Basil Hallward was a successful artist. One day, his friend Lord Henry Wotton saw one of his paintings. It was of a very handsome young man called Dorian Gray and when Lord Henry saw it, he wanted to meet this young man. A few days later, Lord Henry and Dorian Gray met at Basils house and went for a walk in the garden.
Ah, how lucky you are to be so young. There is nothing in the world as important as youth! said Lord Henry to Dorian. But time is your enemy. They went inside to see the portrait and Dorian looked at his own picture intensely. I would love to stay young forever and for the picture to grow old instead. Oh, why did you paint this picture, Basil? Why should it stay young while I grow old? I want the picture to change. And I want to stay as I am. Dorian was falling in love with his own picture.
A few days later, Dorian met an actress called Sybil Vane. She was 17 and very beautiful. Dorian didnt tell Sybil his name and she called him Prince Charming. He said, Im in love with you, Sybil, and Im going to marry you. Sybils brother was worried about this mysterious young man and his relationship with Sybil. If that man harms my sister, Ill kill him, he said to his friend. But Sybils brother was a sailor and had to go off to Australia. One night, Dorian took his friends to see Sybil acting as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.
She acted terribly and after the performance, Dorian spoke to Sybil. He was very angry with her. But how can I pretend to be Juliet now that I know what real love is? she said to him. Dorian replied, I loved you because you were a good actress. Now I dont love you any more. Then he left Sybil.
When he got back home, Dorian looked at his portrait again. Somehow it was different. The face in the picture now had a cruel smile. Then Dorian remembered his wish. He thought about his cruelty to Sybil. Tomorrow, he would see her and be good to her and make up for what he had done. But the next day, Lord Henry brought Dorian some terrible news. Sybil had killed herself! Lord Henry told him not to worry and that their marriage was impossible anyway – she was just an actress.
When Lord Henry left, Dorian looked at his picture again. He realised that he would stay young and handsome forever and that the face in the picture would become ugly, old and cruel. The years went by, but Dorian Gray stayed young and handsome. He enjoyed all the pleasures there were in life. However, his portrait changed and showed all the terrible secrets of his life. Dorian became more and more obsessed with the picture as the face in it became old and ugly. On Dorians 38 th birthday, Basil Hallward, the painter, came to see Dorian.
Im going to Paris for some time. But I want to warn you that people are saying terrible things about you and your life, he said. Dorian decided to show Basil the portrait and to tell him his secret. Basil was horrified when he saw the face and told Dorian to change his life. Suddenly, Dorian became very angry with Basil. He took a knife and stabbed Basil several times. The next day, Dorian got rid of the body. Nobody would ever miss Basil Hallward. They would think that he was still in France.
Later that night, Dorian was in a bar talking to two women. One of two women said to him, Ah, I remember you. Youre Prince Charming, arent you? A sailor in the bar heard this. It was Sybils brother and he realised that the man was his sister Sybils fiancé from eighteen years ago and he wanted to kill him.
But when he saw Dorians face clearly and it looked like the face of a young man of twenty, he let him go. I nearly killed that boy, said the sailor. Boy? said the woman. I first met him eighteen years ago but his face hasnt changed in all that time. A week later, Dorian was in the country staying with some friends, when he realised that the sailor was following him. He became very afraid.
The next day, he went out walking with some of his friends who were shooting. His friend shot at an animal and there was the cry of a man. He had killed the sailor who had been following Dorian. Dorian decided to change his life. Maybe if I have a better life, the face in the picture will not be so ugly and horrible.
But when he looked at the portrait, it was even more terrible than before. He decided to destroy the picture. He picked up a knife and stabbed the painting. There was a loud cry and crash. The servants were very afraid. They went into the room. On the wall they saw the portrait of Dorian Gray as a young, handsome man. On the floor was a dead man, with a knife in his heart. It was the other Dorian Gray, his face old, ugly and horrible.