The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray
by Oscar Wilde
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The Picture of Dorian Gray Sexuality and Sexual Identity Quotes Page 3

Page (3 of 3) Quotes:   1    2    3  
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Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Quote #7

"Don't speak. Wait till you hear what I have to say. Dorian, from the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul, brain, and power, by you. You became to me the visible incarnation of that unseen ideal whose memory haunts us artists like an exquisite dream. I worshipped you. I grew jealous of every one to whom you spoke. I wanted to have you all to myself. I was only happy when I was with you. When you were away from me, you were still present in my art.... Of course, I never let you know anything about this. It would have been impossible. You would not have understood it. I hardly understood it myself. I only knew that I had seen perfection face to face, and that the world bad become wonderful to my eyes -- too wonderful, perhaps, for in such mad worships there is peril, the peril of losing them, no less than the peril of keeping them…" (9.11)

Basil's obsessive idolatry of Dorian has the desperate quality of unrequited love – his jealousy, "worship," and adoration all speak of feelings that extend beyond mere friendship.

Quote #8

He shuddered, and for a moment he regretted that he had not told Basil the true reason why he had wished to hide the picture away. Basil would have helped him to resist Lord Henry's influence, and the still more poisonous influences that came from his own temperament. The love that he bore him -- for it was really love -- had nothing in it that was not noble and intellectual. It was not that mere physical admiration of beauty that is born of the senses and that dies when the senses tire. It was such love as Michelangelo had known, and Montaigne, and Winckelmann, and Shakespeare himself. Yes, Basil could have saved him. But it was too late now. The past could always be annihilated. Regret, denial, or forgetfulness could do that. But the future was inevitable. There were passions in him that would find their terrible outlet, dreams that would make the shadow of their evil real. (10.7)

The idealized romantic (and implicitly sexual) love that Basil has for Dorian is articulated here by two of the names Dorian drops in relation to the painter, Michelangelo and Winckelmann. Both were famous for their fervent admiration of the male form in art, and were known to be gay (in fact, a ground-breaking, openly gay version of Michelangelo's biography and a translation of his sonnets was published shortly after Dorian Gray by gay activist John Addington Symonds).

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