Picture of Dorian Gray

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Picture of Dorian Gray
Enriched Classics offer readers accessible editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and commentary. Each book includes educational tools alongside the text, enabling students and readers alike to gain a deeper and more developed understanding of the writer and their work. The well-known artist Basil Hallward meets the young Dorian Gray in the stately London home of his aunt, Lady Brandon. Basil becomes immediately infatuated with Dorian, who is cultured, wealthy, and remarkably beautiful. Such beauty, Basil believes, is responsible for a new mode of art, and he decides to paint a portrait of the young man. While finishing the painting, Basil reluctantly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry Wotton, a man known for scandal and exuberance. Wotton inspires Dorian to live life through the senses, to feel beauty in everyday experience. Dorian becomes enthralled by Wotton's ideas, and more so becomes obsessed with remaining young and beautiful. He expresses a desire to sell his soul and have the portrait of him age, while he, the man, stays eternally young. A tragic story of hedonism and desire, The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only published novel. Other writings include De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol . Enriched Classics enhance your engagement by introducing and explaining the historical and cultural significance of the work, the author's personal history, and what impact this book had on subsequent scholarship. Each book includes discussion questions that help clarify and reinforce major themes and reading recommendations for further research. Read with confidence.

Publisher: Pocket Books 2005.
ISBN: 9781416500278


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Feb 23, 2015
  • slayer_duchannes33 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favorite book for ever so many reasons which I simply cannot express. Oscar Wilde once again proves his worth to the literary community. Wilde brilliantly writes the story of Dorian Gray. I cannot express my gratitude for having this book in my life, and will love it till the day I die.

Jan 17, 2015
  • Indigo_Cobra_8 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

From the first few lines of the preface, you can already get the feel of the book, which is an intellectual outlook on pleasure, art, and morality. Novel, relatively quick read.

Nov 02, 2014
  • labyrinthine rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Another classical read by the irreplaceable Oscar Wilde. This novel follows the eternally young and permanently beautiful Dorian Gray. Dorian is a wealthy young man living in Victorian England. He befriends artist Basil Hallward, who begs Dorian to be the subject of his newest painting. Basil introduces Dorian to Lord Henry Wotton a man with liberal theological beliefs which essentially poison Dorian's mind. Lord Henry laments the tragedy that Dorian's beauty will eventually fade. Dorian begins to feel that Basil's portrait mocks him in that it will never age and he will. It is this that causes Dorian to wish that it were the other way. Miraculously, his wish comes true and he remains beautiful well the painting shows all the marks of his truly evil soul. This book is a fascinating, and iconic mark of the Gothic era. I find this to be Wilde at his best. The novel asks profound questions about the human soul and physical beauty. In addition in a world where advancements in the medical field are leading to longer life spans, this book asks us whether we would sell our souls for immorality. A reader can also enjoy the interplay between characters, and each of their complex relationships. I found it interesting how every character, from a simple servant to the clearly devious Lord Henry has a part in Dorian's development into a wicked person. This book will lead to many interesting discussions about the human condition. There have also been countless movie adaptations (The one from 1945 is particularly good). Give this classic a chance!

Aug 17, 2014
  • Eosos rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I often read books defined as classics just because they are defined as such. I know many do. Sometimes, this works out in a positive way. I find a book I love. Not this time.
I read this. I read the coles notes to try and understand it. I don't get it. I mean, I do understand the concept of the story but I don't understand the appeal. Not for me anyway.

Jul 28, 2014
  • Levi_1 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Excellent classic novel, something fresh and enjoyable writing, however there is a part of the story that seems more like an authors preaching attitude and it is very dull, but other then that this book is a pleasant read, and does make you question how valuable vanity is.

Mar 02, 2014
  • burritoofradness rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Odd little book. The subject matter might be a little dark for some people's tastes, but it was just right for me, personally. A cautionary tale done exceedingly well!

Aug 17, 2012
  • yve168 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

this book is a true example of what vanity will bring you in the long run-nothing but grief and bitter disappointment at the expense of many, many others

Jul 15, 2012
  • rod328 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've read a lot of books, but never have I read a novel with writing anything close to Oscar Wilde's level.

Oct 29, 2011
  • Danay rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Loved it. Oscar Wilde is a beast!

Sep 18, 2011
  • ttiiaann rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my all time favorite books. The writing is very witty and not overly difficult. I was so impressed with every little detail that I could not put it down. Vanity is the overlaying theme of the story. I really enjoyed Lord Henry's explanations for his philosophy on life which is twisted and backwards but showed Wilde's smart wit. Wonderful read!

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Feb 23, 2015
  • slayer_duchannes33 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"All art is quite useless."

Feb 23, 2015
  • slayer_duchannes33 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"When they entered, they found hanging upon the wall a splendid portrait of their master as they had last seen him, in all the wonder of his exquisite youth and beauty. Lying on the floor was a dead man, in evening dress, with a knife in his heart. He was withered, wrinkled, and loathsome of visage. It was not till they had examined the rings that they recognized who it was."

Apr 28, 2011
  • étoile rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

"When I like someone immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it."


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Jul 13, 2011
  • haploU5 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Written and set in 19th century England, this gothic psychological thriller is a classic horror story, refreshingly free of the graphic blood and gore that seems to be the standard horror theme these days.

The story begins with Dorian Gray, a young man of extraordinary good looks, having his portrait painted by his friend Basil Hallward. In the midst of posing for the portrait enters Lord Henry, a pompous and self-important character that convinces an innocent Dorian that his looks are his most important characteristic and that he will have tremendous power over people because of them. He tells Dorian that he should enjoy them while they last as like everything else they will fade with time and so will the power that comes with them.
Taking his words seriously, a naïve and melancholy Dorian wishes that his looks would last forever and instead of time ravaging his face and body, his portrait would age instead, leaving him forever young. As the story moves along and to Dorian’s increasing dismay, he starts noticing that his wish has been granted… with a twist. The portrait is noticeably growing more hideous as Dorian’s behaviour becomes progressively more callous and contemptible.
Though dated, the story is fast-paced, well written and an easy read. Its lighter side pokes fun at the aristocracy and their total uselessness while its darker side reveals the level of shallowness and depravity of human nature.


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Mar 02, 2014
  • burritoofradness rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: Undertones of homosexuality; hints at general promiscuity.


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