The Picture Of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

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Just like Frankenstein and Dracula, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a classic gothic-style English novel. It was written by Oscar Wilde in the early 1890s and it was surrounded by controversy and criticism after it was published.  In the story, a young, handsome man by the name of Dorian Gray vows that he would sell his soul if it meant that he could remain beautiful and young forever.  Download The Picture of Dorian Gray PDF book for free here to find out what happens!

The Picture Of Dorian Gray PDF

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Is The Picture Of Dorian Gray PDF Free To Download?

Yes, it is! The Picture Of Dorian Gray was published in 1892 so it is now in the public domain. You are therefore welcome to download and read it for free!

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Summary

The Picture of Dorian Gray takes place in England.  The story begins with an artist by the name of Basil Hallward, painting a picture of his muse, Dorian Gray.  Dorian is a very handsome young man who is admired for his beauty.  Lord Henry Wotton is watching as Basil paints and says that the painting should be displayed for all to see but Basil disagrees knowing that many might see his obsession with Dorian in his painting. 

When Dorian arrives, Lord Henry explains how he believes that people should always live life to its fullest and that each person should indulge all their impulses. He reminds his friends that youth and especially beauty fade quickly!  Dorian is fascinated by Lord Henry’s beliefs and says that he would happily sell his soul in exchange for youth and beauty. He then declares that he would like his portrait to grow old in his place while he remains young and handsome.  When the painting is finished Basil gives it to Dorian.

Henry decides to take Dorian under his wing and encourages him to explore all of life’s pleasures.  Dorian meets a beautiful actress by the name of Sibyl Vane.  He tells Henry that he has fallen in love with her because of her amazing acting talent and her beauty. He soon proposes to her and she is overjoyed calling him her ”Prince Charming”.

One evening Dorian invites both Henry and Basil to see Sibyl perform in a play.  However, Sibyl’s performance isn’t very good and Dorian is embarrassed. He rejects her telling her that the only reason he loved her was because of her talent as an actress and without that he wasn’t interested in her anymore.

When Dorian returns home, he sees that his portrait has changed and that his face in the picture has a cruel and cold expression. He realizes that his wish has come true.   He decides to apologize to Sibyl but before he can do so, Lord Henry tells him that Sibyl had committed suicide.  Lord Henry convinces him that he has nothing to feel guilty about and he gives Dorian a book that he says he should study.  Dorian locks away the portrait.

Influenced by the book that Lord Henry gives him, Dorian spends the next 18 years Dorian indulging in every pleasure he comes across.  He watches as his portrait changes and ages but he himself stays the same. 

One evening Basil visits Dorian after hearing rumors about his lifestyle and the damage he is causing to people’s lives.  Dorian doesn’t deny any of the rumors and he shows Basil the portrait.  By this time the picture in the portrait is so old and ugly that Basil doesn’t even recognize Dorian in the picture anymore. He begs Dorian to pray for salvation and forgiveness because he believes that the portrait is a reflection of Dorian’s soul.   Dorian is furious and he kills Basil.

A few weeks later Dorian decides that he will start to live a good and righteous life.  He is being pursued by a young girl who is completely in love with him and he decides that he will not take advantage of her.  He goes to his portrait to see if this honorable act has made any difference to the picture.  Dorian discovers that it hasn’t, in fact, the portrait is looking worse.  Dorian realizes that even while he tries to be righteous, his true motives are never quite as pure.

Dorian decides to destroy the portrait and he stabs it with the knife that he murdered Basil with.  Just then the servants in the household hear a scream and when they rush to the room they discover an old man that has been stabbed in the heart.  The corpse is unrecognizable and the servants only realize that this man is in fact Dorian by the rings on his fingers.  They also see the portrait which has now been restored to the beautiful picture which Basil had painted decades before.

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Movies & Adaptations

There have been many movie adaptations of The Picture Of Dorian Gray story. However, it is generally accepted that the 1945 version of the film directed by Albert Lewin is the best.  It stars Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray and George Sanders as Lord Henry Wotton. It won the 1946 Academy Award for Best Cinematography in a Black-and-White film as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress.  Later in 1996, it won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.

In 2009, the latest version of the story was made simply titled, Dorian Gray. It received mixed reviews with many finding it disappointing.

Despite a lavish and polished production, Dorian Gray is tame and uninspired with a lifeless performance by Ben Barnes in the title role.

Rotten Tomatoes | Dorian Gray

The Picture Of Dorian Gray | 1945 Original Trailer

The Picture Of Dorian Gray | 2009 Trailer


The Picture of Dorian Gray explores the darkness that can lurk inside people when they give in to every desire they have. This is especially true when there are not any immediate consequences for those actions. The Picture Of Dorian Gray is the perfect read for anyone who loves gothic-style genres. Download The Picture Of Dorian Gray PDF book free here.

More Free Classic English PDF Books to Enjoy:
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
Pride And Prejudice
Alice In Wonderland PDF