Basil Hallward

Basil Hallward

    Dorian Gray
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in Victorian England, where art is valued but artists less so. Fortunately, Basil finds a patron in Dorian Gray, a beautiful blond who quickly becomes Basil's muse.

Profession... artist, and a damn good one. Although eccentric, Basil is a highly talented painter, and his skills give Dorian no reason to regret his choice of painter.

Interests... beauty, art, and goodness. In Dorian, Basil sees all three qualities, and he subsequently attempts to capture his friend's angelic beautiful in a painting. When he –miracle of miracles! – actually succeeds in doing so, Basil is delighted, but his elation soon turns to concern as Dorian develops an unnatural obsession with the painting.

Relationship Status... single. However, Basil seems to be unnaturally obsessed with Dorian, telling his friend "from the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I was dominated, soul, brain, and power, by you."

Challenge... helping Dorian regain his moral compass. After Basil introduces him to the hedonistic Lord Henry, Dorian's personality quickly shifts from the "simple and [...] beautiful nature" that attracted Basil to him. Under Lord Henry's influence, Dorian dives deeper and deeper into decadence. And while Basil tries to rein in his young friend, there are signs that Dorian is beyond even Basil's help.

Personality... creative, sensitive, and principled. Like Lord Henry and Dorian, Basil is a lover of beauty, but unlike them, his aesthetic ideal contains a heavy streak of morality. The gentlest of his friends, Basil's caring and idealistic nature makes him a principled sore thumb among his hedonistic friends.


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