The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - 10/31 Consortium
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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a timeless classic that explores the dark side of human nature. This novel, first published in 1890, has had a significant impact on the horror genre. Wilde’s story of a man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty has influenced numerous horror stories, films, and television shows over the years.


The Picture of Dorian Gray tells the story of a young, handsome, and wealthy man named Dorian Gray, who becomes the subject of a portrait painted by the talented artist Basil Hallward. Dorian becomes enamored with his own beauty and youth, and when he wishes that the portrait would age instead of him, a mysterious supernatural force grants his wish.

As Dorian indulges in a life of hedonism and debauchery, the portrait begins to reflect the ugliness of his soul, while Dorian himself remains youthful and beautiful. He becomes increasingly immoral, callous, and cruel, leading to tragic consequences for those around him.

The novel explores themes of vanity, corruption, and the consequences of unchecked desire. It is a haunting and darkly beautiful story that continues to captivate readers more than a century after its initial publication.

Influence on the Horror Genre

The Picture of Dorian Gray has had a significant impact on the horror genre, inspiring countless stories about characters who make deals with the devil or suffer the consequences of their actions. Many modern horror tales, such as Stephen King’s Needful Things and Clive Barker’s The Hellbound Heart, owe a debt to Wilde’s classic.

Comparison and Contrast with Other Popular Horror Classic Novels

While The Picture of Dorian Gray has been a significant influence on the horror genre, it is unique in its approach. Unlike other classic horror novels such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Wilde’s story is not about supernatural monsters. Instead, it is a psychological thriller that explores the consequences of vanity, narcissism, and hedonism.

Parental Guidelines

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic novel that deals with adult themes such as drug use, sexuality, and murder. As such, it may not be suitable for young readers. Parents should exercise discretion when allowing their children to read this book.

Quotes from Popular Authors

“Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of the most haunting and memorable horror stories ever written.” – Neil Gaiman

“Few works of literature are as perfectly constructed as The Picture of Dorian Gray.” – Clive Barker

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a masterpiece of literature that has influenced countless writers and artists.” – Bret Easton Ellis

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