Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel of Oscar Wilde published in the July 1890 of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. The editor of the magazine explained that the story was indecent and censored five hundred words before the publication. Despite this censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers : they said that Wilde violating the laws of public morality. First, Wilde defended his novel in correspondence with the press. Then, he delete the most controversial words and publicated his book the following year,

The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a summer day in Victorian era when a famous artist : Basil Hallward is painting the portrait of an handsome youngman named Dorian Gray. Through Basil, Dorian meet Lord Henry Wotton who convinced him of the value of beauty and pleasure above all things. Dorian is really disturbed by Lord Henry’s words and terrify of his own image and fears that his youth and beauty will fade. Dorian becomes jealous of this painting wich remain forever young while he is have to to aging and passionately whishes that the marks of life appeared on the portrait and no on his face. Lord Henry is fascinated of Dorian’s innoncence as much as Dorian is impressed by Henry’s way of life, they become fast friends.

Dorian soon falls in love of a poor but talented young actress named Sibyl Vane. They become engaged and he brings Henry and Basil to a theater. Sibyl plays here but her acting was inexplicaly terrible. On backstage she tells him that now she loves him but that her feelings are going to pass away. Disgusted, Dorian breaks of their engagement and leaves Sibyl. He returns to his home and discovers that his portrait had now a slightly different facial expression. He realized that the portrait was alive : a linving mirror of his soul.

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