Summary / Riassunto
The painter Basil Hallward paints a portrait of Dorian Grey, a handsome young man, an innocent boy unaware both of his beauty and of the world. During a session of painting one friend of Basil’s, the aesthete Lord Henry Wotton, meets Dorian, is impressed by his beauty and youth and suggests him to experience life to the fullest.
Lord Henry’s words and aesthetic theories influence Dorian a lot and open his mind to a world of refined and precious things and sensations. When the portrait is finished, Dorian expresses the wish that all the signs of age manifest themselves on the portrait while he remains young forever.
And it is exactly what happens: the portrait grows older and older, revealing the effects of a life of dissipation and crime, whereas Dorian is always young and charming. As time goes by and he provokes a lot of suffering to many people – for example he is the cause of the suicide of the young actress Sibyl Vain and he even kills Basil, the painter – only the portrait tells the truth that nobody but Dorian knows. In the end, when he himself is disgusted by his irresponsible and immoral behaviour, he stabs the portrait.
In that moment the spell is broken, the portrait regains its former beauty and Dorian falls dead to the ground with a dagger in his heart. The next morning one of his servants finds him with his face “withered, wrinkled and loathsome”.
Must know / Da sapere
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i contenuti di questo sito sono curati dagli specialisti del
Centro Sapere Più - a Milano dal 1996 al servizio di chi studia