Salomé

Written by: Oscar Wilde, Robert Baldwin Ross, Aubrey Beardsley, Alfred Bruce Douglas

Salomé Book Cover
Outraged by the sexual perversity of this one-act tragedy, Great Britain's Lord Chamberlain banned Salomé from the national stage. Symbolist poets and writers — Stéphane Mallarmé and Maurice Maeterlinck among them — defended the play's literary brilliance. Beyond its notoriety, the drama's haunting poetic imagery, biblical cadences, and febrile atmosphere have earned it a reputation as a masterpiece of the Aesthetic movement of fin de siècle England.
Written originally in French in 1892, this sinister tale of a woman scorned and her vengeance was translated into English by Lord Alfred Douglas. The play inspired some of Aubrey Beardsley's finest illustrations, and an abridged version served as the text for Strauss' renowned opera of the same name. This volume reprints the complete text of the first English edition, published in 1894, and also includes "A Note on Salomé" by Robert Ross, Wilde's lifelong friend and literary executor. Students, lovers of literature and drama, and admirers of Oscar Wilde and his remarkable literary gifts will rejoice in this inexpensive edition.
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Salom Reviews

Annie
Starts slowly but sucks you into its hazy moonlit darkness and lets you simmer in a sense of your own doom. I would argue on the basis of Salome that Wilde does tragedy even better than comedy.

It’s like having a dream- a nightmare, really- you feel it so unconsciously. You know it doesn’t really make sense, but that’s why everything in it feels even more threatening- because it’s incomprehensible and illogical and therefore unpredictable and dangerous.
Gary
Not really a tragedy- too self conscious and repetitive - but brilliant
Martin
Salomé is one of those texts where the ideas presented by the author exceed the text itself. Not performed in England until well after Wilde's death, I found it hardly worthy of a ban by today's standards. But a woman trying to seduce John the Baptist (not to mention it was written by, like, a gay) was understandably of some controversy in Victorian England. Wilde wrote the play in French and it shows. One of Wilde's greatest charms is his ability to play with words and their meaning; to twist e Salomé is one of those texts where the ideas presented by the author exceed the text itself. Not performed in England until well after Wilde's death, I found it hardly worthy of a ban by today's standards. But a woman trying to seduce John the Baptist (not to mention it was written by, like, a gay) was understandably of some controversy in Victorian England. Wilde wrote the play in French and it shows. One of Wilde's greatest charms is his ability to play with words and their meaning; to twist epigrams and clichés into interesting new ideas. There's a bit of that going on here, but substantially less than, say, "The Importance of Being Earnest." And that's understandable, this is a translation of a text written in a language not the author's own. At any rate, I've certainly picked up a few new pickup lines (Your lips are like a scarlet stripe across an ivory tower), and the story is a nice way to pass 30 minutes to an hour. Something about Salomé captivates me, but this isn't Wilde at his best.
Poema de mio Cid :: Leaving Cold Sassy: The Unfinished Sequel to Cold Sassy Tree :: Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot :: Azul... :: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories
Wael Margheni
I have to admit, I somehow expected something different. Reading this play, it's just so weird. At the beginning, it really does make no sense at all as many topics are being 'discussed', mostly religion related topics as the play is entirely based on religion mainly, and many characters are presented, but eventually, it gets limited to only three or four characters which makes it easier to understand. Though the play is named after Salomé, I don't think the story is based on her as it is based I have to admit, I somehow expected something different. Reading this play, it's just so weird. At the beginning, it really does make no sense at all as many topics are being 'discussed', mostly religion related topics as the play is entirely based on religion mainly, and many characters are presented, but eventually, it gets limited to only three or four characters which makes it easier to understand. Though the play is named after Salomé, I don't think the story is based on her as it is based on Herod. But I love the ending! She really got what she wanted.
dead letter office
if you read this play, you need to get a version with the beardsley illustrations. aubrey beardsley was so far ahead of (or at least apart from) his time it's dizzying. i'm actually not sure there is a time where he would have been at home.
Melissa Jackson
My only issue with this play is I wish it was longer.

"I have kissed thy mouth. There was a bitter taste on thy lips. Was it the taste of blood...? But perchance it is the taste of love...They say that love has a bitter taste."
carlita_is_probably_reading
Interestingly gothic and sort of reminds me in some ways of a few of the stories in Arabian Nights. Sort of.
Lady Alexandrine
I read ''Salome'' again. It is so beautiful and tragic... ''I will kiss thy mouth, Jokanaan.''
Justine
I loved to discover the myth of the dangerous woman retold by Oscar Wilde, with his wit and humour. He keeps the heavy religious aspect, but twists it.

I liked the way Salome is tempted by the prophet, who commits the sacrilege, not her: he does not answer to her love (view spoiler)[ which means his death, and then hers! (hide spoiler)]
I liked the way Herod was depicted: a ridiculous king who can't understand what the prophet says, while her queen, Herodias, understands, and tries to explain to I loved to discover the myth of the dangerous woman retold by Oscar Wilde, with his wit and humour. He keeps the heavy religious aspect, but twists it.

I liked the way Salome is tempted by the prophet, who commits the sacrilege, not her: he does not answer to her love (view spoiler)[ which means his death, and then hers! (hide spoiler)]
I liked the way Herod was depicted: a ridiculous king who can't understand what the prophet says, while her queen, Herodias, understands, and tries to explain to him. He doesn't care about her, only about Salome, who becomes dangerous because she is beautiful, and can seduce men thanks to her beauty. (view spoiler)[ That's also, in a way, why she loves the prophet: he isn't impressed by her beauty, he doesn't respond to it, he isn't dumb like other men. And there is the paradox: if he answered to her love, she may have been disappointed: he is just like the other men. She may love him because he is immune to her beauty. (hide spoiler)]

I can only be fascinated by the fact that, before - and some still -, men considered women weak and submissive: they were inferior to men. And they made up this myth, a dangerous woman, dangerous because of her beauty and lust, cunning, and capable of killing: she was then superior, because the king is a fool before her. How paradoxical men were - and still are sometimes! In a way, it was another means to debase women, to quiet them: because they were hysterical, mad, lusty, and made men crazy.
Fatimah
One act play by Oscar Wilde tell biblical tale of Salomé, daughter of Sodom, princess of Judæa. Everybody fancy her, including her stepfather Herod, but only the prophet Jokanaan catch her eyes. Speak the word of God, Jokanaan keep rejecting her. Salomé's love is purely chaste as a virgin young women, yet it turned to bloody end. The fairest of Judæa, she requested Jokanaan's head on a silver platter as a reward for dancing.

