Lord Henry’s is Dorian’s wealthy friend who pushes his ideology onto Dorian. Lord Henry believes that, “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.
..” (Wilde 13). Henry attempts to persuade Dorian to think that if he continues to listen his conscience, it will only bring him pain. Lord Henry makes Dorian believe that must give into temptation if he ever wants to be happy. Dorian takes Henry’s advice very seriously, and the impact his advice has on Dorian is evident throughout the novel.
Then there is Basil, a talented artist who meets Dorian in the beginning of the novel. Basil, upon meeting Dorian, is instantly enamored by him, and ends up admiring his beauty, his youth and his elegance. To Basil, Dorian is extremely interesting, and he considers him to be a person “whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself”(Wilde 9) and his fixation on Dorian seems consuming. Basil is infatuated by Dorian, and is so swayed by his appearance that he is compelled to paint his portrait.
On the other hand, there is Sybil Vane. She is the actress who captivates Dorian Gray for a brief period of time. Soon, Dorian has an influence over her, and that influence he has corrupts her. When Dorian first met Sybil, he was captivated by her beauty and her talent as an actress. Sybil influences Dorian Gray’s stance on romantic ideals, “I love Sibyl Vane.
I want to place her on a pedestal of gold and to see the world worship the woman who is mine” (Wilde 108) and it is evident that he seems to fall hopelessly in love with her and her talent. Sybil’s influence on Dorian brings out the best in him if only for a fleeting moment. Dorian’s influence has a similar impact on Sybil, because she soon becomes obsessed with Dorian. Sybil emphasizes that influence when she cries, “You came oh, my beautiful love! and you freed my soul from prison. You taught me what reality really is,” (Wilde 117) because she too has fallen hopelessly in love.
Later, Sybil is devastated. Dorian’s influence on Sybil begins to corrupt her, and affects her ability to perform causing her to fail at her craft. Her talent was the only thing that kept Dorian interested in her, “you have spoiled the romance of my life. How little you can know of love, if you say it mars your art! Without your art, you are nothing. I would have made you famous, splendid, magnificent. The world would have worshipped you, and you would have borne my name.
What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face” (Wilde 121). Dorian is hostile towards Sybil which throws her into a deep depression. His rejection directly causes Sybil to be distraught, resulting in her suicide.