Original Research

The Gothic genre, classical allusion and other influences in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

David E. Robinson
Literator | Vol 42, No 1 | a1737 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v42i1.1737 | © 2021 David E. Robinson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 July 2020 | Published: 05 February 2021

About the author(s)

David E. Robinson, Department of Education and Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


This article will outline the aspects of influence and allusion in the novel, with reference to Victorian Gothic, classical mythology, the psychological double, monster theory, the Faustian bargain, the mask and a prominent memento mori in Huysmans’ A Rebours, his description of Rodolphe Bresdin’s lithograph, ‘The Comedy of Death’. Wilde’s novel is a complex, multi-layered text, and a richer, more profound understanding of it becomes possible when it is situated within this context of influence and allusion.


The Picture of Dorian Gray; Oscar Wilde; the Gothic genre; the Victorian age; classical allusion; Freud; the double; monster theory; Joris-Karl Huysmans; Rodolphe Bresdin


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