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

I myself thin One act play by Oscar Wilde tell biblical tale of Salomé, daughter of Sodom, princess of Judæa. Everybody fancy her, including her stepfather Herod, but only the prophet Jokanaan catch her eyes. Speak the word of God, Jokanaan keep rejecting her. Salomé's love is purely chaste as a virgin young women, yet it turned to bloody end. The fairest of Judæa, she requested Jokanaan's head on a silver platter as a reward for dancing.

The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.

I myself think the way Salomé fancy Jokanaan can be interpreted both pure and twisted. She finally able to kiss Jokanaan, she can do whatever she pleases with his head, but Jokanaan can never love her back (because he is beheaded, he is dead!). I did not see the end coming (view spoiler)[Herod order her to be killed, no matter how he lust her, this behavior is beyond crazy (hide spoiler)].

I would love to see this on stage one day. Girl, if a guy rejected you because he thinks he is better than you... off his head! HA
Tom Lowe
As a non-believer in the inane and silly concept known as religion, I was pleasantly surprised at the way in which Oscar Wilde interpreted and expressed the old myth of Salomé and John the Baptist. This one-act play, as short as it is, has it all- high drama, deep symbolism, and a heavy emphasis on the good vs. evil conflict present in just about every story ever told. Wilde is a superb storyteller, a sennachie of the highest quality. There’s a ton of drama in this little old story. I urge all, As a non-believer in the inane and silly concept known as religion, I was pleasantly surprised at the way in which Oscar Wilde interpreted and expressed the old myth of Salomé and John the Baptist. This one-act play, as short as it is, has it all- high drama, deep symbolism, and a heavy emphasis on the good vs. evil conflict present in just about every story ever told. Wilde is a superb storyteller, a sennachie of the highest quality. There’s a ton of drama in this little old story. I urge all, believer and non-believer alike, to check out this wonderfully philosophical, yet essentially violent play.
Karin

I'm still not sure where I stand about this play.

Mistakenly, I thought this was a comedy and read it as such, and laughed several times. However, it's supposed to be a tragedy... and yet I cannot find it in myself to see it as such.
Salomé is pretty funny. Even if it isn't meant to be.

So as a tragedy, for me at least, it completely fails ─ and maybe I shouldn't be giving it these many stars. But truth is, it could be pretty decent as a comedy. And that makes it up for me.

A play about the gaze. It
I'm still not sure where I stand about this play.

Mistakenly, I thought this was a comedy and read it as such, and laughed several times. However, it's supposed to be a tragedy... and yet I cannot find it in myself to see it as such.
Salomé is pretty funny. Even if it isn't meant to be.

So as a tragedy, for me at least, it completely fails ─ and maybe I shouldn't be giving it these many stars. But truth is, it could be pretty decent as a comedy. And that makes it up for me.

A play about the gaze. It reminds me a little of Macbeth in some parts, but plot-wise more of A Midsummer's Night Dream.
Julie
Wilde's imagining of the events leading to the execution of John the Baptist puts his executioner front and center: the intensely flawed Salome. It is interesting to see how the playwright portrays her as both dammed, intensely unlikeable, yet, at least for this reader, somewhat sympathetic. She is a girl trapped in the incestuous tractor beam of her stepfather's desire (yet also as a remorseless hedonist who traps the Prophet in her own). Ultimately, her soul's damnation is also her ultimate li Wilde's imagining of the events leading to the execution of John the Baptist puts his executioner front and center: the intensely flawed Salome. It is interesting to see how the playwright portrays her as both dammed, intensely unlikeable, yet, at least for this reader, somewhat sympathetic. She is a girl trapped in the incestuous tractor beam of her stepfather's desire (yet also as a remorseless hedonist who traps the Prophet in her own). Ultimately, her soul's damnation is also her ultimate liberation from life as her stepfather's prisoner.
Romany
BRB, searching different versions of the seven veils dance on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oVaI...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b66NQ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgWhe...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovEVw...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLypY...
Kyra Boisseree
I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would? Though perhaps that's not surprising since I'm really fond of Biblical history, even if Jesus is involved. I was afraid it might be anti-semitic, but it wasn't, and I'm weirdly fond of Herodias? Salome: bring me the head of Jakanaan (John the Baptist). Herodias: I SUPPORT MY DAUGHTER'S LIFE DECISIONS. It was great.
Bruce
This is actually a short play by Oscar Wilde. It is about the situation leading up to a young woman's dance before Herod. In scripture she is unnamed, like so many women, and there is no mention of how she was clad when she danced. In his play Oscar Wilde starts the dance of the seven veils idea.
Charlotte
I had to read a play as part of a book group challenge and picked this because of its recent showing by the RSC. I think to see it on stage would be incredible, my imagination just doesn't do it justice.
Carmen Distratto
A fast-paced, single-act tragedy in which Oscar Wilde tells the story of John the Baptist's decapitation by orders of Salomè, who desired him so that she couldn't stand his refusal. Powerful, direct writing.
Carolyn
This was the final play for me to read in my bindup of 5 Oscar Wilde plays and I wish I had saved a happier one for last because this was gorgeously written and performed but still a very tough read/listen.
Rok
Considering the fact that I had to read this for school, I surprisingly enjoyed it.
B. Barron
Pretty good, but not one of Wilde's best IMOP.
Loved the ending.
The copy I have is beautiful.
Dave
Very intense, and very different from all the other Wilde I've read. Biblical and scale, quick moving, feels like his best stab at an homage to the Oedipus Cycle.
Jordan Harris
4 stars.
If you read close enough, the play's ridiculous decadence and grotesque events make for a fantastic irony that, in my opinion, makes this work brilliant.
Anaee
Well, I am not sure I have understood that play.
to be continued.
They say that love hath a bitter taste...
Terry
love the drama around this nice little drama
Amni
We love those we can't have. That's the buried treasure in this hour-long play.

