A Picture Of Dorian Gray - from the Perspective of the Picture. (with commentary)

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Nathan Gornall

Candidate Number: 3076

Center Number: 50415

English Literature and Language Coursework

Original Texts by Oscar Wilde

English Text Transformation Coursework

This radio transcript is a transformation of “A Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, from the perspective of the painting.



  • Main voice (the picture of Dorian Gray)
  • Lord Henry (male speaker)
  • Basil (male)
  • Dorian (male)
  • Maid 1 (female)
  • Maid 2 (female)

Scene 1

VOICE: What’s this?

A thought? I am thinking? How am I thinking? I must have a mind! But if I have a mind, I must be a…thing. What am I? Ooh, hang on, I can see something, I can see something! I have an eye! Who is that? What is that man doing? Oh…no…stop that! Stop rubbing my eye with that brush! I have only had an eye for fifteen seconds and you are trying to paint over it. Oh, hang on. Ohhh now I see, you are making it beautiful! Yes, that eyebrow, a little bit more of an angle. Yes yes yes! Wonderful! Gosh I am a good looking eye!

(pause, sombre tone) One eye. I am a passive observer to a man with a paintbrush. Is this to be my life’s purpose?

(voice becomes inspired) If it is, I will achieve my goal to great success; I will be the greatest observer of a man with a brush this world has ever seen! So come on man, get ready to be watched with the eagle stare of my eye. (Pause) Oh no, where have you gone? Man! Come back! Where are you?! I need…WOW! A second eye! I have two eyes! I feel so luxurious! Thank you man! I wonder what your name is. You look like a Phillip. You smell like a Richard. Oh my! I can smell! I have a nose! You’ve given me a nose Mr…Phillip-Richard! Ohhh that is quite a stench, my nostrils are quivering with suspicious disgust, both of my eyes are watering! What is that? Is that paint? It is! Why can I smell paint? How odd. Mr Phillip-Richard, please give me a mouth, I have so many questions to ask you! Yes! That’s it! You understand! You can hear me! ...Can you hear me? Why won’t you answer me!? You mustn’t be able to hear me. I need this mouth! Hurry! There. That’s it. And… done! Mr-Philchard! Hey! Maybe that isn’t your name. Man! Sir! Please talk to me! Euuughhhh. What is that taste! That’s revolting, it’s paint again! Why can I taste paint?! Man! Man! Why won’t you answer me! Am I not making any sound? Oh my! I don’t know if I am making any sound, because I can’t hear anything! No no no this is all wrong. I am trapped in a world of silence. Shrouded in an image where all I can hear is my own thoughts! Oh what would I give for one word from you Mr Philchard? One little word.


VOICE: Oh! What was that! I heard something, what…how…wha…I have ears! You have given me ears! Oh thank you! I can hear the sound of birds outside your window! A horse’s footsteps in the street, and that voice, that voice of an articulate gentleman. Yet it was not you. It was someone I cannot see. Calling to you. Which means, your name, it is Basil! Can you hear me Basil! Can you hear…? (pause, sense of realization) oh dear. I would not expect a reply from you now Basil. Not if I can’t hear myself. Why can’t I hear myself? Why can’t I hear myself!? I have ears, I have a mouth, I can see, smell, taste, hear, so why can’t I speak? And why do you look at me with that loving, dedicated stare yet you don’t speak to me, smile at me, treat me like another human being?

LORD HENRY: Basil it’s wonderful to see you, how are you this fine morning?

BASIL: Welcome Lord Henry, I am just trying to complete this painting! It’s taking forever!

LORD HENRY: Well it is looking marvelous; you certainly have breathed some life into it!

VOICE: This painting. What does he mean, this painting? I think I understand now. I understand why he looks at me with such care but no connection. Why my smell and taste senses are shrouded by the scent and flavour of paint. Why one minute I was nothing and the next a fully functioning thought process. It is because you have created me. You have made me Basil. You have painted me. I am a picture of somebody else.

LORD HENRY: It really does bring out Dorian Gray’s distinctive features. The dark, glossy hair, the slender, bearded cheekbones, the thin, delicate lips.

VOICE: I am a picture of Dorian Gray.

Join now!

Scene 2

(Long pause – A brief interlude of a few bars of classical music, a string quartet perhaps, in the studio the acoustics of the room are altered to sound like they are coming from an enclosed space)

VOICE: Whoahh. What happened there? One minute I was coming to the realization that my existence is, well, non-existent, and the next Basil, the man who created me, covers me with a blanket and leaves me for a significant time longer than the duration of my entire life. Why would he do that? He stared at me with ...

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