First 423 words of the document:
A beautiful and talented, but poor, actress and singer, with
whom Dorian falls in love, her love for him ruins her acting
ability, as she no longer finds pleasure in portraying fictional
love when she is experiencing love in reality. She commits
suicide after learning that Dorian no longer loves her. Lord
Henry likens her to Ophelia.
Sibyl is almost a reflection of Dorian; however her purity is
still intact. However, her lack of cynicism makes her
particularly vulnerable as she herself says; her only
experience up to this point is a kind of sheltered half-life on the stage. Her suicide is the
great tragedy of this novel; it's the turning point for Dorian, and it's the death of the one
truly innocent figure we encounter.
Sibyl Vane never seems to understand true reality. She spends her life dreaming and acting
on stage, so that when she does finally feel true love, she cannot understand it, and it
confuses her into forgetting her imagination and acting.
Moreover, unlike Dorian and Henry, Sibyl very much portrays her thoughts in actions rather
than in words. For example, she is continually seen hugging her family, and the `mist' in her
eyes portrays her thinking. However, she does not seem to talk in the long complex
sentences of Henry and the later Dorian.
Sibyl purposely places herself at a lower standard to Dorian, showing that at some point, this
standard will be carried out and Dorian will leave her. She calls him `Prince Charming' and
speaks as though he is a `person in a play'. This makes us believe that she has lost contact
with reality, and all she knows how to do is to fantasise.
Dorian places upon Sibyl the responsibility to lead him down the correct track, and if she or
he should fail, it is entirely her responsibility. Much like the social expectations of the time,
women are expected to be the stability of the house hold, spiritually and physically.
Therefore Dorian sees Sibyl as an anchor to reality, when she is nothing of a sort. Therefore,
we know that this love could never last as they don't see each other as real people, but as
perfect characters in a play.
1. `Sibyl Vane is sacred'
2. `I am so happy!'
3. `Mother you must watch over her'
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I want to place her on a pedestal of gold, and to see the world worship the woman
who is mine'
5. `The mere touch of Sibyl Vane's hand makes me forget you'
6. `When I am with her, I regret all you have taught me'
7. `You taught me what reality is'
8. `His life with her would be beautiful and pure'
1) `Sibyl Vane's death is the turning point of the novel' Discuss.…read more