Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


English and Linguistics

Department Chair or Program Director

Levin, Jonathan

First Advisor

Dr. Chris Foss

Major or Concentration



Written for Dr. Chris Foss’s English 478 Seminar on Oscar Wilde, “Dorian and the Double: Repressed Homosexual Desire in The Picture of Dorian Gray” examines one of Wilde’s most infamous and beloved works through the lens of both psychoanalytic and queer theory. Drawing on the Romantic and Gothic traditions’ concept of the “literary double,” this research paper explores the dynamic portrait of Dorian Gray as a double for multiple characters in the text, serving as a representation of their repressed homosexual desire. Namely, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray himself emerge as the primary focus of this analysis. In addition, the paper asserts that Dorian’s portrait acts as a sort of double for the text itself, which is unable to explicitly acknowledge its own sexual implications, foregrounding the text in the concepts of repression and male same-sex desire and reflecting cultural concerns about sexuality in the Victorian era.