I'm glad I watched the 2013 film rendition of Salome. Jessica Chastain and Al Pacino gave life to the lines.
Б. Ачболд
Note to self: Imagine you are putting this on stage. Who are these characters, what are they doing, why are they doing it? Don't read it passively, you're not watching a movie.
Crystal
This play is a funny, satirical twist on the Bible. While I could see the humor, I didn’t find it engrossing. Not one that I would recommend unless someone was knowledgeable of the Bible, without taking it too seriously.
Louis
Weird to read. What I gathered from the story was that Salomé's a princess greatly revered, that she likes to get what she wants and when she didn't in this story she decided to have revenge. This is a bit of a leap maybe. Anyhow, it didn't really stand out to me compared to Wilde's other works.
I loved Salomés mother. Her dry, sarcastic and snide comments were fun to read, as compared to the rest of the play whose note was rather serious.
Mandy.
Me fascina que Oscar Wilde haya creado una obra entera entorno a un personaje que en la Biblia apenas tiene relevancia. Cómo él se imaginó esa historia y cómo la ha plasmado con todo el simbolismo desbordante: comparando a Salomé con la Luna, la pasión, la obsesión...

Ericka Clouther
It was a disturbing reimagining of the Bible story. It was fine.
Laura Reader
SALOMÉ:
-... Nada en el mundo es tan rojo como tu boca. Déjame que te la bese.

JOKANAAN:
-Nunca, hija de Babilonia, hija de Sodoma... nunca.

SALOMÉ:
-Quiero besar tu boca, Jokanaan. Quiero besar tu boca.
Jilly Hanson
I don't know Bible characters and verses very well, so this is a little confusing to get the deeper meanings and context, but it was definitely an interesting read. Kinda would be interested in playing Salome at some point, see what that's like.
D.M.
The description of this edition isn't for the edition I have, which possesses neither a foreword nor the brilliant Beardsley illustrations. Instead, this is what has become known (since its 1986 publication by Quartet Books) as a graphic novel adaptation of Wilde's Salome. Think of it as a sort of Classics Illustrated rendering of the play.
I don't know that I've ever seen Shenton's work before, and I'm not sure this would make me pursue it. While he's clearly a talented artist, and though he doe The description of this edition isn't for the edition I have, which possesses neither a foreword nor the brilliant Beardsley illustrations. Instead, this is what has become known (since its 1986 publication by Quartet Books) as a graphic novel adaptation of Wilde's Salome. Think of it as a sort of Classics Illustrated rendering of the play.
I don't know that I've ever seen Shenton's work before, and I'm not sure this would make me pursue it. While he's clearly a talented artist, and though he does an admirable job presenting Wilde's biblically styled dialogue through modern versions of biblical archetypes, too often his style is just this side of too 'hippy-dippy' for me. He does clever things with page layout and panel flow, sometimes really clever, but his pallette and visual style smacks of late-60s Fillmore concert posters. That's not really my taste, but he certainly does it well.
As for Wilde's play, which the jacket says is offered in 'the complete text,' it was adequate. Though I've seen other reviewers suggest it lacks Wilde's usual bite, I believe the archaic mode in which he's made his characters speak merely distracts from his typically acerbic wit. I can see this play being performed as a campy metaphor for abuse of power, both personal and political, and in that way it comes off brilliantly. But there's not really any getting around the abrupt ending, and that really knocks this down a peg in my estimation.
This volume sits comfortably in my library with P. Craig Russell's Wilde fairy tale adaptations, doing as decent a job at presenting the man's work as did those. But I wouldn't chase it down if I didn't already have it.
Xio
You know, the most worthwhile rendition of Salome is the insane Ken Russell film. What does she say? God it stuck in my mind for YEARS and probably screwed up my character to no little degree. 'Give me the head of John the Baptist' ah yes. With this little feminine clipped manner of speech. Brilliant! I must go watch all those flicks again.

This story is so great because it is the first hint that Sade was prefigured in the bible. So to speak. I mean a criticism of manufactured morality (and it's You know, the most worthwhile rendition of Salome is the insane Ken Russell film. What does she say? God it stuck in my mind for YEARS and probably screwed up my character to no little degree. 'Give me the head of John the Baptist' ah yes. With this little feminine clipped manner of speech. Brilliant! I must go watch all those flicks again.

This story is so great because it is the first hint that Sade was prefigured in the bible. So to speak. I mean a criticism of manufactured morality (and it's only manufactured)in Salome's lust for the head of the saint.

Because if you've ever spent time with the mystics (to use an illustration of the more open and honest of the religious) you know it's a very very physical and sexual issue. For one thing. And another: Salome's so called perversion is, to me at least, just a parallel road of devotion to that which any zealot might take. The devoted lust for the worshiped idol. The impulse to claim a part of the ecstatic-powerful for oneself even if one hypocritically pretends to submit to it.

What's my issue with that? Because morality is law and law requires obedience to a single idea with heavy consequence for disagreement...behavioral disagreement in particular, or what you might call 'breaking the law' or 'criminal'...and what I call aspects of human manifestation of impulse and possibility.
And so on.

( Though I know I just invited people to suggest that I should now get raped or something and call *that* act a manifestation. etc. Now that's a considered position to take! )

Sarah
Hmm. After reasing Wilde's other plays, I came upon this one, which surprised me for a few reasons. It is vastly different than his other plays; it is definitely more serious, almost to the point that it doensn't quite feel like the Wilde I'm used to, but hey, I could say the same of plays like Duchess of Padua as well. It is morbid, but still clever, even if it is not a farce.

With that in mind, I also want to take a minute to talk about the historical controversy with this play. Salome was act Hmm. After reasing Wilde's other plays, I came upon this one, which surprised me for a few reasons. It is vastly different than his other plays; it is definitely more serious, almost to the point that it doensn't quite feel like the Wilde I'm used to, but hey, I could say the same of plays like Duchess of Padua as well. It is morbid, but still clever, even if it is not a farce.

