Who is Mr. Isaacs in "The Picture of Dorian Gray"? How does Dorian describe him?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mr. Isaacs is Sibyl's manager. He has lent her mother fifty pounds, a large amount of money in those days.

Dorian shows some of the ugliness growing in his own character, now that he is secure from aging, in how he reacts to Mr. Isaacs. He calls the manager a "fat Jew" and notes he is smiling very broadly. Dorian describes this as an "oily tremulous" smile. He is annoyed as well because the manager talks very loudly and waves around his "fat jeweled" hands. To Dorian, the manager behaves with "pompous humility." This perception contrasts to Lord Henry's, who says that he "rather" likes the manager, though Dorian wants to believe Lord Henry is being insincere.

In an allusion to Shakespeare's play The Tempest, Dorian thinks that he had come looking for Miranda, the beautiful daughter in the play (who would be Sibyl in the novel) and found Caliban instead. Caliban is the "monster" native to the island where Miranda and her father have crashed.

Dorian is becoming increasingly callous and judgmental.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mr. Isaacs was Sibyl Vane's manager and producer of the theatre. He is described as "fat" and "stereotypically Jewish". Mr. Isaacs greets Gray at the door to the theatre and takes them to their box seats.

Dorian despises Mr. Isaacs. Their relationship was strained at best. At one point in the story, Dorian refers to Isaacs as a Caliban. (A caliban is not man - not beast and is described as evil, crude, but not vulgar in Shakespeare's The Tempest.)

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial