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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

It is a gothic horror novel, written by Oscar Wilde, published in 1890, and today is considered a masterpiece of the genre. Here you can download a copy of The Portrait of Dorian Gray in PDF format.

It was truly a controversial novel dealing with themes such as the corruption of the soul and the idealization of a hedonistic life.

Both are embodied by a handsome young man who only seeks to please himself, regardless of the damage he causes in other people’s lives.

After an evil pact, Dorian Gray’s life unfolds just as he wanted it to, but over the years he comes to realize his mistake, although it was too late.

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The Picture of Dorian Gray in PDF format

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Summary of The Picture of Dorian Gray

The plot begins with Lord Henry’s visit to Basil Hallward’s studio in London. Lord Henry talked openly about his hedonistic ideas about life and his interest in experiencing the delight of the senses.

Meanwhile, he watched his friend Basil paint the portrait of a beautiful young man, named Dorian Gray. 

Basil explains that he had met the boy at a party and that since then he has been the object of his artistic inspiration.

As Lord Henry rejoiced at the beauty of the young man in the painting, the butler interrupts and announces Dorian’s arrival. 

Immediately, the young man is enraptured by Lord Henry’s talk about his philosophy of life.

Lord Henry tells her that his extraordinary beauty would not last forever, so he should take advantage of this stage to experience all he could and indulge in the banal pleasures of meat, drink, and adventure.

At that moment Dorian intensely desires to be young forever and feels unhappy because his portrait will remain young and he will grow old.

His friend proposes to destroy it, but Dorian tells him that he still liked it and so Basil gives it to him. That night, left alone with his portrait, Dorian makes his longing clear.

Soon after, the boy enters a low-class municipal theater, and there he meets Sibyl Vane, a young actress who masterfully plays Shakespearean characters.

He falls in love with her and asks her to marry him. Sibyl was delighted with the idea, for she was betrothed to a beautiful and cordial young man.

Dorian, excited, tells his friends Basil and Lord Henry about the engagement and invites them to one of the presentations of his beloved, and they attend out of curiosity.

However, Sibyl, that night acted very badly, her performance was a disaster and in the end, she had a strong argument with Dorian in the dressing room.

She tells him that she has lost her gift. For his part, he makes it clear that what attracted him to her was her acting talent and cruelly breaks off the engagement.

Arriving home, Dorian goes to his portrait and perceives in it a cynical gesture that hints that his wish to be young forever would be fulfilled and that from now on his double in the painting would suffer the ravages of time from which he had been spared.

FAQ about The Picture of Dorian Gray

What thoughts does The Picture of Dorian Gray leave you with?

In the novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, we can see how giving excessive importance to beauty and pleasure, as well as leading a life without limits, can condemn a human being to a tragic destiny from which he will not be able to escape.

Time does not forgive and, sooner or later, we will suffer the consequences of our actions.

What was Dorian Gray like  psychologically?

Dorian Gray was a young man with a desire to live life to the fullest, as is normal. However, his intentions were diverted until he became a hedonistic and narcissistic man, lacking empathy, who did not mind going over anyone’s head to achieve his own complacency.

What sins did Dorian Gray commit?

Some of Dorian’s most notable sins are lust, vice, narcissism, cruelty, callousness, and murder.

While the young man remained beautiful, his soul, depicted in the painting, was perverted and aged, making him a real monster.

What motivated Dorian Gray to change his outlook on life?

Towards the end of the novel, Dorian realizes the gravity of everything he had done for more than ten years, thanks to the deaths that occur around him. So he decides to vindicate himself.

However, that did not change the appearance of the picture, which looked worse and worse. There he realized that the only way to transform his life was to repent from the heart, which he was unwilling to do.