Salome

A play by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) composed in 1891, and inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé’s unfinished Symbolist poem Herodias and by Gustave Moreau’s paintings of Salome. Initially Wilde wrote in prose, then tried a poetic version, before deciding to explore his subject in a play. It was first published in French, in February 1893. When a stage version was rehearsed in London, the production was banned: its depiction of biblical characters was illegal and deeply controversial. Subsequently Lord Alfred Douglas attempted an English translation, although his language skills proved woefully inadequate. The first English language publication (1894) included striking illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley. Wilde’s play was not performed in Britain until 1931.

Creator:
Oscar Wilde
Published:
1891
Forms:
Drama
Genre:
Romantic literature
Literary period:
Romantic

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