Dorian Gray Character Quotes

Yes, the lad was premature. He was gathering his harvest while it was yet spring. The pulse and passion of youth were in him, but he was becoming self-conscious. It was delightful to watch him. With his beautiful face, and his beautiful soul, he was a thing to wonder at. It was no matter how it all ended, or was destined to end. He was like one of those gracious figures in a pageant or a play, whose joys seem to be remote from one, but whose sorrows stir one’s sense of beauty, and whose wounds are like red roses.

– Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 4. After Dorian leaves his home, Lord Henry reflects on how fascinating a psychological study Dorian has become for him, even with his sudden love affair with Sibyl. Henry pays close attention to the young man’s striking physical beauty, which some believe hints at male worship and a subtext of homosexual attraction. But for Henry, Dorian is more of a scientific experiment in his ongoing manipulation to mold the boy into his own image. He finds it amusing to compare Dorian to a piece of art, a figure in a pageant or play, as the master manipulator feeds him his lines. Selfishly Henry confesses that he doesn’t really care about how it all ends, including the "sorrows" and wounds "like red roses" it will bring. This foreshadows that the toxic relationship with Lord Henry will bring about his protege’s destruction. The passage uses both metaphor and simile in its description of Dorian ("gathering his harvest while it was yet spring" and "wounds are like red roses").