Wild’s description of Sibyl Vane as a caged bird invokes the thought that Doorman’s love for Sibyl has trapped her. There are two instances where the imagery of her entrapment is brought up, “the Joy of a caged bird in her voice” and “in her prison of passion” are both statements where the common entity is a sort of cell like set-up for Sibyl. The use of these metaphors is a representation of the confinement Sibyl is in in his relationship, where to keep Doorman’s interest she must act as a character in a play and not as herself.
It is evidence that Dorian only has a superficial interest in her and also can be linked to aestheticism because Dorian only looks at her outside beauty and talent and not into the meaning of the girl inside. By using a metaphor such as “Joy of a caged bird” Willed is able to conjure the image of Sibyl as the bird trapped in cage, purely for the enjoyment of an onlooker such as Dorian, the cage is her stage for her to please her master.
This is significant in understanding why their relationship breaks down after her dismal performance in the theatre. A caged bird that is not entertaining to watch is not worth keeping as is shown by Dorian who immediately ends all affiliation between them as he would rather the Sibyl who is an actress and knows nothing of love than the new Sibyl who is in a “prison of passion”.