PHILIP DOSSICK

Peaches and Plumbs Booksellers

Salome - Oscar Wilde

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Salome - Oscar Wilde

5.65

Originally published in French, Salomé was one of Oscar Wilde’s most controversial plays, as it depicted scenes from the Bible on stage. Translated into English by Wilde and his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, the play did not premiere until after Wilde was imprisoned. Wilde’s extrapolation of Salomé’s character from the biblical story is thought to have influenced many retellings of the original tale.

Oscar Wilde’s adaptation of the biblical story delves into Salomé’s character and motivations when Herod begs Salomé to dance against the wishes of her mother, offering her whatever she wants in exchange. She complies, and then asks, in the finest tradition, for the one thing Herod has no intention of giving her: the head of John the Baptist.

Brimming with powerful imagery and symbolism, (its intensity sustained by moments of exquisite beauty), Salomé has delighted audiences for well over one hundred years.

OSCAR WILDE (1854–1900) was an Irish poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, and short story writer. He is perhaps best known for Salomé, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, De Profundis, The Ballad of Reading Gaol, and The Picture of Dorian Gray. He is considered a literary colossus, and a central figure in the development of the modern novel.

He was notably celebrated as an artist persecuted for his homosexuality, a martyr for the cause of gay rights, and prosecuted for “acts of gross indecency with other male persons,” (sodomy) subsequently found guilty, and sentenced to two years hard labor at Reading Gaol prison. He died at the age of 45 and was buried in Paris.

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