Dorian Gray (character)
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Dorian is the grandson of the late Lord Kelso. His mother, Lady Margaret Devereux, was portrayed as a beautiful and rich woman. Her grandfather had a strong dislike for Kelso and, therefore, bequeathed the entire Selby property to Margaret. Dorian’s father, a subaltern in a foot regiment, was killed by a Belgian brute a few months after his marriage to Lady Margaret, who died soon after. 
The novel's plot varies among the published versions. The summary below deals with the longest version, the 1891 novel. However, certain episodes describe in particular Dorian's encounter with (and subsequent murder of) James Vane. This does not appear in the version originally submitted by Wilde for publishing.
The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a summer day in Victorian England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting a portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, who is Basil's ultimate muse. While posing for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry espousing his hedonistic worldview and begins to think that pursuits of pleasure are the only things in life worth pursuing. This prompts Dorian to wish that his painted image would age instead of himself.
Under the hedonistic influence of Lord Henry, Dorian fully explores his sensuality. He discovers the actress Sibyl Vane, who performs Shakespeare in a dingy working-class theatre. Dorian approaches and courts her and soon proposes marriage. The enamored Sibyl calls him "Prince Charming" and swoons with elation at the prospect of true love. However, her protective brother James warns that if "Prince Charming" harms her, he will murder him.
Dorian invites Basil and Lord Henry to see Sibyl perform, but she is too enamored with Dorian to act and performs poorly. This causes both Basil and Lord Henry to think that Dorian has fallen in love with Sibyl because of her beauty instead of her acting talent. Embarrassed, Dorian rejects Sibyl, telling her that acting was her beauty and without that, she no longer interests him. On returning home, Dorian notices that the portrait has changed; his wish has come true, and the man in the portrait bears a subtle sneer of cruelty.
Conscience-stricken and lonely, Dorian resolves to reconcile with Sibyl, but he is too late as Lord Henry informs him that Sibyl has committed suicide by swallowing prussic acid. Dorian then understands that, where his life is headed, lust and good looks will serve him well. He locks the portrait up, and over the following eighteen years, he experiments with every vice possible, influenced by a morally poisonous French novel that Lord Henry Wotton gave him. The narrative does not reveal the title of the French novel, but, at trial, Wilde said that the novel referred to in Dorian Gray was À rebours (Against Nature, 1884) by Joris-Karl Huysmans, but then denied that the book is the one to which he referred.
One night, before leaving for Paris, Basil visits Dorian's house to ask him about various rumors regarding his vulgar self-indulgence. Dorian does not deny his debauchery and takes Basil to see the portrait. The portrait has become so hideous that Basil is only able to identify it as his work by the signature that he affixes to all his portraits. Basil is horrified and beseeches Dorian to pray for salvation. In anger, Dorian blames his fate on Basil and stabs him to death. Dorian then calmly blackmails an old friend, the scientist Alan Campbell, into using his knowledge of chemistry to destroy the body. Alan later takes his own life as a result of the shameful collaboration.
To escape the guilt of his crime, Dorian goes to an opium den, where James Vane is unknowingly present. James had been seeking vengeance upon Dorian ever since Sibyl killed herself, but he had no leads to pursue; the only thing he knew about Dorian was the name Sibyl called him, "Prince Charming". In the opium den, however, he hears someone refer to Dorian as "Prince Charming", and he accosts Dorian. Dorian deceives James into believing he is too young to have known Sibyl, who killed herself eighteen years earlier, as his face is still that of a young man. James relents and releases Dorian, but is then approached by a woman from the opium den who reproaches James for not killing him. She confirms the man was Dorian Gray and explains that he has not aged in eighteen years. James runs after Dorian, but he has left.
James then begins to stalk Dorian, causing him to fear for his life. However, during a shooting party, one of its members accidentally kills James Vane, who was lurking in a thicket. On returning to London, Dorian tells Lord Henry that he will live righteously from then on. His new probity begins with a resolution not to break the heart of the naïve Hetty Merton, his current romantic interest. Dorian wonders if his new-found goodness has reverted the corruption in the picture, but when he looks, he sees only an even uglier image of himself. From that, Dorian understands that his true motives for moral reformation were, in fact, immoral, due to their being merely a means to a selfish end.
Deciding that only full confession will absolve him of his wrongdoing, Dorian decides to destroy the only piece of evidence remaining of his crimes – the picture. In a rage, he takes the knife with which he murdered Basil and stabs the picture. The servants of the house awaken on hearing a cry from the locked room; on the street, a passerby who also heard the cry calls the police. On entering the locked room, the servants find an unknown old man, stabbed in the heart, his face and figure withered and decrepit. The servants identify the disfigured corpse as Dorian by the rings on its fingers; beside him is the picture of Dorian Gray, restored to its original beauty.
Depictions on screen
- Dorian Grays Portræt (1910)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1913)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1915)
- Directed by Eugene Moore.
