While Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a macabre Gothic work, other writers more adept with grim themes have produced works far more terrifying. The works of Edgar Allen Poe are easily more chilling. As far as body count goes, Wilde does not top the grim conclusion of "The Masque of the Red Death." Considering suspense, both "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Tell-Tale Heart." In the realm of psychological horror, "The Pit and the Pendulum" has more frightening prospects than The Picture of Dorian Gray. Finally, in consideration of villainous protagonists, Montressor of "The Cask of Amontillado" is even more cold-hearted than Dorian. Also, while Wilde was best at his most comedic, Poe thrived on writing dark literature. This is not to speak of other frightening works, such as Melville's Moby Dick, Christie's And Then There Were None, and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. The Picture of Dorian Gray is frightening, but not nearly as much as these other works.
This work is full of macabre images and ideas and has a grim and ghastly atmosphere. Such words as gruesome horrifying; ghastly; horrible. Characterize this work Yet on the other hand there are some real beautiful and mellifluous passages in the work. The ending is even more horrible than the idea of a mans soul being transposed into a picture.