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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde

Quiz

Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. What famous phrase appears in the Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray?

2. What is Basil Hallward’s occupation?

3. Why does Basil not wish to exhibit his portrait of Dorian?

4. How does Basil first meet Dorian?

5. What is the name of Sibyl’s brother?

6. When Dorian arrives at his studio, what request does Basil make of Lord Henry?

7. What best describes the philosophy that Lord Henry espouses?

8. Upon seeing his completed portrait, what does Dorian wish?

9. To whom does Basil give the painting?

10. What is Sibyl Vane’s occupation?

11. What is Sibyl’s nickname for Dorian?

12. On the night that Lord Henry and Basil come to see her act, what does Sibyl resolve to do?

13. How does Dorian escape James Vane when James accosts him?

14. After Sibyl’s death, who convinces Dorian to have no involvement in the case?

15. What gift from Lord Henry profoundly influences Dorian?

16. As the years pass, what happens to Dorian’s body?

17. Over which issue does Basil confront Dorian the night of Basil’s death?

18. How does Dorian respond to Basil’s confrontation?

19. How does Dorian kill Basil?

20. To whom does Dorian turn for help with disposing of Basil’s body?

21. What is finally done with Basil’s corpse?

22. Where does Dorian first encounter James Vane?

23. What does Dorian resolve to do when he notices a change in his portrait after breaking up with Sibyl?

24. What fate befalls James Vane?

25. What happens when Dorian attempts to drive a knife into his portrait?

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*Spoiler*

by Aecio, April 14, 2013

In the end of the book, when Dorian stabs his cursed picture: Does it mean his soul is pure again, for his dead body now endures his age and sins while the picture that represented his soul is young again, or it's just about his curse being broken?

3 Comments

37 out of 41 people found this helpful

Sparknotes is pissing me off today

by GrammarJunkie18, April 20, 2014

First of all, there are only 3 important characters in this book. They probably either represent the id, the ego, and the superego (obviously Lord Henry being the id, Dorian Gray being the ego, and Basil being the superego) or represent Dorian as a normal person with Lord Henry as the devil and Basil the voice of reason. I can't believe you're not even going to discuss this possibility at all!

Second of all, one of the major themes of the novel is paradoxes. Obviously. I mean, that's what Lord Henry does, starting with his very first ... Read more

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31 out of 35 people found this helpful

Selling his soul

by estefy913, April 29, 2014

Would Lord Henry, or maybe the subject of "influence", play the part of the devil in a sense since he did sell his soul? I am having difficulty determining who or what he sold his soul to?

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1 out of 1 people found this helpful

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