Dorian Gray, the beautiful, talented, charming young man, has managed to capture the hearts of both men and women alike during nineteenth-century England. His incredible purity has attracted Lord Henry Wotton, who vies for his attention with Basil Hallward, a trusting and gentle artist. Basil, having poured his soul into a wonderful portrait of Dorian, resents the recent closeness between Lord Henry and the boy. The portrait that Basil did of Dorian turned out marvelously; it was almost a perfect likeness. In a heated moment, Dorian wishes that his portrait bear the suffering for his sins. He realizes that his fervent wish came true when his fiancÃ©e â€“ actress Sybil Vane â€“ kills herself. As time progresses, Dorian realizes that his portrait becomes more and more hideous, bearing the burden of age and wrongdoing while he remains young and carefree. .
Dorian continues his glorious lifestyle, making friends, causing trouble, and passing his time at Opium bars or clubs, not caring who he hurts. Eventually, the burden of his horrible secret becomes too much for him to bear, and he shows Basil Hallward what has become of the portrait. In another heated moment, Dorian decides that he cannot possibly continue life while his friend knows all the horror he has done. The solution? Nothing other than to kill Basil. Dorian stabs Basil in the back of the head, and has his body burned. No one found out, Dorian remains beautiful, and blood appears on the portraitsâ€™ hands.
Eventually, Dorian becomes desperate for a release once more from the horrid burden of his portrait, and, deciding to live the clean life, stabs the portrait in the heart. Ultimately, the picture was restored to its original beauty, and there lies Dorian, dead and disgusting on the floor, with a knife through his heart. The only way he could be identified was by the rings on his fingers. Quite sad that something so superficial should be the only way in which to recognize a person, however Dorian lived for such materialistic things, and was not the only one during that period to do so.