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Wotton

Lord Henry "Harry" Wotton is the main antagonist in the classic 1891 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as its various adaptations.

He was portrayed by the Academy Award winning actor, Colin Firth in the 2009 film adaptation. He also portrayed Geoffery Thwaites in St. Trinians, Bill Haydon in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and William Weatherall Wilkins in Mary Poppins Returns.

Overview

Wotton is a hedonistic, manipulative aristocrat who takes interest in the young Dorian Gray of whom he winds up corrupting and halfway morphing into the vain man he would soon become. Wotton was a very corrupt man himself and acted as a mentor of sorts to Dorian and probably saw him as a way to make a profit for himself. He winded up forming a decent friendship with Dorian and even got to see his portrait after its completion.

Later on in the novel, Henry appears more aged and decrepit than he did previously. The new elderly Henry appeared to be rather bitter and resentful over Dorian and his retained youthfulness and had a very little role after this point, his last major appearance was when Dorian informed him that he was changing his lifestyle. In the movie however Henry appeared to witness Dorian's suicide and previously tried to view his painting to discover Dorian's immortality secret before it burned his face.

Henry did find out about Dorian's suicide in the novel although his reaction is completely uncaring and arguably pleased towards his former subject's demise.

While not having an especially large role Henry's role is very important as he was one of the main factors towards Dorian turning into the man he became.

Trivia

  • His character is based on Lord Ronald Gower a friend of the author Oscar Wilde.
  • Wilde also based Henry around what he thought the world viewed of himself.
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