Here in its entirety is the classic cautionary tale about the pursuit of eternal youth at the expense of the soul.
When a beautiful portrait is painted of him, young Dorian Gray makes a vain, rash wish to always remain as beautiful as the painting. His wish comes true, and Gray starts a descent deep into moral decay. As he indulges in excesses and corruption, his physical form remains unblemished - but the portrait becomes decrepit and ugly. Gray's evil deeds eventually grow to include murder and lead him further and further toward Wilde's disconcerting conclusion that "ugliness is the only reality".
This classic tale of moral transgression shocked Victorian England and was used against Oscar Wilde when he was tried in court in 1895 for being a homosexual.
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