Otázka: Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Kateřina Hošková, 8.B8
Main theme: The artist Basil Hallward paints a picture of the very handsome Dorian Gray. At first he is kind and shy but throughout the book he changes into a cruel,corrupt and shameful person. The main character is the person he has drawn, the painting changes his appearance as time goes on.
Place and time: London, at the end of the 19th century
Basil Hallward: He is a painter. Dorian Gray is his muse. He’s an idealist with a good heart who believes in goodness.
Dorian Gray: He is the young aristocrat with an angelic appearance that everyone admires. First he is a naive and pure boy but later he is influenced by Lord Henry and he becomes cynical, gazing into his beauty and becoming self absorbed. Finally he starts to hate himself.
Lord Henry Wotton: He is Basil‘s and later Dorian‘s friend. He is a free-spirited and decadent aristocrat. His view of the world is crooked, but he is a great entertainer and high in society so is therefore popular.
Sibyl Vane: She is a beautiful young actress, Dorian loves her and he wants to marry her but when she falls in love with him her acting becomes worse. This is why Dorian refuses her hand which causes her to kill herself.
James Vane: he is the brother of Sibyl Vane, he’s a scurrilous adventurer and sailor. He really loves his sister and he wants his revenge.
Alan Campbell: He is forced to help Dorian Gray hide the dead body of Basil Hallward and later he kills himself.
The story begins when Basil Hallward began talking with Henry Wotton about his new handsome model Dorian Gray. A couple days later Dorian Gray met Henry Wotton who had a bad impact on him. Dorian fell in love with himself and started to be more and more selfish.
When Basil finished his painting of Dorian Gray, he did not want to reveal it, because he had put a lot of feelings in the masterpiece, so he donated it to Dorian. One day Dorian made a wish, that the picture of him would get older and accommodate all of the consequences of his sins. Basil noticed the bad influence Henry Wotton had on Dorian and he tried to talk him out of his vanity. After a few days Dorian looked at Basil’s painting of him and it looked as though the painting had changed. Over time the picture of Dorian Gray changed more and more. Dorian did not lose his beauty and he realised that the painting showed his bad and rotting soul, this scared him and so he hid the painting in the attic.
One day he visited a sunken theatre, this is where the beautiful Sibyla Vane appeared and he fell in love with her for her beauty. But she committed suicide because of his ruthlessness. The following few years, Dorian had a lot of women, he went to parties and surrounded himself with luxury. He saw how the painting changed.
Basil decided to go to Paris but before his leaving he went to visit Dorian to talk him out of it all for the last time. Dorian interrogated him and took him to the attic to show him his painting. When Dorian saw Basil’s painting he took a knife out and killed him. He also met Sibyl’s brother James Vane,who wanted to avenge Sibyla’s death. But finally Dorian convinced him, that he is not who James was looking for.
One day Dorian decided to destroy the painting of himself. He took the knife and jabbed the screen, but instead of destroying the picture he destroyed himself. In the picture appeared beautiful a young Dorian as the painter Basil had drawn a few years ago and on the ground lain a dead,wrinkled and decrepit man, remarked by all his bad sins.
The story is chronological.
3) Language and style
Literary language. Slang, professional speech or vernacular does not appear here.
Direct speech appears here a lot. (fe: Hallward frowned. ‘Dorian going to be married!‘ he cried. ‘Impossible!‘ )
Inner monologues do not appear here