Dorian Gray

Dorian Gray

    Dorian Gray
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... on easy street. With his wealth of both good looks and money, Dorian has never wanted for much, whether it be material goods or admirers.

Living... in Victorian England, at his manor. In an atmosphere where prudish moralists clash with romantic decadents, Dorian has the decision to choose whether to pursue pleasure or morality.

Profession... dandy. Dorian's too rich to need a real job, so he opts to spend his time amusing himself, a hobby in which he is encouraged by his hedonistic friend, Lord Henry Wotton.

Interests... beauty, art, and pleasure. At Lord Henry's suggestion, Dorian decides to pursue pleasure in all its forms, regardless of consequences for himself or others. it’s off to a life of debauchery and sexual experimentation for Dorian.

Relationship Status... courting Sibyl Vane. An actress he meets at a shabby theater, Dorian is drawn to Sibyl for her acting and describes her as "the girl to whom I am going to give all my life, to whom I have given everything that is good in me."

Challenge... facing his mortality. Worshipped for his looks, Dorian becomes terrified at the thought he will age and become "haggard, and old, and wrinkled." Bred out of one of Lord Henry's casual comments, this fear soon consumes Dorian's life—so much so that when he sees a painting of himself, Dorian wildly wishes it would grow old instead of him. Miraculously, the wish seems to work. But even if Basil Hallward's painting reflects the effects of his decadence instead of his body, Dorian can't prevent the corruption of his soul. His soul is literally sealed in a painting.

Personality... hedonistic, careless, and innocent at first. But Dorian is transforming from a naive young man into a ruthless cynic. Like a moth to a flame, we know things can’t end well, but it impossible to look away.


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