ABSTRACT

Salome can seem strange in Wilde’s corpus. The play appears to be an uneasy bedfellow with the society comedies which dominate our received picture of his dramatic work, compounded by the fact that Salome has been so rarely performed since its publication in French in 1893. The features which set Salome apart are obvious. It was written in French; its subject matter is mythological, spiritual, sym­ bolist; its dialogue is oddly inflected and reminiscent of ‘The Song of Songs’; it is a tragedy; it was never performed in Britain during Wilde’s lifetime yet it managed on two occasions to create a sensa­ tion in the press.