When Dorian Gray has his portrait painted, he is captivated by his own beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. As Dorian's life slides into crime and cruelty he stays magically youthful, while his beautiful portrait changes, revealing the hideous corruption of his moral decay.
Early readers were shocked by its hints of unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at his trial at the Old Bailey in 1895
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