The Picture of Dorian Gray: chapter 19

Florizel: prince of Bohemia and son to Polixenes in Shakespeare's The Winter’s Tale. Nearly as flawless as his love, Perdita, Florizel is one of few examples of male constancy and decency in the play.

1. What has Dorian decided (again)?

He has decided to reform.

2. What does “I spared somebody” (p. 240, my italics) imply?

It implies that he is dangerous to others.

3. Who is Hetty and what happened between her and Dorian?

She is a country girl with whom Dorian has become romantically involved. They had decided to elope but at the last moment Dorian left her.

4. Why did Dorian choose Hetty?

Because she reminded him of Sibyl and because, being a country girl, she stood for the innocence Dorian has lost and longs for so much.

5. Who is Ophelia (p. 241)?

She is Hamlet’s fiancée. She is found drowned.

6. What makes the reader suspicious of the depth of Dorian’s resolution (p. 242)?

The fact that he speaks so lightly about Basil and lies about his death shows he does not really repent.

7. What piece of information carried by Lord Henry (p. 242) shows Dorian is safe from being suspected of Basil’s murder?

Basil is believed to have been seen outside of London. If it was true, he “couldn’t” have been murdered in London.

8. What happened to Alan Campbell? In your opinion, why?

He committed suicide, probably because he couldn’t bear the guilt of what Dorian had made him do.

9.What quotations show that Lord Henry is an Epicurean (p. 243 & 248)?

“Life is a question of nerves and fibres...”
“Death is the only thing that ever terrifies me.”

10. What sentence sums up Lord Henry’s philosophy (p. 244)?

“All vulgarity is crime.”

11. What do you think of the quotation from Hamlet Dorian applies to his portrait (p. 245)?

It probably suits him better than the picture.

12. What sentence sums up Dorian's story (p. 246)?

“What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose (...) His own soul?”

The Picture of Dorian Gray: chapter 20

13. What symbolical action does Dorian perform (p. 252)?

He breaks the mirror Lord Henry had given him.

14. What does Dorian hope (p. 253)?

He hopes the picture's appearance has improved.

15. Do you share this hope?

No, because we can see that his soul is no better when he incriminates Basil and denies responsibility for Alan Campbell’s death.

16. What would Dorian have to do in order to change the situation (p. 254)?

He would have to confess his crimes and take punishment for them.

17. What happens at the end (p. 255-6)?

Dorian slashes the portrait with a knife. He dies instantly and his body bears the marks of age and corruption that were on the picture, while it is restored to its original state.