Dorian - For although beauty and youth remain of utmost importance at the end of the novel—the portrait is, after all, returned to its original form—the novel suggests that the price one must pay for them is exceedingly high. Indeed, Dorian gives nothing less than his soul.
Basil -Basil said the first line that jumped at me and it was “The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world…” (4). It surprised me how much the subject of appearance was so important in this novel. Basil is an artist and has found his inspiration with Dorian and therefore paints him repeatedly
Henry-What matters most to Dorian, Lord Henry, and the polite company they keep is not whether a man is good at heart but rather whether he is handsome.In this novel, Lord Henry Wotton creates a conflict with the naïve and innocent Dorian Gray by influencing and mentally corrupting him. Under this influence, Dorian becomes a hedonist, constantly pursuing pleasure and everlasting beauty. This one-way conflict, where Lord Henry almost completely controls Dorian's emotions, is the cause for Dorian's downfall and death.
ord Henry, who enjoys manipulating people to calm his hedonist feelings, spots Dorian's vulnerability immediately and plants the seeds of terror in the young man by imposing him his radical, yet catchy theories of life. In the beginning of the book, when he meets Dorian, he tells him "[An influenced person's] virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed.
As Lady Narborough notes to Dorian, there is little (if any) distinction between ethics and appearance: “you are made to be good—you look so good.”
Lord Henry, his corrupter.
The Supremacy of Youth and Beauty
The first principle of aestheticism, the philosophy of art by which Oscar Wilde lived, is that art serves no other purpose than to offer beauty. Throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray, beauty reigns. It is a means to revitalize the...