Cherylann's Reviews > Salome

Salome by Oscar Wilde
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's review
Jul 25, 11

really liked it
Read from December 24 to 25, 2010

Salome wasn’t what I expected. The Wilde I knew was witty and quintessentially British. I read Salome because I love Oscar Wilde; however this play was so vastly different than his other works I was taken aback. The snooty ridiculous, clearly flawed characters (whom I love so much) were replaced by archetypical, almost ethereal beings. Where was the snobbery? I put the book away, disappointed. I was looking for a Wilde who just wasn’t present.

I ended up reading the play a second time for my comparative drama course. This time, I set aside my Wilde prejudices and read the play for what it was: a symbolist play. It was only then that I noticed the brilliant lyrical quality of the dialogue. The characters repeat the same line, more to themself than to anyone else. Each character’s one desire is chanted throughout the play; Herod’s desire for Salome to dance, the Page’s (who is enamored of the Young Syrian) need for the Young Syrian to stop looking at Salome, Salome’s want for Iokanaan. The result is a dreamlike quality that is scarcely achieved.

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