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Salome : a tragedy in one act by Oscar Wilde

Salome : a tragedy in one act (original 1893; edition 1894)

by Oscar Wilde, Alfred Bruce Douglas (Translator), Aubrey Beardsley (Illustrator)

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991148,651 (3.61)61
Title:Salome : a tragedy in one act
Authors:Oscar Wilde
Other authors:Alfred Bruce Douglas (Translator), Aubrey Beardsley (Illustrator)
Info:London : Boston : Elkin Mathews & John Lane ; Copeland & Day, 1894.
Collections:Wilde's own works, Your library
Tags:Drama, Plays

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Salomé by Oscar Wilde (1893)



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English (12)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
Note to Oscar -- stick to the witty repartee and the mocking of society that is your trademark. I could not sit through this wordy, heavy piece if my life depended on it. The guy who was beheaded was the lucky one. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
Salome by Oscar Wilde was a very strange play. The usual witty, humorous dialogs which I expected in his play was totally absent. This actually turned out to be a very depressing book. I could not relate to the protagonist Salome one bit I felt she was an eccentric character. First of all Salome desiring a Baptist was something very odd and on top that she wanted him very badly and then when he rejected her at once she took a very drastic step to get him back which was horrible and disturbing. I am unable to understand what to make out of this play!! ( )
  Versha.Bharat | May 30, 2014 |
Wilde's writing is the center piece of this play about Herod, Salome, and John the Baptist. A fine, quick read, with a very fine introduction by Holbrook Jackson (in this 1943 Heritage Press edition). ( )
  Osbaldistone | Dec 12, 2013 |
Wilde’s short one-act play and take on the Biblical story of the death of John the Baptist (Mark 6:17-29, Matthew 14:3-11). The tale is fairly simple. John has condemned King Herod for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, angering Herodias. Herod also lusts after her daughter Salome, and after she dances her famous dance of the seven veils for him, he grants her one wish. Herodias then convinces her to use it on asking for John’s head on a platter.

In Wilde’s spin, there are additional emotions in play. A soldier lusts after Salome and commits suicide when he sees her lusting in turn after John (Iokanaan in the play) for the whiteness of his body, the blackness of his hair, and the redness of his mouth. John’s rejection of Salome provides her with additional motivation for having him killed. Herod hears her proclamation of love unrequited and orders her killed at the end as well.

This edition is adorned with twenty full-page illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, some of which I saw at a recent art exhibition of the 19th century Aesthetic Movement in the San Francisco Legion of Honor. Beardsley’s self-proclaimed goal was to be grotesque, and that certainly comes across in his highly stylized, often bizarre drawings. Not exactly my favorite type of art, but it does add interest.

Despite the sex, violence, and occasional jab at religion, the play seems pretty innocuous by today’s standards, but it was controversial in its day. Wilde reacted by commenting that it was a mirror in which everyone could see himself: the artist, art; the dull, dullness; the vulgar, vulgarity. Perhaps that was a clever way to deflect criticism, for I can hardly want to say I saw mediocrity with this in mind. Maybe I’ll just say I saw simplicity.

On God:
“The Nubian: The gods of my country are very fond of blood. Twice in the year we sacrifice to them young men and maidens: fifty young men and a hundred maidens. But I am afraid that we never give them quite enough, for they are very harsh to us.
The Cappadocian: In my country there are no gods left. The Romans have driven them out. There are some who say that they have hidden themselves in the mountains, but I do not believe it. Three nights I have been on the mountains seeking them everywhere. I did not find them, and at last I called them by their names, and they did not come. I think they are dead.
First Soldier: The Jews worship a God that one cannot see.”

On rejection:
“What shall I do now, Iokanaan? Neither the floods nor the great waters can quench my passion. I was a princess, and thou didst scorn me. I was a virgin, and thou didst take my virginity from me. I was chaste, and thou didst fill my veins with fire…Ah! ah! wherefore didst thou not look at me? If thou hadst looked at me thou hadst loved me. Well I know that thou wouldst have loved me, and the mystery of Love is greater than the mystery of Death.” ( )
  gbill | Apr 15, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (137 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilde, Oscarprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilde, OscarTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Angelo, ValentiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbasino, AlbertoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beardsley, AubreyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Derain, Andresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Douglas, Lord AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, VyvyanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porzio, DomenicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valenti, AngeloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vassos, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Scene. A great terrace in the Palace of Herod, set above the banqueting-hall. Some soldiers are leaning over the balcony. To the right there is a gigantic staircase, to the left, at the back, an old cistern surrounded by a wall of green broze. The moon is shining very brightly.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486218309, Paperback)

Lord Alfred Douglas' translation of Wilde's great play — originally written in French — with all well-known Beardsley illustrations, including the front and back cover designs, the title and List of Illustrations page decorations, the original cul de lampe, as well as three suppressed plates. Features an introduction by Robert Ross.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A dark tale of hubris, lust, and self-destruction as told by a man who famously fell prey to those same impulses in his own life. Oscar Wilde wrote his original interpretation of the Biblical story of Salome in French, and the play was so controversial that no theatre in England would produce it for nearly four decades.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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