The Picture of Dorian Gray

A young actress, from a poor family, who performs Shakespeare’s heroines every evening at a low class theater. Dorian falls in love with her performances, but she finds performance paltry in comparison to true love and her acting suffers after her engagement to Dorian. Dorian, in turn, is uninterested in her after she no longer has her art. He leaves her heartbroken and Sybil, a Juliet-like martyr for love, commits suicide. She is a symbolic character, pure in her love and embodying an artistic ideal.

Sybil Vane Quotes in The Picture of Dorian Gray

The The Picture of Dorian Gray quotes below are all either spoken by Sybil Vane or refer to Sybil Vane. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in 2003.
Chapter 4 Quotes

“I have seen her in every age and every costume. Ordinary women never appeal to one’s imagination. They are limited to their century.”

Related Characters: Dorian Gray (speaker), Sybil Vane
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

“I am changed, and the mere touch of Sybil Vane’s hand makes me forget you and all your wrong, fascinating, poisonous, delightful theories.”

Related Characters: Dorian Gray (speaker), Lord Henry Wotton, Sybil Vane
Page Number: 75
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

“The painted scenes were my world. I knew nothing but shadows and thought them real.”

Related Characters: Sybil Vane (speaker)
Page Number: 84
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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“So I have murdered Sybil Vane,” said Dorian Gray, half to himself, “murdered her as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife. Yet the roses are not less lovely for that.”

Related Characters: Dorian Gray (speaker), Sybil Vane
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

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“The girl never really lived and so she never really died.”

Related Characters: Lord Henry Wotton (speaker), Sybil Vane
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
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Sybil Vane Character Timeline in The Picture of Dorian Gray

The timeline below shows where the character Sybil Vane appears in The Picture of Dorian Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Women and Men Theme Icon
...Dorian tells him that he is actually too in love to marry. The girl is Sybil Vane, an actress, a genius on the stage, Dorian thinks. Lord Henry explains that women... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...cast with old, ill-fitting actors for the most part, but that the girl playing Juliet, Sybil Vane, shone. She was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, classically beautiful, and... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
When Henry asks what kind of relationship Dorian has with Sybil, Dorian defends that it has been entirely innocent and calls Sybil “sacred”. He describes how... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
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...ages. He urges that they finally dine together that evening, but Dorian wants to see Sybil play Imogen at the theatre - every night is another unmissable heroine. But Dorian does... (full context)
Chapter 5
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
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Chapter Five begins in the home of Sybil Vane and her family. Sybil is raving about her ‘Prince Charming’ to her mother. Mrs.... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Mrs. Vane is a tired, anxious woman but Sybil is full of color and beauty as her mind revels in thoughts of Dorian. She... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...of the ‘tableau’ of the room, but Jim has no taste for drama. He asks Sybil to come for a walk with him. They are obviously very loving siblings, and they... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Women and Men Theme Icon
...sea instead of working as a solicitor. Jim dismisses the issue. His real concern is Sybil. Mrs. Vane assures him that she will look after Sybil and that her suitor is... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
As Jim and Sybil take their walk, Jim is conscious of the difference in their appearance. Sybil is completely... (full context)
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Jim asks Sybil about her ‘new friend’ and Sybil tells him everything, saying that now she has found... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Women and Men Theme Icon
...sit and watch the passers-by and Jim begins to talk of his own plans, but Sybil suddenly thinks she sees ‘Prince Charming’ in the distance and Jim’s fear returns. He threatens... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...is out in the open, Mrs. Vane says no. She explains a situation similar to Sybil’s – their father was a gentleman and not free to marry her. With sudden sympathy... (full context)
Chapter 6
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...interrupts them, in jubilant spirits and tells his friends about his engagement. He describes how Sybil, dressed as Rosalind, beautiful in boy clothes as if she was made for the role,... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
Henry pushes Dorian to explain about his engagement. He says that it was actually Sybil who first mentioned marriage. Henry comments that this is typical of a woman. Basil scolds... (full context)
Chapter 7
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
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...and Basil see firsthand its crude set up and rough-looking crowd. Dorian promises Henry that Sybil will make it all seem quite different, as she stirs the audience in sympathy with... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
After the orchestra’s awful introduction, Sybil appears as Juliet. The three men are fascinated by her. Henry realizes that she is... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Sybil explains to him that now that she has found real love, she will never be... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...horribly true. And why should the face now wear the expression of cruelty? Dorian considers Sybil but struggles to find remorse, and sees the tragedy as her doing. But the painting... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...a sinful life. Some remorse begins to come to him and he resolves to win Sybil back and live happily with her. The morning suddenly seems fresh and romantic again. (full context)
Chapter 8
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Influence Theme Icon
...he is compelled to act. He has been made aware of how he has injured Sybil Vane. He has for a moment what no man could hope to have, a living... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
...Henry appears at the door, wishing to see him. He wants to comfort Dorian about Sybil. Dorian suggests that the tragedy has taught him the value of his own conscience. Henry... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
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...grief, but what he seems to be mourning is his own lack of pity for Sybil and his cruel behavior. Henry convinces him that he should not feel too badly, that... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
Basil arrives at Dorian’s house, and expresses his sympathy for him, and for Sybil Vane and her family. He had come to visit Dorian as soon as he heard... (full context)
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
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Basil is sickened at the idea of Sybil killing herself but Dorian explains the beauty of it, saying that Sybil is now a... (full context)
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Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
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Dorian requests that Basil do a portrait of Sybil. Basil agrees but really wants Dorian to sit for him again himself. Dorian vehemently refuses.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...reading materials that Lord Henry has sent over. In the newspaper is an article about Sybil Vane’s inquest. The reminder of the horrible details angers Dorian. He is annoyed that Henry... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Surfaces, Objects and Appearances Theme Icon
The sailor announces himself as the brother of Sybil Vane and accuses Dorian of being the man who ruined her. He tells Dorian to... (full context)
Chapter 19
The Mortality of Beauty and Youth Theme Icon
Art and the Imitation of Life Theme Icon
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...class, and Dorian cut off the romance before it went too far, saving her from Sybil’s fate. Henry responds that the girl is certainly heartbroken and will probably never be satisfied... (full context)