- The Picture of Dorian Grey (1916)
- Directed by Vsevolod Meyerhold and Mikhail Doronin
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1916)
- Directed by Fred W Durrant; screenplay by Rowland Talbot
- Starring Henry Victor as Dorian Gray; Sydney Bland as Basil Hallward; Jack Jordan as Henry Wotton; Pat O'Malley as Sibyl Vane
- Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray (1917)
- Directed by Richard Oswald; screenplay by Richard Oswald
- Starring Bernd Aldor as Dorian Gray; Ernst Ludwig as Basil Hallward; Ernst Pittschau as Henry Wotton; Lea Lara as Sibyl Vane
- Az Élet királya (1918)
- Directed by Alfréd Deésy; screenplay by József Pakots
- Starring Norbert Dán as Dorian Gray; Gusztáv Turán as Basil Hallward; Bela Lugosi (credited as Arisztid Olt) as Henry Wotton; Ila Lóth as Sibyl Vane
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
- Directed by Albert Lewin; screenplay by Albert Lewin
- Starring Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray; Lowell Gilmore as Basil Hallward; George Sanders as Henry Wotton; Angela Lansbury as Sibyl Vane; Sir Cedric Hardwicke as the narrator.
- Lansbury was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Considered by many to be the best version, although a love interest not found in the novel appears; Basil Hallward's niece played by Donna Reed. The film won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and is remarkable for its crisp, deep-focus black-and-white photography, and a handful of Technicolor inserts of the portrait, which exists in two versions: one representing Basil Hallward's original effort, painted by Henrique Medina, and the corrupted portrait, by noted painter of macabre and grotesque subjects, Ivan Albright. The picture took Albright a year to finish and currently hangs at the Art Institute of Chicago.
- Armchair Theatre: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) (made-for-television)
- Golden Showcase: The Picture of Dorian Gray (1961) (made-for-television)
- El Retrato de Dorian Gray (1969): A telenovela produced by Televisa
- Dorian Gray, also known as The Evils of Dorian Gray or The Secret of Dorian Gray(1970)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973) (made-for-television)
- Directed by Glenn Jordan; screenplay by John Tomerlin
- Starring Shane Briant as Dorian Gray; Charles Aidman as Basil Hallward; Nigel Davenport as Henry Wotton; Vanessa Howard as Sibyl Vane
- This film, which was presented as an entry in ABC's series The Movie of the Week, was produced by Dan Curtis, who was previously the creator/producer of the ABC afternoon daytime Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which featured a storyline clearly inspired by Wilde's novel, in which a portrait of Quentin Collins aged grotesquely, while Collins himself remained youthful. Made virtually immortal by the portrait, Collins, a man born in 1870, turned up at his ancestral home 100 years later using the pseudonym Grant Douglas, the initials of which (though reversed, perhaps so as to avoid being too obvious) may have been a nod to the character of Dorian Gray.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (1976) (made-for-television)
- Le Portrait de Dorian Gray (1977)
- Directed by Pierre Boutron; screenplay by Pierre Boutron
- Starring Patrice Alexsandre as Dorian Gray; Denis Manuel as Basil Hallward; Raymond Gérôme as Henry Wotton; Marie-Hélène Breillat as Sibyl
- The Sins of Dorian Gray (1983) (made-for-television)
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
- Pact with the Devil, also known as Dorian(2004)
- Dorian (2004)
- Written and Directed by Brendan Dougherty Russo
- Starring Andrew Vanette as Dorian Gray; Stephen Fontana as Basil Hallward; Michael Multari as Henry; Danielle Matarese as Sibyl Vane
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (2004)
- Directed by David Rosenbaum; screenplay by David Rosenbaum
- Starring Josh Duhamel as Dorian Gray; Rainer Judd as Basil Ward; Branden Waugh as Harry Wotton (Lord Wotton is referred to as both Harry and Henry in the novel); Darby Stanchfield as Sibyl Vane; Brian Durkin as James Vane
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (2006)
- Directed by Duncan Roy; screenplay by Duncan Roy
- Starring David Gallagher as Dorian Gray
- The Picture of Dorian Gray (2007)
- Directed by Jon Cunningham; screenplay by Jon Cunningham and Deborah Warner
- The Picture (of Dorian Gray) (2009)
- Directed by Jonathan Courtemanche; script by Neal Utterback
- Starring Hanna Dillon, Lawrence Evans, and Miles Heymann
- Dorian Gray (2009)
- Penny Dreadful (2014–2016)
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018–2019)
- Created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
- Starring Jedidiah Goodacre as Dorian Gray
- The Confessions of Dorian Gray (2012 - 2016); a supernatural horror anthology radio series starring Alexander Vlahos, in which Gray is a real person and good friend of Oscar Wilde upon whom the famous novel was based. The series follows Dorian’s exploits through the 20th Century to the present day.
- "SparkNotes: The Picture of Dorian Gray: Character List". www.sparknotes.com. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
- "What happened to Dorian's mother and father in The Picture of Dorian Gray?". eNotes. Retrieved 2020-03-29.
- Wilson, Alan. "THE TRIALS OF OSCAR WILDE" (PDF). classic.austlii.au. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
- "U. Porto - University of Porto Famous Alumni: Henrique Medina". Sigarra.up.pt. Retrieved 2016-02-07.[verification needed]
- "The Picture of Dorian Gray". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.[verification needed]
- "The Picture of Dorian Gray". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-02-07.[verification needed]