The Picture of Dorian Gray

Elements of a Traditional Gothic Novel in The Picture of Dorian Gray 11th Grade

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, is a classic example of a traditional Gothic novel, despite the fact that it isn’t scary. Gothic literature received its name because many examples of the genre were set during the late-medieval, or Gothic, period. It became popular in England, Germany, and the United States during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Buzwell). What many people don’t know about Gothic novels is that they are often based off of Romanticism, a validation of strong emotion and imagination. Basically, Gothic novels combine horror and romance, and do so in a psychological way. A Gothic novel is defined as a novel that deals with frightening or supernatural objects. Through this, it becomes visible already that this story will end tragically.
Gothic novels tend to take place in gloomy settings such as old buildings (particularly castles or rooms with secret passageways), dungeons, or towers that serve as a background for the mysterious circumstances (Andersson). When Dorian attempts to visit the opium den to get rid of Basil’s body, we can clearly see an example of this. “A cold rain began to fall, and the blurred street-lamps looked ghastly in the dripping mist. The public-houses were just...

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