Salome is Oscar Wilde's most experimental-and controversial-play.
In its own time, the play, written in French, was described by a reviewer as "an arrangement in blood and ferocity, morbid, bizarre, repulsive, and offensive in its adaptation of scriptural phraseology of situations the reverse of sacred." None, however, could deny the importance of Wilde's creation.
Contemporary audiences and reviewers variously regarded Salome as the symbol of a thrilling modernity, a challenge to patriarchy, a confession of desire, a sign of moral decay, a new form of art, and a revolt against the restraints of Victorian society.
Less well known than Wilde's beloved comedies, Salome is as enduringly modern and relevant. This edition uses the English translation by Wilde's lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, and overseen by Wilde himself.
Appendices detail the play's sources and provide extensive materials on its contemporary reception and dramatic productions.