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I feel that my analysis, which endeavours to articulate the operational Lacanian concepts onto Wilde’s fiction, will achieve a “liberating” of the meaning from the text, an enterprise which can be equated with a transvaluation of the textual psychical values. One of the points I argue in what follows is that the readers of The Picture of Dorian Gray are encouraged by Wilde to transcend the limited perspective of the fictional selves (characters) in the story. To use Lacanian terms, consciousness equals a fictional construct that performs a masquerade of truth because it is attached to signifiers that reside beyond the subject in the Other (and in the unrepresented sphere of the Real). Approaching the text from a Lacanian perspective will make the reader aware of how one constructs an ideal image of one’s ‘self’ and seduces others into recognizing it. The results that such an enterprise yields point to the fact that there is an eccentric relationship between what a person (Dorian Gray, in our case) is and what one desires, a lack-in-being that haunts the human subject. Even if the portrait fills his lack-in-being, by bestowing upon him everlasting beauty, there remains a gap within itself likewise. It lacks life. To conclude, the portrait becomes more Dorian-like in proportion as Dorian himself gets alienated from his self, so that eventually it becomes the real Dorian. When the latter fully realizes that, he tries to reconquer his life, even if the price is his death.


Dis-Coincidental Personalities Authenticating Gaze Primary Narcissism Secondary Narcissism Ego Ideal

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How to Cite
Cârstea, D. (2021). The Picture of Dorian Gray; The Return of the Real: A Lacanian Perspective. European Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 4(3), 1–5.