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What Is Art – The Picture of Dorian Gray

It is an ambiguous matter: without an exact form, an exact meaning. Does it have any rules or restrictions? However, it can be a great influence on the lives of people. In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, two lovers have fell in and out of love due to Art! Dorian Gray found Sibyl charming because of her Art! She has not merely art, consummate art-instinct in her, but she has personality also; and you have often told me that it is personalities, not principles, that move the age (63). Sibyl is an actress. She is formed by others: no self is without external influence.

Therefore, Art that expresses the self is less valuable than art which expresses the influence of others. The special thing that made Dorian mad about her is that she is more than an individual. I (Dorian) have seen her in every age and in every costume. Ordinary women never appeal to ones imagination. No glamour ever transfigures them (59). By imagination that Sibyl has the power to arouse, she can be of any characteristics. Art has no set form, but the purpose of art is to give form to feeling. Now, Sibyl is a person that is able to provide all kinds of feelings that Dorian wishes to experience.

Dorian finds extreme pleasure in experiencing through all the sentiments that Sibyl gives. Being a spectator to the different lives and stories amuses Dorian: one evening Sibyl is Juliet, next evening she is Imogen, another night, she is Roselind. Art is something that arouse imaginations, imaginations of the viewer. In order for imagination to live, reality must not exist. She regarded me merely as a person in a play. She knows nothing of life (61). Art is not real, or, rather, it forms its own type of reality, its own world. Kbefore I knew you (Dorian), acting was the one reality of my life.

It was only in the theatre that I lived. I thought that it was all true (95). Before Sibyl fell in love with Dorian, she lives in a world or Art, a world of imaginations. That great pureness of Art is so powerful that she can spiritualize her audiences, and give them a soul if they lived without one, create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been sordid and ugly. Art has the power to bring people into a place where they have not been, or a place that they dont have the opportunity to go to in the reality. Dorian has realized, I love acting.

It is so much more real than life (88). Real life is so limited as to in acting, a man can live any scene that he can possibly think of. Dorians rejection of Sibyl came upon one night that Sibyl has lost her magic. A night that her acting lost the power to attract and charm the audiences. Good artists exist simply in what they make, and consequently are perfectly uninteresting in what they are (64). That night, she spoke the words as though they conveyed no meaning to herKshe was absolutely self-contained. It was simply bad art. She was a complete failure (93). Sibyl has become herself!

She has gotten out of the world of imagination into the real world, into what she is, herself! Sibyls mind is occupied by Dorian. You are more to me than all art can ever be (96). Now, all the wonderful influences that Sibyl had, have been wiped out, but the influence of Dorian Gray. She tried to show Dorian of her love for him, but as the author of the book mentioned in the Preface, No artist desires to prove anything. Sibyl is no longer an artist. There is no more imagination for she is a person, an individual now, a Sibyl that is in love with Dorian, and Dorian only.

There is no more curiosity that Dorian can have of her. You have killed my love (96). Dorian didnt loved Sibyl, he loves Art! How little you can know of love, if you say it mars your art! Without your art you are nothing (97). Anything without Art is plain to Dorian. Dorians philosophy of Romance is consist of infinite imaginations, beauty, personality, and attraction of curiosity, –which is Art. Dorian have found so much imaginations to Sibyl as she acted in Shakespares play, but how come he could not or would not think or indulge himself one second to imagination of his love story?

Is it because as Basil Hallward, a great artist that have painted a portrait of Dorian Gray, said, An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them (19). Dorian Gray founded Sibyl as a beautiful creature, but he put nothing of his own life into her. The one who Sibyl fell in love to, is Prince Charming. It is only the life of Sibyl that is heard of from their love affair. Dorian never really participated, he was only a spectator. After Sybil lives in the real world, Prince Charming is killed in the world of imagination. Art for arts sake, after Art is vanished, the relationship is over.

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