The Picture of Dorian Gray: chapter 1

1. Where does the scene take place?

In London, in the studio of Basil Hallward, a painter.

2. Why doesn't Basil want to exhibit his picture?

Because he has "put too much of [him]self into it."

3. Why doesn't Basil want Lord Henry to meet Dorian?

Because he is afraid Lord Henry might have a negative influence on Dorian.

4. In what has Dorian changed Basil's life?

Dorian embodies Basil's aesthetic ideal, so he has helped him progress as an artist. Thanks to him, Basil has painted his best works so far.

5. Quote from the text to show that Lord Henry Wotton enjoys paradox.

"I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible."

6. Quote from the text to show that Lord Henry Wotton enjoys cynicism.

"[Marriage] makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties."

7. 'Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil.' What does Wotton mean?

He means that people never actually refrain from doing what they would like to out of morality. Conscience is merely a disguise for people who are two cowardly to live their lives to the full.

8. Show the importance of decorative elements in this chapter.

See for instance all the description in the first two paragraphs.

9. What is their use?

Wilde uses them to create an atmosphere of sophisticated aestheticism.

10. What sentence from the text acts as a tragic foreboding?

"We shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly."