Imagination needs inspiration to bloom.


Salome by Oscar Wilde

The classic, biblical tale has been portrayed many times, in different ways. Oscar Wilde is just one among many authors that saw the potential in the tragedy and made the story his own, as a play. The main story about the tetrarch Herod's daughter that gets John the Baptist's head in exchange for dancing, is the same. But details are different. Historically, Salome was a more passive character, not well defined, without many lines. Originally, she didn't even have a name. She was just a price for her mother to pay for her own will. Oscar Wilde made her an own individual, with thoughts and feelings. Of course, she is still a victim of the patriarchy, but she also has power which she knows how to use. Tragically, the only power women had, in most cases, was their body.

Oscar Wilde's Salome is an interesting character. She isn't helpless in the same way as other versions, but a victim to her own lust, in the same way as Herod is portrayed. She uses Herod objectifying her to objectify John the Baptist. She does anything to finally be able to kiss him - or abuse him. This version is more about Salome's lust and will than Herod's lust and Herodias will. In this version it's Salome that wants John the Baptist's head. Since she can't master him in life, it has to be in death. There's no silver platter. Like a brutish conqueror, Salome takes hold of his severed head and kisses it. In this way, Salome's part isn't passive, but active, complicated, vengeful and ruthless. However, in the end, one might speculate about who is the most powerful character.

Oscar Wilde's prose isn't as rich and full of wit as it usually is. Whether it is a deliberate choice or not is unclear, but Salome shouldn't be about the prose. It's a simple tale with many complicated themes and way of interpretations.

Inga kommentarer:

Skicka en kommentar