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The picture of dorian gray - Referat

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The story takes place in London, where in the beginning the well-known artist Basil Hallward tells his friend Lord Henry Wotton about Dorian Gray, whom he got to know lately. He seems to feel a love-like admiration for this man. Although Basil is afraid to introduce him to Lord Henry, he is forced to do so as Dorian himself arrives. Mr. Gray is a cultured, wealthy and impossibly beautiful young man and immediately arouses the interest of Lord Henry. The fears of Basil were founded. Lord Henry’s bad influence over Dorian starts right away when he moves him with a speech about youth and beauty and how fast they fade away. Lord Henry, who is known for celebrating youth, beauty and the selfish pursuit of pleasure, loves to carry out cynicism like a hobby. He says absurd things in such a way that one wants to believe him everything. Dorian has come to Basil’s house, so that the artist can finish the wonderful portrait of him, that shall become his masterpiece. As Basil has finished, Dorian, upset by Henry’s speech, calls out a request. [27/28] Dorian finally takes the picture with him into his stately home.
As time goes by Lord Henry’s influence over Dorian grows stronger and he becomes a disciple (Schüler) of the “new Hedonism”. After some time Dorian falls in love with a sixteen-year-old actress whom he watches acting nearly every evening in a small theatre in the slums of London. He is fascinates by her great performing tragic figures like Juliet or Rosalind. Her name is Sibyl Vane and she is also in love with Dorian and they want to marry. She always calls him “Prince Charming” and none of her family and friends knows his real name. Only her mother has ever seen him. James Vane, Sibyl’s brother, swears to kill him if he ever does her any wrong. When Dorian watches her acting once more he realizes that Sibyl can’t act any more. She says that now that she has experienced real love she can no longer pretend to love on stage. So Dorian breaks their engagement cruelly since he only loved her because of her brilliant acting. When he arrives at home he notices that the picture has changed. There is a touch of cruelty in the mouth. Obviously it worked and the portrait now has to bear the burden of age and infamy for the real Dorian. On the next day Dorian Gray feels sorry for Sibyl and wants to apologize for his behavior. Suddenly Lord Henry brings news that Sibyl has killed herself. First Dorian feels guilty but Lord Henry immediately urges him to put the matter behind him. Afterwards he gives Dorian a book about the wicked exploits (Taten) of a nineteenth-century Frenchman. It becomes Dorian’s bible. Soon he sinks deeper in a life of sin and corruption. He now hides his
picture in an upper room. Dorian becomes more and more a paranoiac. Eighteen years pass.
Rumours plague Dorian’s reputation and Basil visits him to confront him about the accusations. Dorian gets angry and shows Basil the picture of a now horribly disfigured face in order to let Basil look at his soul. [146] Basil is shocked and wants Dorian to pray. In a fit of rage Dorian kills the artist with a knife.
To destroy the dead body he calls Alan Campbell, a doctor and estranged friend. Dorian blackmails (erpressen) him and so Alan works around five hours till the body has completely vanished. Later we get to know that Alan Campbell killed himself afterwards. The day after the murder Dorian goes to an opium den, where James Vane wants to kill him after he had heard somebody call Dorian “Prince Charming” how his dead sister used to. But Dorian escapes by telling him that it was impossible that he was the man he is looking for as he looks like about twenty years old. But the suicide of his sister was 18 years ago. After Dorian had left, a girl tells James, that Dorian was nearly forty. During a party at his house Dorian notices James Vane peering in through a window and becomes wracked by fear and guilt. During a hunt which Dorian joins James Vane gets accidentally shot while he was lying in wait for Mr. Gray. Dorian finally wants to change and be better but when he recognizes that the picture only gets worse he decides to destroy it. He takes a knife and stabs the portrait. His servants hear a scream and look for their master. They find him in the upper room beneath the picture. [213]

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