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Key quotes for this character:
Language analysis and context (if relevant)
These quotes show Sibyl's pure devotion to Dorian as she feels that her life has no
Key quote value without him. The way she contrasts `acting' and `reality', and `theatre' and
`lived' shows how she mixes reality with art through her acting. The theatre was her
"Before I knew you, acting was the only chance to prove herself, but she'd rather give that up for Dorian, however the
one reality of my life. It was only in theatre can also be interpreted as something that she has to work in, because it is the
the theatre that I lived" only thing she can have a job in, as her Mother worked there. Dorian and Sibyl's
worlds have swapped as he now wants `art' and she wants `reality'. As they don't mix,
their relationship doesn't work. Her realisation of true love makes her realise the
falseness of emotions on stage.
Language analysis and context (if relevant)
Key quote This quote shows how melodramatic Sibyl is presented in the novel as the quotes
`moan' and `flung' shows the exaggerated and theatrical movements. This is mainly
"A low moan broke from her, and she due to her importance of being an actress (see actress point on last sheet) and the
flung herself at his feet, and lay there fact that she's presented as desperate and weak compared to Dorian. The way she's
like a trampled flower" described as a `trampled flower' presents her as vulnerable, and contextually shows
how because she is female, and of a low class, she is metaphorically `crushed' by
Dorian as in Victorian London, women and the working class was treated gravely.
Language analysis and context (if relevant)
Key quote The way he describes Sibyl as `the girl' which shows how he feels she is irrelevant to
him and makes her seem worthless. He completely disregards any blame for her suicide
"Cruelty! Had he been cruel? It was which the reader knows is wrong. She is presented as insignificant as the main
character degrades her to nothing in this quote.
the girl's fault not his" The word `Prince' and `rules' symbolises royalty which is used to show the power Sibyl
"Prince Charming rules our life now" feels Dorian has over her and her life. Contextually, to marry someone of a position of
Dorian's at that time, would be the only way to gain a better life, through position and
wealth. She feels that Dorian is this chance.…read more

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What do the critics say about this character?
· Marxism- from a Marxist perspective she is represented as the martyrs for justice for the working classes as tey
highlight the working class struggle for equality. Through Sibyl's death (and James') they represent the
determination for equality from the working classes. Dorian is presented as Sibyl's `manager' and when she no longer
has a use to him or benefits from her (after she no longer wants to act) he looses interest. Nothing changes as a
result of her death.
· Could link to Freud's analysis of the mind. He said it was broken down into the conscious and the unconscious mind.
In the unconscious (the id), things like our hopes, desires and memories are but they are often unknown to us. This
is where Sibyl links in as Sibyl is acclaimed critically as Dorian's `first cruel act' or `path to degradation'. Through
the novel Sibyl is infiltrated through Dorian unconsciously, for example in Chapter 19 where he mentions her when
talking of redemption, the way he leaves Hetty and calls it a `good act' because his actions with Sibyl hasn't left his
mind and the way Wilde brings back James Vane who frightens Dorian to remind him of the sin he committed with
Wilde's intention in including this character: what purpose do they serve?
· Through showing Dorian's immorality: She is presented as a physical representation of Dorian's immorality as he
leaves her and then disregards her after her suicide. She is the first thing that causes the portrait to become
tainted with sin. She is shown as the first sin of many over Dorian's life, which shows her significance to the novel
as she is important in starting the `chain' of sins to the eventual destruction of the portrait.
· Through her being presented as unworthy: She can be interpreted as a `test' in Lord Henry's experiment as he
calls Dorian an `interesting study' when he talks to him after he announces he is in love with Sibyl. He watches him
develop and then persuades him to not care about her after her suicide.
· Through social class divide in the society: The working class heroine who dies tragically at the hands of the
aristocratic society. (see representative of the working class section)
· Through sexism: The tragic woman, the only woman who has a true part in the novel, but dies at the hands of a
tragic relationship with a dominating man.
· Through art: The actress who dedicates her life to performing in art but when she meets Dorian she feels she
wants reality over her acting career.
· Through showing Dorian's lack of compassion: She is Dorian's only true love through the novel, although other's are
mentioned he leaves them all, which shows how he is effected by his relationship with Sibyl. Her presence doesn't
leave the novel or Dorian's conscience as it is always engraved on the portrait, as James comes back for revenge for
her and Dorian still mentions her in Chapter 19.…read more


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