Essay on Picture of Dorian Gray: Looks Can Kill

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Looks Can Kill in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Have you ever heard the saying, "If looks could kill"? Well, they can. Oscar Wilde reveals how looks can be charming, deceitful and even deadly.

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, there are three main characters. Dorian Gray, who is a calm, very attractive young man and adored for his good looks, Basil Hallward who is a painter that idolizes Dorian and Lord Henry Wotton, an older man, who becomes a good friend of Dorian's. As Basil is painting a portrait of Dorian Gray, Dorian makes a wish that only the picture would age and he would stay the same. As he later notices, his wish is granted and the picture begins to age. Not only is the portrait aging, but the face is also
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" I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good character and my enemies for their good intellects" (9). Wilde is indicating that looks are more important then character and intellect when it comes to choosing who your friends are.

Dorian's looks are very well recognized and admired by many people. His looks are what every person bases their judgment on. Since he is good looking he is also then considered to be a good person as well. Looks may seem to show your personality, but looks can certainly also be deceiving at times. Wilde displays this when Lord Henry sees Dorian for the first time. "Yes, he was certainly wonderfully handsome, with his finely-curved scarlet lips, his frank blue eyes, his crisp gold hair. There was something in his face that made one trust him at once" (18). Being trustworthy was not a quality that Dorian had. Dorian hid the painting from the rest of the world, because he thought that if they saw how the face looked they would blame him for Sibyl Vane's death. However, he could no longer keep his secret hidden, he had to tell someone. He decided to reveal this awful secret to Basil. When Basil saw the awful look of sin on the face of the portrait he became convinced that Dorian was not the kind man he thought he was. "You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of a satyr" (178). Dorian couldn't take the thought that someone had thought

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