Study Guide

The Picture of Dorian Gray Chapter 10

By Oscar Wilde

Chapter 10

  • Dorian decides to hide the portrait in his house's old schoolroom. He calls for the key, and wraps up the dreadful portrait with an ornate, funereal coverlet.
  • While Dorian is taking care of business, he wonders why he didn't tell Basil the truth about the painting; he knows that Basil could have helped him resist Lord Henry's malignant influence, but decides that it's too late.
  • Dorian looks at the canvas one more time before sending it away—it looks more hateful than before to him.
  • Dorian's servant almost walks in on him contemplating the incriminating portrait, and he hastily writes a note to Henry, asking him for something new to read, and reminding him that they have a date later. He sends the servant to deliver the note.
  • In a moment, Mr. Hubbard, a famous frame-maker, arrives with his helper. He tries to sell Dorian a new frame, but Dorian cuts him off brusquely, saying that he just wants a heavy picture moved to another room today.
  • Mr. Hubbard and his assistant move the picture to the schoolroom for Dorian.
  • The schoolroom has been empty ever since Dorian grew up; nobody's been in it for four years. The room, where he spend much of his childhood, away from his unloving grandfather, reminds Dorian of his innocent youth, and it occurs to him that it might be wrong to keep the proof of his corrupt soul there. However, there's nowhere else that's safe to keep it. Dorian has a brief moment of regret —maybe he can salvage the portrait by being a better person? He ignores this impulse, realizing that the portrait will grow old anyway. He locks it in the schoolroom and rushes Mr. Hubbard out.
  • When Dorian returns to the library, he finds that Lord Henry has complied and sent him a rather worn book. It's covered with yellow paper, and looks well-read. Along with it, Henry has sent a short note and a newspaper, in which he's circled a brief paragraph about Sibyl Vane.
  • To distract himself from this unpleasant item, Dorian starts to read Lord Henry's yellow book. It completely absorbs him—it's beautiful and "poisonous," and he can't stop reading it.
  • Dorian loses track of time, and is late for his meeting with Lord Henry. When he gets there, he apologizes, saying that he was wrapped up in the book, which fascinates him—however, he can't say that he exactly likes it.