With that in mind, I also want to take a minute to talk about the historical controversy with this play. Salome was actually penned in French and banned in England for a long time. I'm not actually TOO surprised that Wilde had a play banned- his first version of Dorian was also admonished as well. However, I do like the fact that Lord Alfred "Bosie" Douglas, Wilde's lover, was actually the first translator of Salome; it's even more amusing that Douglas' translation was actually pretty bad, as Wilde himself mentioned in his prison letter.

The play itself tells the story of Salome and John the Baptist and the beheading of John the Baptist. I'd say that I don't come across any Biblical plays, so I have to admit that I like the choice of setting even if it strikes me as odd. Besides this, Salome doesn't actually seem all too odd to me, but I think I can see why the prim and proper Victorians wouldn't like it.

I think the background of this play is what makes it a five-star play more than the story itself- I might need to reread it, but I enjoy knowing that this play was a controversy and a botched translation by a lover! How amusing.

Natasha Whyte
Although Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite writers to emerge from the Victorian era with a simultaneous smirk and sour expression at the penchants of his and previous generations. Well, he might be the only one - that was pretty specific. It is no accident that Wilde picked this famously disturbing episode from Mark as the basis for his only tragic play. Ever the fan of dismantling the values of high-brow society, Wilde gives Salome an acidic tongue fit only for his own criticisms. Wilde sticks Although Oscar Wilde is one of my favourite writers to emerge from the Victorian era with a simultaneous smirk and sour expression at the penchants of his and previous generations. Well, he might be the only one - that was pretty specific. It is no accident that Wilde picked this famously disturbing episode from Mark as the basis for his only tragic play. Ever the fan of dismantling the values of high-brow society, Wilde gives Salome an acidic tongue fit only for his own criticisms. Wilde sticks close to what he's good at, focusing all his energy on witty banter that challenges the dominance of male sexuality over female sexuality thus leaving the technical aspects of staging entirely up to future directors. Wilde storms through the ethical bog that surrounds the Salome episode, giving the title character brutally vast emotional limits, each of which she reaches in the confines of the play. That being said, the chaotic romp through an emotional minefield Salome embarks on is less than believable. Though that is not entirely Wilde's fault, given that this is an adaptation, his writing does not help make Salome's drastic actions any more feasible. I enjoyed reading this play and have since seen the adapted opera, and although I only gave this three stars I would jump at the opportunity to see a staged production of the play, if only for The Dance of the Seven Veils.
Núria
Con ‘Salomé’ he encontrado otra obra de Oscar Wilde que me gusta genuinamente. Ya no es sólo en el ‘De profundis’ que veo verdadera pasión. Quizás sea porque Wilde las escribió sin la presión de tener que ser arrebatadoramente ingenioso y sin la necesidad de gustar y adular a cierto tipo de público. La historia la conocemos todos, pero lo importante es la forma en que es contada, como Wilde lleva a su terreno una anécdota bíblica, la intensidad dramática que le otorga. Es una tragedia con todas Con ‘Salomé’ he encontrado otra obra de Oscar Wilde que me gusta genuinamente. Ya no es sólo en el ‘De profundis’ que veo verdadera pasión. Quizás sea porque Wilde las escribió sin la presión de tener que ser arrebatadoramente ingenioso y sin la necesidad de gustar y adular a cierto tipo de público. La historia la conocemos todos, pero lo importante es la forma en que es contada, como Wilde lleva a su terreno una anécdota bíblica, la intensidad dramática que le otorga. Es una tragedia con todas las letras, con toda la grandilocuencia de los clásicos, con unos personajes intensos con cuyos deseos extremos es muy fácil empatizar, porque ¿quién no ha sufrido de amor (o lujuria) no correspondida?

Está escrita con un lenguaje magnífico, con unas metáforas e imágenes que se repiten de forma obsesiva y que prácticamente producen un efecto hipnótico en el lector. El estilo impresionista y el tono decadentista ejercen una fascinación de la que uno no puede escapar. Y encima no dejan de haber algunos toques de humor (las discusiones teológicas de los judíos, el tono poético de Herodes confrontado con el tono prosaico de su mujer que le quiere hacer bajar de las nubes). Como en las mejores tragedias. Pero antes que nada, por supuesto, es una obra de pasiones, llena de sensualidad y sexualidad. Es de una intensidad magnífica.
Prisca
Well, I read this from The Plays of Oscar Wilde, but just like The Importance of being Earnest, I’ll score it independently. This is Wilde’s interpretation of Prophet John’s story (or Prophet Yahya). Although Wilde’s version isn’t something that I have faith of (and I think it’s overlapping with the story of Prophet Yusuf--it’s just my opinion, please don’t get it wrong), I took it as intriguing as Wilde’s other works. I always love the way he plays with words and makes Salome a bit comical with Well, I read this from The Plays of Oscar Wilde, but just like The Importance of being Earnest, I’ll score it independently. This is Wilde’s interpretation of Prophet John’s story (or Prophet Yahya). Although Wilde’s version isn’t something that I have faith of (and I think it’s overlapping with the story of Prophet Yusuf--it’s just my opinion, please don’t get it wrong), I took it as intriguing as Wilde’s other works. I always love the way he plays with words and makes Salome a bit comical with the conversation of the banquet’s guests. Some parts are eerie, for example when Herod hears the clap of enormous wings, which is meant to be the angel of death. By the way, I think Salome is an archetype of femme fatale.

These lines represent today’s world, the way people react on wisely-said words:

The voice of Jokanaan: In that day the sun shall become black like sackcloth of hair, and the moon shall become like blood, and the stars of the heavens shall fall upon the earth like ripe figs that fall from the fig tree, and the kings of the earth shall be afraid.

