The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay Topics for Real Literature Fans

the picture of dorian gray essay topics

You can find everything in the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” written by the genius Oscar Wilde: art and beauty, love and betrayal, delight and death. The novel includes so many aphorisms that can serve as a template for an exhaustive philosophical work. Although Wilde’s contemporaries blamed him for violating morality, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” has become a source of numerous adaptations in the 20th and 21st centuries.


We have collected 40 good essay topics for “The Picture of Dorian Gray” in order to inspire you for the creation of an excellent essay. You can also combine these topics and get a great subject for a research paper.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” topics are divided by the types of essays you can write: analytical, argumentative, and compare and contrast essays. There is also a bonus for real academic heroes – topics of a harder level. You can choose any topic and apply to the team of WriteMyEssayOnline – they will gladly help you with creating a high-quality paper.

Analytical Essay Topics for The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Can beauty be treated as moral or immoral in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”? What path has Dorian Gray passed to self-destruction?
  2. Analyze the theme of homoeroticism in “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
  3. How are the Gothic elements implied in “The Picture of Dorian Gray?” What is their role?
  4. How does the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” reflect the reality of the Victorian epoch?
  5. How does Oscar Wilde develop the theme of decadence in his book “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  6. Aestheticism as the basic idea of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
  7. How is the role of art determined by Oscar Wilde in the “Preface” displayed in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  8. How does beauty corrupt Dorian’s soul?
  9. What decision could make redemption for Dorian possible?
  10. What is the symbolic meaning of the portrait in the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?

Argumentative Essay Topics for The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Choose one phrase that would determine the main idea of “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and explain your choice.
  2. Are youth and beauty depicted as supreme values in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  3. Choose one character in the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” who deserves respect and explain your choice.
  4. Moral vs. immoral in “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
  5. Does Dorian’s soul remain the same along with his appearance?
  6. Does the character of Dorian Gray deserve sympathy in some episodes of the novel?
  7. What scene represents the meaning of the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” in the best way possible?
  8. Does Dorian’s appearance distort the judgments of other characters on his morality?
  9. Who is responsible for Dorian’s moral failing?
  10. What is the main reason for Dorian’s drug abuse?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Compare Dorian Gray to a real-life monster.
  2. Compare and contrast how the betrayal is represented in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.
  3. Compare and contrast the relationships between Basil and Dorian with Lord Henry and Dorian in “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”
  4. Compare Dorian’s sense of morality at the beginning and at the end of the book.
  5. Compare and contrast the presentation of temptation in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
  6. Compare and contrast “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and “Dorian, an Imitation” by Will Self.
  7. Compare and contrast the characters portrayed by Ben Barnes in the film “Dorian Gray” (2009) and by Stuart Townsend in the film “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”
  8. Compare and contrast Sibyl’s acting before and after she fell in love with Dorian and explain the reasons for a change.
  9. Compare and contrast the influence of Lord Henry on Dorian’s life and the influence of Gray on Adrian Singleton’s life.
  10. Compare and contrast Lord Henry from “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde and Mephistopheles from “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay Topics: Hard Level

  1. What mythological elements appear in the novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  2. Define the Dorian Gray syndrome.
  3. Why does “The Picture of Dorian Gray” have so many cinematic adaptations?
  4. Was the transformation of Dorian Gray into a female character in the film “The Sins of Dorian Gray” (1983) successful?
  5. What is similar between Oscar Wilde and the character of Lord Henry in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  6. Can “The Picture of Dorian Gray” be considered as a Faustian story?
  7. How does Dorian Gray confuse art and reality in the novel?
  8. Is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde a reinterpretation of the story about the fall of man?
  9. What is the role of Shakespeare’s plays in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”?
  10. Basil and Lord Henry as God and Devil in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde.

We are sure that you have gotten enough information about “The Picture of Dorian Gray” topics to write an A-level essay. If you have chosen a really interesting topic but don’t have the energy to write your paper, apply to us! WriteMyEssayOnline is a service that won’t let you down!

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