"Salome" (or in French: "Salomé" ) is a
tragedyby Oscar Wilde.The original 1891version of the play was in French. Three years later an English translation was published. The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Jokanaan ( John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the " Dance of the Seven Veils".
Versions and premieres
Rehearsals for the play's debut on the London stage began in 1892, but were halted when the
Lord Chamberlain's licensor of plays banned "Salomé" on the basis that it was illegal to depict Biblical characters on the stage. The play was first published in French in 1893, and an English translation, with illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, in 1894. On the Dedicationpage, Wilde indicates Lord Alfred Bruce Douglasas translator. In fact, Wilde had quarrelled about the translation with Lord Alfred because he thought his work unsatisfactory; the English text appears to be Wilde's own work, with Lord Alfred's as a basis.
The play eventually premiered in
Parisin 1896, while Wilde was in prison. When asked why he had chosen to write Salomé in French, Wilde cited Maeterlinck as an example of the interesting effect resulting when an author writes in a language not his own.Fact|date=May 2008In June 1906 the play was presented privately with " A Florentine Tragedy" by the Literary Theatre Society at King's Hall, Covent Garden. The Lord Chamberlain's ban was not lifted for almost forty years; the first pulic performance of "Salomé" in England was at the Savoy Theatreon October 5, 1931.
Many view Wilde's Salomé as a superb composite of earlier treatments of the theme overlaid with Belgian playwright
Maurice Maeterlinck's characteristic methodical diction. Although the "kissing of the head" element was used in Heine and even Heywood's production, Wilde's ingenuity was to move it to the play's climax. While his debts are undeniable, there are some interesting contributions in Wilde's treatment, most notably being his persistent use of parallels between Salomé and the moon.
Scholars like Nassaar point out that Wilde employs a number of the images favored by Israel's kingly poets and that the moon is meant to suggest the pagan goddess
Cybele, who, like Salomé, was obsessed with preserving her virginity and thus took pleasure in destroying male sexuality.Fact|date=February 2008
Wilde's Salomé in later art
Wilde's version of the story has since spawned several other artistic works, the most famous of which is
Richard Strauss's operaof the same name. The Strauss opera moves the center of interest to Salome, away from Herod Antipas.
Maud Allancreated a production entitled "Vision of Salomé", which debuted in Vienna. It was based loosely on Wilde's play. Her version of the Dance of the Seven Veils became famous (and to some notorious) and she was billed as "The Salomé Dancer". A production of the play led to a libel case in 1918, when Allan was accused of promoting sexual immorality.
The play, and most of the later filmed versions, have Herod as the center of the action. A strong actor, as with
Al Pacinoin his 1980s Circle in the Squareproduction (and in 2006, in a Los Angelesproduction), or as with the Ken Russellmovie Salome's Last Dance, Herod completely dominates the play.
The 1961 Biblical epic "King of Kings" uses lines of dialogue original to Wilde rather than the Gospel for some scenes involving Herod Antipas, John the Baptist, Herodias and Salome.
Nick Cavewrote a 5-act play entitled "Salomé" which is included in the 1988 collection of Cave's writings, "King Ink" (the play alludes to the Gospel account, Wilde's play, and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes's 1869 painting, "The Beheading of John the Baptist").
Also heavily influenced by the play are
The Smashing Pumpkins' video for the song " Stand Inside Your Love" and U2's Mysterious Ways and Salome.
Caffe Cino playwright
Doric Wilsonwrote a comic re-imagination of Wilde's Salome entitled "Now She Dances!".
Salome is metaphorically referenced in the anime
Blood+.Spanish painter Gino Rubert created a series of pictures in 2005 [Spanish ed.: ISBN 8481095117 German edition, Club premiere 2006, without ISBN]
Project Gutenberge-text of Wilde's "Salomé" (French): http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1339
*Full text of [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-salome?id=WilSalf&tag=public&
] (French) from the University of Virginia Library
* [http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/salome/ Study guide] containing analysis, glossary and historical background.
*Full text of [http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/browse-salome?id=WilSalo&
] (English) from the University of Virginia Library
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Salome (disambiguation) — Salome or Salomé is the English version (derived through Greek Σαλωμη) of a name that in Hebrew reads שלומית ( Shlomit ) and is derived from Shalom שלום, meaning peace . It is a common female first name in Israel. In Latin and German the name is… … Wikipedia
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Salome — /seuh loh mee/ for 1, 3; /sal euh may / for 2, n. 1. Also, Salomé. the daughter of Herodias, who is said to have danced for Herod Antipas and so pleased him that he granted her mother s request for the head of John the Baptist. Matt. 14:6 11 (not … Universalium