Herodias: Ah! Ah! I should like to see that day of which he speaks, when the moon shall become like blood, and when the stars shall fall upon the earth like ripe figs. This prophet talks like a drunken man ... but I cannot suffer sound of his voice. I hate his voice. Command him to be silent.
Valerie
Although I am familiar with a variety of Wilde's other works, when I first read this play, I did so knowing nothing about it except its name. This is certainly a strange story, but one that takes place in a historical, biblical context. The characters seem rather flat at first, for after all they seem to repeat a good majority of their lines, but within this form of repetition comes the freedom for the characters and the play itself to make statements on a variety of subjects. The play explores Although I am familiar with a variety of Wilde's other works, when I first read this play, I did so knowing nothing about it except its name. This is certainly a strange story, but one that takes place in a historical, biblical context. The characters seem rather flat at first, for after all they seem to repeat a good majority of their lines, but within this form of repetition comes the freedom for the characters and the play itself to make statements on a variety of subjects. The play explores topics such as the relationship of the religious versus the secular, passion and love, aestheticism, and death.

This version is particular interesting for it is formatted the way Wilde has wished it to be, with the large images and the blank spaces surrounding the text. While some might argue that this formatting decision was rather superfluous of Wilde, I would claim that it adds to the overall aesthetic of the play, as well as influence our interpretations of it. The images, which are the product of Beardsley's interpretation of the work, also contribute to a certain understanding of the text which focuses more heavily on gender and sex. Overall, this was a delightful but strange read.
Caroline
The Tetrarch Herod Antipas asks his stepdaughter Salomé to dance. The latter refused only to male Herod promises what ever she wants. After dancing the dance of the seven veils, Salomé asks for the head of Jokanaan, a Prophet, on a sliver platter as a reward.

This one act tragedy is an interesting interpretation of the biblical episode of Salomé as Oscar Wilde chooses to place Salomé at the center of his play.
The author creates a fascinating female character who inspire both admiration and cruelt The Tetrarch Herod Antipas asks his stepdaughter Salomé to dance. The latter refused only to male Herod promises what ever she wants. After dancing the dance of the seven veils, Salomé asks for the head of Jokanaan, a Prophet, on a sliver platter as a reward.

This one act tragedy is an interesting interpretation of the biblical episode of Salomé as Oscar Wilde chooses to place Salomé at the center of his play.
The author creates a fascinating female character who inspire both admiration and cruelty. Salomé is both a victim and a victimizer, the incarnation of seductive lust and manipulative power and the object of an obsess-perverted desire, which eventually led to the beheading of Jokanaan.
On the contrary to the original episode Oscar Wilde creates a sexual context which is barred from the Bible.
The dance of the seven veils in itself is highly sexual a context reinforced by the importance of gazes in the play which symbolized sexual desire and privilege and a way to turn a situation to one’s advantage.
Mark Valentine
I surmise that Wilde wrote the original version of the play in French because he wanted a Parisian audience; in the fin de siecle culture, the satiation of appetite lost would be the ultimate torment.

But this play is about unrequited appetite. The Seven Deadly Sins get ample stage time in this play. I liked reading about the chase Salome gives to John the Baptist only to see Herod chase Salome.

The irony of the spectacle play is that the original version found in the New Testament must be read I surmise that Wilde wrote the original version of the play in French because he wanted a Parisian audience; in the fin de siecle culture, the satiation of appetite lost would be the ultimate torment.

But this play is about unrequited appetite. The Seven Deadly Sins get ample stage time in this play. I liked reading about the chase Salome gives to John the Baptist only to see Herod chase Salome.

The irony of the spectacle play is that the original version found in the New Testament must be read as a morality tale, but the lasciviousness in Wilde's play subverts any prescribed morality. The play soaks in a morality of vengeance.

The poetry used to relate Herod's wealth shimmers as if it were from the Song of Solomon.

Ultimately, it is erotica gone banal.
Personal Note: The Book Notes says that this play is rarely performed so I feel fortunate to be in a performance--I played Herod Antipas in the Peninsula College production in the Fall of 2014.
Cherylann
Salome wasn’t what I expected. The Wilde I knew was witty and quintessentially British. I read Salome because I love Oscar Wilde; however this play was so vastly different than his other works I was taken aback. The snooty ridiculous, clearly flawed characters (whom I love so much) were replaced by archetypical, almost ethereal beings. Where was the snobbery? I put the book away, disappointed. I was looking for a Wilde who just wasn’t present.

I ended up reading the play a second time for my com Salome wasn’t what I expected. The Wilde I knew was witty and quintessentially British. I read Salome because I love Oscar Wilde; however this play was so vastly different than his other works I was taken aback. The snooty ridiculous, clearly flawed characters (whom I love so much) were replaced by archetypical, almost ethereal beings. Where was the snobbery? I put the book away, disappointed. I was looking for a Wilde who just wasn’t present.

