Freud believed that raising one of thetriarchies of personality above the others in importance would be destructive.As the reader becomes familiarised with Lord Henry, it is led to believe thatan imbalance of the id, ego and superego is desirable. This is shown in the wayLord Henry states that “nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping commonsense.” This suggests that he believes that the superego is the cause ofdestruction, rather than an imbalance of the three parts. At the beginning ofthe novel, Basil, the superego, pleads with Lord Henry, “who has a very badinfluence on all of his friends” to not impact Dorian negatively.
However,Wilde presents the superego as being weak compared to the id in the novel, andthis is depicted in the way that the corruption of Dorian begins almostimmediately after he is introduced to Lord Henry and is made to believe thathis fleeting beauty is a curse rather than a blessing. Doing this, Lord Henryinstils in him an irreparable existentialist perspective that drives him toworship the pleasure principle. In this way, Dorian’s moral demise can be seenas having been catalysed by Lord Henry, and his hedonistic influence.