The Picture of Dorian Gray Quotes

"If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that- for that- I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!" (Dorian Gray, Chapter 1, p. 31)

This is the wish which changes Dorian's life forever. He did end up giving his soul to stay young. He gave his soul, because he no longer felt sadness, grief, guilt, or remorse in the way every other person felt them. He felt only a fraction of each of these emotions, because the full brunt of the emotions were put upon the picture. He did remain young and free from the ill effects of life, but in the end he paid for it with his life.

"I wish I had, for as sure as there is a God in heaven, if he ever does you any wrong I shall kill him." (James Vane, Chapter 5, p. 77)

Sibyl Vane has just seen Dorian drive by in a carriage. She wanted her brother to see Dorian, but he looked too late. James Vane is a bit jealous of his sister's new relationship and he is very skeptical of this man in her life. He does not believe he is the wonderful man she thinks he is.

So he warns her, that Dorian had better treat her well or he will suffer the consequences. The consequence being death by James' hand. Sibyl does not take her sixteen year old brother's threat seriously, but she should have. After Sibyl takes her own life, because of the ending of her and Dorian relationship, James decides to follow through on his threat. Many years later, he manages to track down Dorian and begins to stalk him. His desire to avenge his sister, comes to a tragic end for James, when he is killed accidently by one of Dorian's friends during a hunting trip.

"A strange sense of loss came over him. He felt that Dorian Gray would never again be to him all that he had been in the past." (Narrator, Chapter 6, p. 90)

Basil Hallward knows his relationship with Dorian has been changing, since the day Lord Henry met Dorian. Dorian no longer visited every day and he made excuses to stay away from him. But the night the three men went to the theater together confirmed his suspicions. He is told by Lord Henry he would have to ride alone in his own carriage, because there isn't enough room in Lord Henry's carriage for all three men. Basil feels alone and separated from his once close friend Dorian Gray.

"The expression looked different. One would have said that there was a touch of cruelty in the mouth. It was certainly strange." (Narrator, Chapter 7, p. 101)

This is the first time Dorian notices a change to the painting. It is the result of the cruel way in which he ended his relationship with Sibyl Vane. The mouth showed the emotion Dorian felt, as he told the young girl he never wanted to see her again. He looks at his own face in a mirror and realizes the cruelty shown on the painting does not show on his face. He knows his wish has come true, he will never show the effects of age or of his sins.

"Dorian Gray glanced at the picture, and suddenly an uncontrollable feeling of hatred for Basil Hallward came over him, as though it had been suggested to him by the image on the canvas, whispered into his ear by those grinning lips." (Narrator, Chapter 13, p. 173-p. 174)

Basil has seen the picture and is repulsed by it. He begs Dorian to fall to his knees and ask God's forgiveness for his sins. Dorian also realizes Basil now knows the rumors about him are true. This is all too much for Dorian to bear and he kills Basil. He kills him because he blames him for painting the picture and because Basil reminded him of his sins. He hates Basil so fiercely, that even after he is dead, he still hates him.

"It was his beauty that had ruined him, his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for." (Dorian Gray, Chapter 20, p.242)

Dorian realizes youth is a time in life to be selfish and explore the world around you. He now knows this type of behavior cannot last, but one must mature and move on from such foolish ways. He realizes he has never moved on, but instead he has corrupted others with his idea of eternal youth. He has been an example of what living a life full of excess can do to a person. He has committed crimes and gotten away with them, but not entirely. He lives with the fear of his picture being discovered, then the world would know the truth about him.

He wanted youth and beauty for his entire life, while he received his wish, he also realized it was an unwise desire. Man is meant to age, so he can become wise and mature.

"He seized the thing, and stabbed the picture with it." (Narrator, Chapter 20, p.245)

Dorian is trying to decide how to cope with the stress of living with the painting. He knows it is the only piece of evidence which can tie him to the murder of Basil. The painting now shows the blood not only on his hands, but on his feet too. He considers confessing to Basil's murder and concludes there is no other evidence to link him to the crime. The body is gone, as is Basil's coat and satchel, so the police would probably think he is mad. He decides the best way to deal with Basil's murder is to destroy the picture. He uses the same knife he used to kill Basil, to destroy the picture.

As he is stabbing the picture a great cry and a crash are heard by not only Dorian's servants, but also others outside on the street. Once the servants gain entry into the room they find the painting, as it was on the day it was painted. On the floor they see a dead old man, who can only be identified by his rings as Dorian Gray.

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