I ended up reading the play a second time for my comparative drama course. This time, I set aside my Wilde prejudices and read the play for what it was: a symbolist play. It was only then that I noticed the brilliant lyrical quality of the dialogue. The characters repeat the same line, more to themself than to anyone else. Each character’s one desire is chanted throughout the play; Herod’s desire for Salome to dance, the Page’s (who is enamored of the Young Syrian) need for the Young Syrian to stop looking at Salome, Salome’s want for Iokanaan. The result is a dreamlike quality that is scarcely achieved.
Tom Romig
I recently saw this performed and was so taken with the language that I wanted to read it. Oscar Wilde, who wrote the play originally in French and then did his own translation (what a guy), takes some imaginative and effective liberties with the Bible version. This Salome goes after the head of Jokanaan (John) not at her mother's bidding--though Jokanaan does verbally attack both mother and daughter--but because she lusts after him. He rejects her plea to let her kiss his mouth, something he ca I recently saw this performed and was so taken with the language that I wanted to read it. Oscar Wilde, who wrote the play originally in French and then did his own translation (what a guy), takes some imaginative and effective liberties with the Bible version. This Salome goes after the head of Jokanaan (John) not at her mother's bidding--though Jokanaan does verbally attack both mother and daughter--but because she lusts after him. He rejects her plea to let her kiss his mouth, something he can't deny her once she has his severed head. Herod, a troubled man, is also lustful...for Salome, his stepdaughter. He has some of the best lines. Example: "How red those petals are! They are like stains of blood on the cloth. That does not matter. It is not wise to find symbols in everything that one sees. It makes life too full of terrors. It were better to say that stains of blood are as lovely as rose petals. It were better far to say that."
Ron Arden
A one act play that is both thought-provoking and disconcerting in a good way. I've never come across one of those. This play, which is a poetic retelling of John the Baptist's beheading, was banned for a long time because people said it was blasphemous. Qua?
Don't we believe that that... you know... happened?
Anyhoo, it's a goodn', and it's got some pretty awe-inspiring Jesus referances, such as when John tells Salome that "there is but one who can save thee" and yet all she can think about is J A one act play that is both thought-provoking and disconcerting in a good way. I've never come across one of those. This play, which is a poetic retelling of John the Baptist's beheading, was banned for a long time because people said it was blasphemous. Qua?
Don't we believe that that... you know... happened?
Anyhoo, it's a goodn', and it's got some pretty awe-inspiring Jesus referances, such as when John tells Salome that "there is but one who can save thee" and yet all she can think about is John himself, rather than Christ. Also, there is the quote I came across in (I think) NT Wright's book, which got me interested in the play in the first place: where Herod says "I do not wish Him to [raise the dead:]. I forbid Him to do that." Dang. Talk about some proud, stupid impotance.
Wilde continues to impress me. I think there's a lot more to this guy than people commenly think, maybe more than he tried to project, too.
Siobhán Bayertz
This is quite honestly one of the weirdest things I have ever read (weird even for Oscar Wilde).

There are a lot of stories and what not that have been around before and after Wilde about Salome but this is the first one I have come across that is actually interesting.

Even in knowing that this was originally written in French, while Wilde was in exile in France and so used the language to basically thwart Queen Victoria had me wanting to read it (loving his show of the rebellious trait of an Iris This is quite honestly one of the weirdest things I have ever read (weird even for Oscar Wilde).

There are a lot of stories and what not that have been around before and after Wilde about Salome but this is the first one I have come across that is actually interesting.

Even in knowing that this was originally written in French, while Wilde was in exile in France and so used the language to basically thwart Queen Victoria had me wanting to read it (loving his show of the rebellious trait of an Irishman)

I'm sure that many are already aware of the story and that there are countless interpretations of it circulating the globe but I would still recommend reading this version. It's very short read and while not his best work as it lacks some of Wilde's usual wit and charm, it still makes for a good read.
Jaimie
Maybe I'm missing the connections, but I found that Beardsley's drawings didn't correspond at all to WIlde's text... It's not really surprising though, because Beardsley was famous for doing his own thing even when he was given a text to illustrate. None the less, I was very impressed by both the play and he illustrations on their own. Beardsley's linework and characterization were intriguing and beautiful, even if we have no actual idea of who they correspond to in the play. As for Wilde's text Maybe I'm missing the connections, but I found that Beardsley's drawings didn't correspond at all to WIlde's text... It's not really surprising though, because Beardsley was famous for doing his own thing even when he was given a text to illustrate. None the less, I was very impressed by both the play and he illustrations on their own. Beardsley's linework and characterization were intriguing and beautiful, even if we have no actual idea of who they correspond to in the play. As for Wilde's text, he carefully blended literary and biblical themes with those of common humanity (ti doesn't get much more real than the revenge of a woman scorned from love), and I found myself very attracted to Salomé's wild and determined feamel archetype.
Manish
The depiction of the Feast of Herod and Salome with the decapitated head of John the Baptist in sculptures and paintings, made me aware of the story of Salome as narrated in the Bible.

King Herod had married Salome's mother who was in fact the wife of his brother. This incestuous relationship was heavily criticized by John the Baptist. In a fit of passion and drunkenness, Herod requests Salome to dance for him and in return offered to grant her any boon she sought. Salome dances - the infamous d The depiction of the Feast of Herod and Salome with the decapitated head of John the Baptist in sculptures and paintings, made me aware of the story of Salome as narrated in the Bible.

King Herod had married Salome's mother who was in fact the wife of his brother. This incestuous relationship was heavily criticized by John the Baptist. In a fit of passion and drunkenness, Herod requests Salome to dance for him and in return offered to grant her any boon she sought. Salome dances - the infamous dance of the seven veils and asks for the head of John the Baptist to be brought to her on a shield.

Wilde's play written in the 1890's is a staight forward account of this incident with not too many twists and turns and lacking his uncharacteristic wit and humour.
Micha
Given that it forms a portion of my thesis I have no idea how to review it. You think that would make it easier, but it doesn't. I get too distracted, wanting to talk about the Beardsley illustrations, or wanting to talk about the Syrian and the Page, or how it resembles Maeterlinck in style but is really taken from Huysmans and Moreau in substance. And none of these things are very useful to a casual review! I will give you this: to say that someone's hair is like clusters of black grapes is th Given that it forms a portion of my thesis I have no idea how to review it. You think that would make it easier, but it doesn't. I get too distracted, wanting to talk about the Beardsley illustrations, or wanting to talk about the Syrian and the Page, or how it resembles Maeterlinck in style but is really taken from Huysmans and Moreau in substance. And none of these things are very useful to a casual review! I will give you this: to say that someone's hair is like clusters of black grapes is the prettiest image and makes me wish I were dark-haired (and acquainted with people who would say such a thing).
Sybil Vane
Oh WOW! Amazing.

This play is a gothic gold mine. It features a tyrannical king plagued with incestual thoughts, a femme fatale, decapitation, a myriad of symbols and omens, and Wilde's classic aestheticism.

This proves that Wilde could literally dance to any tune. Not only was his wit second to none and his comedies flawless, but he was also a gothic and tragic genius in disguise.

One thing that I must mention is that I expected a bit more lingual flair from Wilde, having read The Picture of Do Oh WOW! Amazing.

This play is a gothic gold mine. It features a tyrannical king plagued with incestual thoughts, a femme fatale, decapitation, a myriad of symbols and omens, and Wilde's classic aestheticism.

