The Picture of Dorian Gray: chapter 4

Rouge (page 58): maquillage. Box (page 59): loge. Corked (eyebrows, page 61): blackened with a burnt cork. Figure (page 61): silhouette. The pit (page 61): the spectators standing at ground level of the theatre.

1. What do you learn from paragraph 1 about Dorian’s relationship to Lord Henry?

We learn that they have become close friends who spend a lot of time together.

2. What element of the novel is prominent in the first two paragraphs?

The decorative element.

3. Here are pictures of Jacques Urlus (left) and Sandor Konya (right) as Lohengrin.

Find out about the story of Lohengrin. Can you think of common points between him and Dorian?

Just as Lohengrin is a supernatural being whose origins are unknown, Dorian, by his beauty and obscure lineage, appears otherworldly.

Furthermore, Dorian’s innocence reflects Lohengrin’s purity, symbolized by his silver costume and often blonde hair.

Finally, Lohengrin’s role as saviour and an upholder of the law who rights Elsa’s wrongs is mirrored in Dorian’s helping Basil become a truly great artist and hismelf. To a large extent, Basil regards Dorian as his saviour.

4. What image is given of Lady Henry?

She appears as a superficial, talkative, possibly hysterical woman.

5. Quote from page 59 to show Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian.

“I had a passion for sensations.”

6. What has happened to Dorian?

He has fallen in love with a young actress named Sibyl Vane.

7. Associate Dorian’s descriptions of Sibyl’s Shakespeare roles with the roles and the plays:

Roles: Desdemona, Imogen, Juliet, Rosalind.

Plays: As You Like It, Cymbeline, Othello, Romeo and Juliet

Dorian's descriptions roles plays
“I have seen her die in the gloom of an Italian tomb, sucking the poison from her lover’s lips.” Juliet Romeo and Juliet
“I have watched her wandering through the forest of Arden, disguised as a pretty boy (....).” Rosalind As You Like It
“She has been mad, and has come into the presence of a guilty king, and given him rue to wear, and bitter herbs to taste of.” Imogen Cymbeline
“She has been innocent, and the black hands of jealousy have crushed her reed-like throat.” Desdemona Othello

8. What is arranged for the following day?

That Lord Henry and Basil will go with Dorian to see Sibyl play.

9. Page 67, what shows that Dorian's relationship to Basil has evolved?

Dorian has not seen him for some time.

10. How does Lord Henry consider Dorian?

As a subject for an interesting experience, or even experiment.

11. What piece of news is brought to Lord Henry at the end of the chapter?

That Dorian has got engaged to Sibyl Vane.