Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Salome by Oscar Wilde

Synopsis:  The play tells in one act the Biblical story of Salome, stepdaughter of the tetrarch Herod Antipas, who, to her stepfather's dismay but to the delight of her mother Herodias, requests the head of Iokanaan (John the Baptist) on a silver platter as a reward for dancing the dance of the seven veils.

My thoughts: This was an interesting interpretation of the Biblical story of the beheading of John the Baptist. It strayed away from what is in the Bible and turned into a story that most people have come to associate Salome for: a seductress.

This play told the story of the power Salome had. Salome was a beautiful princess who "wears a yellow veil, and whose feet are of silver...One might fancy she was dancing" (3). Salome took advantage on how men reacted to her. She was able to get what she wanted. Almost. However, when she wanted to kiss Iokanaan (John the Baptist), she was denied. So how does she react? By asking for his head.

Learning who Salome was and where the idea of the Dance of the Seven Veils came from was thought provoking. I wanted to know more of why Salome did the things she did and I wonder what really consisted in the dance.

Unfortunately because it is a play, much of this is not explained. One has to see this play performed to get a better sense as to what was happening and even then one cannot be sure because each performance might have a different interpretation as to what Wilde wrote. I just wish I knew more as to why Mr. Wilde chose to portray Salome in that manner.

In all, this was an interesting take on an old Biblical story. It was very educational to learn where the idea of the Dance of the Seven Veils came from and why Salome was seen as a temptress. I just wish that this was written as a novel instead. I rate it:

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