This proves that Wilde could literally dance to any tune. Not only was his wit second to none and his comedies flawless, but he was also a gothic and tragic genius in disguise.

One thing that I must mention is that I expected a bit more lingual flair from Wilde, having read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I attribute the lingual shortcomings of Salome to Lord Alfred Douglas's lack of mastery of the French language.
Debbie Hazeleger
This play straddles the brink between comedy and drama. It's fast paced, very fast paced, which lends it a comic air, but at heart it is a moralistic play detailing the death of John the Baptist (Jonakaan) and Salomé's involvement in it.

Having said that, the drama isn't overly heavy and Wilde's comic genius can still be found in more than just the fast pace of this play. The play is riddled with symbolism, and omens and signs, which all come true, and then at the end he gives Tetarch Herod thes This play straddles the brink between comedy and drama. It's fast paced, very fast paced, which lends it a comic air, but at heart it is a moralistic play detailing the death of John the Baptist (Jonakaan) and Salomé's involvement in it.

Having said that, the drama isn't overly heavy and Wilde's comic genius can still be found in more than just the fast pace of this play. The play is riddled with symbolism, and omens and signs, which all come true, and then at the end he gives Tetarch Herod these lines:

"You must not find symbols in everything you see. It makes life impossible"

My giggles could not be contained.
Jared
This is a somewhat rare to read work of Oscar Wilde, which I find sad. The office of censor in France banned the play from being performed, and it has wallowed in relative obscurity since then.

Not intended to be any sort of an accurate historical depiction, it is a great play for what it is. If you take it as a work of art, it will reward you.

I really enjoyed how each character in the play seemed to reveal who they truly were deep inside by how they viewed the personality of the moon. It was rea This is a somewhat rare to read work of Oscar Wilde, which I find sad. The office of censor in France banned the play from being performed, and it has wallowed in relative obscurity since then.

Not intended to be any sort of an accurate historical depiction, it is a great play for what it is. If you take it as a work of art, it will reward you.

I really enjoyed how each character in the play seemed to reveal who they truly were deep inside by how they viewed the personality of the moon. It was really quite fascinating.

I'd highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they'd enjoy Shakespeare, but find themselves intimidated by the length of his works and/or the language.
Zainab Al saba'a
Oscar Wilde is simply fascinating! You would begin to see a pattern after reading a few of his works, however, this is different. Originally written in French, it is a play that takes place in an earlier century, resembling greek mythology and legends. It is quite interesting, smart and poetic. Although for me, I didn't like the fact that the characters are real while the story is fiction. I felt it is disrespectful to bring the pure name of prophet John (Jokanon in the play, يحيى بالعربية) into Oscar Wilde is simply fascinating! You would begin to see a pattern after reading a few of his works, however, this is different. Originally written in French, it is a play that takes place in an earlier century, resembling greek mythology and legends. It is quite interesting, smart and poetic. Although for me, I didn't like the fact that the characters are real while the story is fiction. I felt it is disrespectful to bring the pure name of prophet John (Jokanon in the play, يحيى بالعربية) into this mess. If only the names where different, I would have given it 5 stars. I appreciate Wilde's creativity, but not when it comes to religious character of all faith
Allison
I picked this up to read while I had breakfast, and though this is partially because the play is so short, I finished it before I left the table. Being as it is a Biblical story, it's a bit less snappy than some of Wilde's other work, and I do think that if Herod had ever taken a lit class, he may have noticed that he was foreshadowing like crazy and stepped back slightly. I really liked the way that conversations drifted in and out of the foreground here, though, especially towards the start of I picked this up to read while I had breakfast, and though this is partially because the play is so short, I finished it before I left the table. Being as it is a Biblical story, it's a bit less snappy than some of Wilde's other work, and I do think that if Herod had ever taken a lit class, he may have noticed that he was foreshadowing like crazy and stepped back slightly. I really liked the way that conversations drifted in and out of the foreground here, though, especially towards the start of the play. Even if it wasn't exactly what I'd expected, I was more than interested enough in this to zip through it and enjoy it as I did.
Bruce
Actually, I read this play in English, not Spanish. This dark and intense play was the source of the libretto for Richard Strauss’ opera of the same name; it is impossible for me to read this work without hearing Strauss’ music. Wilde has a way of plumbing the depths of decadence that is unparalleled, I think, using language that is florid and obsessive, images that are rich and extreme. How easy it is to understand why this play was banned from performance for so long, why it so upset people of Actually, I read this play in English, not Spanish. This dark and intense play was the source of the libretto for Richard Strauss’ opera of the same name; it is impossible for me to read this work without hearing Strauss’ music. Wilde has a way of plumbing the depths of decadence that is unparalleled, I think, using language that is florid and obsessive, images that are rich and extreme. How easy it is to understand why this play was banned from performance for so long, why it so upset people of its time. Magnificent language and imagination!
Anthony
Oscar Wilde's crowning achievement as an artist. This play is not bogged down by the semantic witticism of many of his others but is a pure expression of fin de siecle decadence and despair. The things that we desire the most are the very things that will destroy us. Wilde weaves black and white shadows with his prose that are so sludgy you can practically see the ink pool and bleed on the page. This play is ambient and atmospheric, like a prophetic dream of an ancient tragedy. I could read this Oscar Wilde's crowning achievement as an artist. This play is not bogged down by the semantic witticism of many of his others but is a pure expression of fin de siecle decadence and despair. The things that we desire the most are the very things that will destroy us. Wilde weaves black and white shadows with his prose that are so sludgy you can practically see the ink pool and bleed on the page. This play is ambient and atmospheric, like a prophetic dream of an ancient tragedy. I could read this play a million times and never get tired of it.
Mariam Abood
This is one of my all time favourite plays despite only being an act long. I think this play showcased Wilde's fantastic writing ability, as he was able to create a powerful, suspenseful play, in just one act.

Salome follows the biblical story of the princess Salome who dances for Herod. In just one act, we are able to observe dramatic character developments and plot twists, as Salome manipulates the situation to suit herself, against most people, primarily her mother's, wishes.

