give it a try

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.