Oscar Wilde, Salome

Matthew Kaiser (University of California, Merced)
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Wilde’s one-act tragedy


, an account of the beheading of John the Baptist and of the princess who danced for his death, is the fruit of his late-autumn 1891 sojourn in Paris, where the Irish playwright was “studying the curious and fascinating development of Art in France” (Wilde, 2000, p. 499). Written in French in 1891–92 and translated into English in 1893–94, with the assistance of Wilde’s undergraduate lover Alfred Douglas, the avant-garde play is his most experimental and controversial work. It was not until 11 February 1896, when Wilde was incarcerated at Reading Gaol in Great Britain, that


debuted for one night only in Paris, produced by actor-director Aurélien Lugné-Poe’s (1869–1940) theatre company Théâtre de l’Œuvre. Lugné-Poe played the…

6711 words

Citation: Kaiser, Matthew. "Salome". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 August 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2294, accessed 22 June 2024.]

2294 Salome 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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