Dorian Gray Research Paper

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Dorian Gray becomes very receptive to Lord Henry Wotton’s radical notions, and in keeping up with the philosophy of new hedonism, the first person Dorian Grays influences is an actress by the name of Sibyl Vane, who he becomes enamored to. The very first evidence that Dorian has become corrupted by Lord Henry 's amoral philosophies is his short-lived relationship with Sibyl Vane, a young actress who plays Shakespearean roles in a tawdry theater located in the back streets of London. Her youth, beauty and brilliant acting makes her stand out from the dullness of the theater, which was why Dorian became attracted to her. Essentially, Dorian views Sibyl as art and rapidly falls in love with her, since he began to pursue her on sight before even…show more content…
She tells Dorian: “You are more to me than all art can ever be” (63; ch. 7). Unlike Dorian, Sibyl chose reality over art, denying the credos of the new hedonism, “which dictates an aesthetic detachment from the sordid realities of daily existence” (“Overview: The Picture of Dorian Gray”). Without Sibyl’s art, her acting, she is nothing to Dorian, and thus no longer fulfills a purpose in Dorian’s aesthetic life, so he breaks off their engagement (Duggan). Dorian’s careless cruelty not only causes Sibyl to commit suicide, but it was also the first amoral act that caused his portrait to transfigure. With Lord Henry’s encouragement, Dorian “reacts to the death of Sibyl Vane with cool detachment after the initial shock” (Fox 1145). Dorian takes Sibyl’s tragic death as if it was from a mere play, another sensation to be experienced. Sibyl Vane’s suicide signifies the turning point for Dorian Gray, and subsequently, Dorian begins to pursue a life of enjoyment, chasing all experiences of sensual pleasure, seeking beauty in ephemeral sensations and objects of
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