Power And Posility In Oscar Wilde's Salome By Oscar Wilde

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Power and privilege: How and why is a social group represented in a particular way?

Oscar Wilde’s Salome, published in French in 1893 and translated to English the following year, is a biblical one-act play that revolves around the central themes of gender roles, institutionalized misogyny, as well as the ‘the gaze’ and its effect. Being a somewhat controversial play, it was denied the right to be staged in Britain until 1931 (Price & Tydeman, 1) as it was illegal to depict biblical figures in public performances. During the time Salome was published and staged, the play suffered from heavy criticism regarding its homoerotic indications, particularly in relation to Wilde’s, then questionable and outrageous, lifestyle. The underlying theme
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The Young Syrian has slain himself! The young captain has slain himself! He has slain himself who was my friend! I gave him a little box of perfumes and earrings wrought in silver, and now he has killed himself! Ah, did he not say that some misfortune would happen? I, too, said it, and it has come to pass. Well I knew that the moon was seeking a dead thing, but I knew not that it was he whom she sought. Ah! Why did I not hide him from the moon? If I had hidden him in a cavern she would not have seen him. (lines …show more content…
The demonization and scapegoating of the moon, which throughout the play symbolizes and identifies with Salome and her sexual desires, suggests a form of rejection of the female sexuality embodied by Salome, thus supporting the homoerotic inclinations between the two characters. In addition, shortly after this the Page speaks of the times they shared together: "He was my brother, and nearer to me than a brother. [...] he used to tell me of the things of his country. He spake very low. The sound of his voice was like the sound of the flute, of one who playeth upon the flute. Also he had much joy to gaze at himself in the river" (l. 393-400). Firstly, the Page expressing his closeness to the Young Syrian as being closer than a brother could be a reference made to the Bible, namely to the figures of Jonathan and David, and their friendship in the books of Samuel. Observations made by scholars, such as John Bosnell, suggest that the relationship between David and Jonathan is more than merely a platonic friendship, and is rather classified as a romantic and intimate love, despite the potential lack of physical intimacy (135-137). Moreover, the Syrian’s behaviour of gazing at himself in the river is consistent with the story of Narcissus, who, after seeing his reflection in a

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