The characters in this famous story are basically two, Dorian Gray and Lord Henry Wotton, to which we must add two others that are equally important: Basil Hallward and Sybil Vane.
Let’s start from the true protagonist, Dorian: he is a beautiful young man ( blue eyes, blond hair, scarlet lips, young face ) and his social status is quite high. He is a young man with noble feelings and a pure soul, even though, being influenced by the theories of Lord Henry, his soul will become dirty and corrupt.
The beauty that he owns on the contrary is a mask that he uses to hide all evil things he has committed that then are absorbed into the portrait, which reflects his true soul, made to him by his friend Basil.
The character that changes Dorian is Lord Henry, a character a little bit emblematic, a very rich intellectual and a very charming man. He owns a persuasive voice that induces everybody to listen to him and this is one of the factors that influence Dorian and therefore he will be his downfall, convincing him that beauty is everything.
But the person who gives life to the picture, that will become Dorian’s obsession, is the painter Basil Hallward: he is a romantic painter, a good man that knows how to listen to others; he just knows Dorian, he gets fascinated by his beauty and therefore decides to give him a picture. He is very fond of Dorian, becoming jealous and he cares a lot about the life of the young man even though he will lose his life.
The last character but not the least is Sybil Vane : a young girl who, being poor, is an actress because she has to maintain her mother. In the theatre in which she plays, she will meet Dorian, with whom she will fall in love even though, being weak of heart, she will die for him, because she doesn’t accept to lose him.