Just stunning, abs This is one of my all time favourite plays despite only being an act long. I think this play showcased Wilde's fantastic writing ability, as he was able to create a powerful, suspenseful play, in just one act.

Salome follows the biblical story of the princess Salome who dances for Herod. In just one act, we are able to observe dramatic character developments and plot twists, as Salome manipulates the situation to suit herself, against most people, primarily her mother's, wishes.

Just stunning, absolutely genius.
Tabitha
Almost immediately after my initial read of this play a couple of days ago, I rated it as having two stars. The familiarity of the story of John the Baptist from my Catholic grammar school years made the plot a little stale for me, I guess. However, over the past couple of days I've noticed certain symbols and metaphors from the play surfacing from my subconscious and inspiring my personal work, and the beauty of the piece continues to reveal itself slowly. Something about Salomé resonated with Almost immediately after my initial read of this play a couple of days ago, I rated it as having two stars. The familiarity of the story of John the Baptist from my Catholic grammar school years made the plot a little stale for me, I guess. However, over the past couple of days I've noticed certain symbols and metaphors from the play surfacing from my subconscious and inspiring my personal work, and the beauty of the piece continues to reveal itself slowly. Something about Salomé resonated with me. I'm bumping it up to 3 stars :)
Matthew Leeth
How could anyone NOT put this as five stars? It's a classic. It's beautifully written and the story is amazing. Sometimes you have to think about what some of the characters say. Sometimes you don't. Salome herself was crazy! Although, it was sad when they killed her. Herod told her that he would give her anything she wanted if she would simply dance for him and she did. She got what she wanted too, the head of the prophet that she wanted to kiss. Then she was killed.

Everyone should read this. P How could anyone NOT put this as five stars? It's a classic. It's beautifully written and the story is amazing. Sometimes you have to think about what some of the characters say. Sometimes you don't. Salome herself was crazy! Although, it was sad when they killed her. Herod told her that he would give her anything she wanted if she would simply dance for him and she did. She got what she wanted too, the head of the prophet that she wanted to kiss. Then she was killed.

Everyone should read this. Plus I'm excited about Al Pacino's version of this legendary tale.

:D
Chris
A classic "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" story. What's especially provoking is that the victim is based on the fate of John the Baptist. As you can imagine, it caused an uproar of controversy in the 1890s, yet still managed to be translated many times.

Oscar Wilde subdued his famous wit in Salome and experimented with poetry and passion instead. It worked like a charm- I was thoroughly enthralled by this dramatic play.
Wesley Young
Here we have a new translation of this play in modern american ideoms. While the language does not have that special ballet of language that a english version by Wilde would have brought, it does make for a far better read than the Lord Alfred Douglas translation ever did. I was pleasentlh surprised to find the copy I have purchased was a limited editon. Bound in leadtehr and autographed by the translator.
Janice


It was interesting to read this play just after watching the 2009 production of Salome by the San Francisco Opera this afternoon. Though the play by Wilde provided the plot and text for the opera I really enjoyed actually reading the words as they were written. We don't give Oscar enough credence today but he was one of our best playwrights. Powerful play and opera. They must have been quite shocking at the time they were originally published and performed (1895? and 1905).
Ali
This play somehow reminds me of my childhood. I remember reading the story of John the baptist *yahya bin zakaryah in islam* when i was just a kiddo from a collection of prophet's stories Dad sort of burgled them from the mosque lool. good ole days xD
I kinda forgot the story but this did a lot of refreshin up. And i really liked Salome', tho one advice to all men out there: NEVER REJECT A WOMEN OR ALAS THY HEAD IZ LYING ON A SILVER DISH WHICH WOULD BE ,UMM, SEXUALLY ASSAULTED *_*
Liz
Wilde's drama feeds upon the Biblical Tale of John the Baptist's beheading and his Symbolist contemporaries obsession with Salome, the young girl who requested the prophet's head. For Wilde, Salome gains a dangerous, compelling agency; she is both a virginal princess and reveling whore. The drama is completely self-aware and indulgences in its own decadence, Orientalism, and power. A must-read for all Wildeans.
Kate
"Ah ! Ah ! pourquoi ne m'as-tu pas regardée, Iokanaan ? Si tu m'avais regardée tu m'aurais aimée. Je sais bien que tu m'aurais aimée, et le mystère de l'amour est plus grand que le mystère de la mort. Il ne faut regarder que l'amour."

Eerie and beautiful, just like a dreamy nightmare.

How I wish I could read this tragedy fluently in French, but I can't (It's a shame because I have learned French for two years).
Fred Kohn
Well, I thought this was great, but then again I'm partial to Strauss's opera. I can see why some people might think it was all over the top. I am particularly grateful to the Dover edition for introducing me to the sketches of Aubrey Beardsley, who looks to me to have been way ahead of his time. (This could just be my ignorance talking). At any rate, I now have a book of his sketches along with interpretations reserved at the library.
Paul Hoehn
I actually read the German abridged translation of Salome that was used as the libretto for the Strauss opera of the same name. This play is far more than a retelling of the biblical tale, revealing psychosexual anxieties both universal and specific to Wilde's times. Here is a work that fully utilizes the potential of the stage as a venue for searingly insightful social and artistic commentary as well as entertainment.
Angela Randall
Completed reading this play in one evening for a book club. At first I was hesitant to read it. I am not too much into reading about biblical figures and trying to understand their references, but I took the time to read up about some of the play's background first and read the relevant passages from the Bible to get the context. It is a short play that packs a wallop of emotion and power. That is all I can say to avoid spoilers.
Niklas Pivic
Very well-edited, newly translated three-language edition (French, English, Swedish) of Wilde's quite short and very quickly banned play. The annotations are very good, placing the script in a biblical and historical context, even noting where Wilde, for example, uses phrases in his other works. Not my fave tome by Wilde, but still very readable.
Derek Rathbun
I usually don't really enjoy biblical tales but this was rather good.

First off, its written by Oscar Wilde and second it has a rather dark and disturbing ending which stays with you.

The mad king Herod tells the dancer Salomé that if she dances for him, he will give her whatever her heart desires. Just so happens that she desires the head of John the Baptist!
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