illustration of the upper-right corner of Dorian Gray's picture

The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde
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The Picture of Dorian Gray is about a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself. Dorian is young, wealthy, and exceptionally handsome, and he looks just as handsome and youthful in the portrait as he does in real life. Dorian comes to believe that it...

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The Picture of Dorian Gray is about a young man named Dorian Gray who has a portrait painted of himself. Dorian is young, wealthy, and exceptionally handsome, and he looks just as handsome and youthful in the portrait as he does in real life. Dorian comes to believe that it is his beauty that is important, and that physical beauty is more important than morality and honor and everything else. Thus, he makes a wish that he will remain young forever and that the portrait will age in his place.

Over the years, when Dorian acts badly, his picture ages while he stays young. Later, obsessed with this image in the portrait, he tries to amend for his behavior and even confesses to his sins, believing that by doing so, he can reverse the portrait’s aging. In reality, however, he feels no remorse for his actions, and thus his confession does not work. Finally, Dorian results to slashing the portrait and destroying it. However, when the police arrive in response to the incident, they find that it is Dorian who was inflicted with the stab wound, and it was Dorian who destroyed himself. In the portrait, however, he was returned to youth, as the portrait was restored to its original condition.

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