Ellen97
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I have to write an essay on the battle between conscience and temptation in the picture of dorian gray, but I have no idea where to start! Any ideas would be welcome

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surehman
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hi we can help you writing this essay in cheap Prices
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Ellen97
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Er no thanks, just looking for advice

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Flame Alchemist
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What kind of essay is this? As in, literature or theatrical? A-level or uni?

I've been heavily involved in an adapted theatrical tour of Dorian (we were at Edinburgh last year) so I know the story and main characters quite well. Not sure how much help I could be for a literary study, though!
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Ellen97
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It's AS english literature - I know the book well enough, I just cant pinpoint enough moments of temptation to make a good essay out of it..

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Flame Alchemist
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(Original post by Ellen97)
It's AS english literature - I know the book well enough, I just cant pinpoint enough moments of temptation to make a good essay out of it..
Ah, well unfortunately I'm not all that familiar with the source material... Temptation was obviously a major theme we has permeating through our piece, with the big, important moments of temptation supported by a recurring themes of minor temptations, right down to simple moments such as Henry offering a drink/smoke.

I'm not sure how many major moments of temptation in the prose I can think of, but, yeah, it can easily be made into a major theme. How about taking another skim through the book, sequentially pinpointing as many of these moments as possible - however vague - and hopefully find yourself with more than you originally thought?
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Ellen97
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I hadnt thought about those minor moments, but they would be good to write about. I thought I could write about the big temptation at the beginning to be young forever, then possibly when dorian sees the portrait as an opportunity to sin, and is tempted to do whatever he wants because the painting will bare the consequences - hopefully I will get more ideas as I go

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Sixteeen
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The ideas you have so far are good You could refer to the appeal of hedonism to Dorian, his transgression from a moral to an amoral character throughout the novel as his conscience is weakened and the temptation grows stronger? The murders etc he commits also represent an abandonment of conscience.
Hope that helped a little bit, sorry if it's too late
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(Original post by Ellen97)
I have to write an essay on the battle between conscience and temptation in the picture of dorian gray, but I have no idea where to start! Any ideas would be welcome

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I love this book and I studied A level Philosophy when I did this for A2 Literature so I think I will be some use to you!

It would be easier if I got the whole essay title because "battle between conscience and temptation" seems to be confusing. Are you going to argue that they are different or are you going to argue that temptation is part of the conscience? And if so, what is the conscience and what does it mean in the novel?

Now, it's interesting what the conscience is. It is a mean of "our self", it is a morality code that tells us right from wrong. However, in the novel we see little of this don't we? At first, the only character we see to have a conscience is Basil. I remember right from the start when Basil is painting a pic of Dorian or something, then Henry goes on to defeat Dorian with his Hellenistic philosophy about how you are only young once, and when then you will die and be old and no one will love you, etc. Dorian gets very upset about this, but yet Henry seems to take pleasure in seeing Dorian in such a distressed way. This sort of sadistic nature is what we see out of Henry. Perhaps he has no conscience, or is it simply a temptation to cause pause for his own pleasure?

Another factor is that when Dorian sells is soul to the devil in order to retain his youth, he also perhaps unrecognises that he actually sells is conscience too. From what we know, he was a pure, innocent young man, who at the start is described to have facial features of a baby, or some sort of innocent portrayal. But as he sold his soul to the devil to keep his youth, we see see that constant struggle between conscience and temptation. Now it's clear that he never meant to kill Basil because it was just scared that he would tell his secret and God-only-knows-what would happen to him if everyone knew the truth. But, there is no temptation to kill him, but as the effects of this killing shows on his conscience when he is in a fit of rage and panic after he took an innocent life. But then, it could be argued he loses it as when he discards the body, there is a total lack of empathy when he request to get the things in order to do this. He does not shed an inch of guilt, remorse or terror - but merely adopts Henry's philosophy and that book he reads at night.

I think there is a temptation at the start and you can defo go into the battle between temptation and conscience when it comes to Sybil - as to whether it was temptation that he really did love her, or was it him having a conscience is what loved her, or are these both factors to consider he is the one that essentially killed her when she overdosed on a drug and committed suicide.

Your question seems to be a progressive one. However, yours seems to be a discussion "discuss" or "explore" and not an argument "to what extent". So if you're going to go with discussion, focus on many things as possible throughout the novel. Or, if it's an agrument, pare up to contrasting events in the novel and look at if those two things in the novel weigh either towards temptation or conscience.

Hope I've helped in some way.
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