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Oscar Wilde’s Salome, The Mortiferous Virgin
Charlotte Riedberger (Université Paris 7, 1996)

What is there left us to say about Salomé, when so many talents have tried their art upon the mythic little princess of Judea; when so much has been drawn, painted, sculpted and eventually written about her? She and her ‘authors’ have been the objects of so much criticism, metacriticism, and so on, that it seems a critical adventure hardly worth attempting. Besides, provocative Oscar Wilde worked his hardest to contrive a text as indecipherable as possible to challenge his readers’ expectations. « To be incomprehensible is a gift, not every one has it »(2), was he wont to saying. He probably would have laughed hysterically at the extent of trouble critics went to prove his text could be analysed systematically, successfully and/or with brilliancy, as he professed that « All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril »(3). It seems that Wilde was, anachronistically, a deconstructionist even before he was a decadent.

Anyhow, his work is laden with symbols, and perhaps more especially Salomé, a play written in French to ‘defray the chronicles’ and compete with Mallarmé(4), Flaubert, Huysmans, Maeterlinck, Heine, Laforgue… not to cite the most obvious. But his symbolism is a token of extremely carefully wrought thoughts, rather than subconscious choices.
Unlike Stevenson, for instance, who boastfully disclaimed authorship and lent his Brownies nearly all the merit for the creative aspects of his fiction(5), Wilde would have recoiled in shame had he ever been the object of similar assumptions. Wilde’s writings involved a high degree of consciousness and calculation. When he decided to write Dorian Gray, Wilde did so knowingly. He knew of the works that had dealt with the theme of the double before him, and deliberately threw in his much of his own thinking and wordly experience. Whereas Stevenson, who was no less informed, let his dream form the basis of his narrative. So that, although deeply influenced by Stevenson as both moralist and psychologist, and in spite of the fact that he had drawn heavily on Jekyll and Hyde for the composition of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde declared that R.L.S. would have produced better work had he lived in Gower Street rather than Samoa(6). Perhaps did Wilde think that Stevenson’s lack of affected sophistication was detrimental to his art; indeed, Stevenson could scarcely rival Wilde’s Oxfordian education. However, while both Wilde and Stevenson chose to try their prose on the same subject matter, one used complete artifice and sublimated his unconscious, the other relied upon his unconscious and then made use of his craftsmanship.

When he chose to tackle the un-original theme of the virginal ‘femme fatale’, Wilde’s plan was to obey one of his many life-long mottos that artifice alone was original and true to life and « the work that seems to us the most natural and simple product of its kind is probably the result of the most deliberate and self-conscious effort »(7). As self-conscious expression of a mythic and decadent idol, Salomé was true to life, or at least, true to her time. This was a strong instigation for further critical discussions of the myth. However, Salomé had more than one string to her bow. Like Dorian Gray, the play dealt with the theme of the Double, though perhaps in a more disguised fashion. Beardsley understood it well, who represented Iokanaan and Salomé as mirror reflections of each other. So critics reflected upon the Doppelgänger effect, as well as the tripartite structure of the play. They dipped into psycho-analytic interpretations of the fear of virginity, the castration anguish, and incest taboos. They surveyed the incoherencies of the two textual versions.

But in their haste to establish patterns and norms, they failed to ponder over the relationship between the structure and the theme of the double, or the linguistic discrepancies between French and English, which in fact, require closer examination. What more, they overlooked the fact that the play was originally meant to be titled « The Decapitation of Salomé ». Needless to say, the title was altered but so was the ending. Ellmann argues that « Wilde eventually gave up the decapitation of Salomé, as too pat and repetetive »(8). And, in Wilde’s version, Salomé ends up crushed under the shields of Herod’s soldiers. Now, further attention should be brought to two other typically Wildean amendments, namely the preponderance of Herod(9) over Salomé, and Herodias’s eclipse for the benefit of her daughter. Indeed, Wilde rebelled against « the docility of the Biblical Salome, who simply obeys Herodias, and once she receives the head conveys it to her mother »(10). So, Oscar opted for a more substantial character. These various unattended aspects of Wilde’s oeuvre seem to us to call for analysis, however pointless this foray may appear to the reader. Thus, we shall contemplate the possible unconscious motives for Wilde’s arbitrary choices in his Salomé as contrasted with the original Biblical myth and consequential legends, as well as Wilde’s own reasoning.

That Salomé should count one act only is a calculated choice too. What can it reflect as to its author? For, back in the late nineteenth century, tragedy still abode by Seneca’s dramatic five-act structure, and this was even truer of French drama (and so, for that matter, should it have been of an ‘English’ play written in French and intended to become a landmark in French literature), while plays of three or four acts were perhaps the commonest form for comedy, modelled after such oeuvres as Chekhov’s and Ibsen’s.(11)

Thus, as the five-act structure was arguably the preferred form for tragedies, Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, despite its tragic end, should perhaps be seen as a comedy… Unless one assumes he ignored tradition and imitated the Greeks whose dramas -whether tragedy or comedy- were staged without interruption.

 But perhaps, more judiciously, one should consider Salomé as a composite of genres, as it appears to be(12):

– a Revenge Tragedy as it deals with the theme of retribution in a bloody and gruesome manner, involving suicide (the Young Syrian’s), murders (Iokanaan’s and Salomé’s) and supernatural phenomena (the moon and Iokanaan’s prophesies reflect the irrevocable comdemnation of the onlookers);

– a Heroic Drama imitated after French classical tragedy in so far as it respects the rule of the three unities13 as the play is based upon a single incident (the Biblical account of the circumstances leading to the decapitation of John the Baptist) occuring within the space of twenty-four hours, and in but one place (on the terrace before Herod’s palace). However, Wilde certainly didn’t compose rhyming couplets, and the themes of love, honour and duty to one’s country are dealt with sarcastically, as vice and corruption triumph over virtue.

Albeit in one act, Salomé is divided into three parts which correspond with time changes in the development of the play and are punctuated by exits and entrances of actors, and it may be assumed, modifications of lighting effect:

– the first part (44-90) introduces the main hypotheses, namely the moon as mirror of people’s emotive perceptions, the association of Salome with the moon, Salome’s beauty, her readiness to transgress together with her cruelty, the correlation between insistent gazes and death, and acquaints us with two antithetical characters: Salomé and Iokanaan; it closes with the suicide of Narraboth and Herod’s arrival on the scene.

– in the second part (90-126) the Tetrarch discusses matters of religion, sociology and philosophy with his wife Herodias, while attempting at seducing her daughter, Salomé;

-in the third part (pp. 126-164) Salomé finally agrees to perform her dance of the seven veils before Herod after he has sworn to grant her whatever she might request. She asks for the prophet’s head. Bound to his oath, he has Iokanaan beheaded and the head brought on a silver charger to the princess. Salome seizes the head and kisses its mouth. Revulsed, Herod orders his soldiers to crush her beneath their shields.

As can be observed, these three parts are of approximately equal lengths, counting respectively fourty-six, thirty-six and thirty-eight pages. Beardsley’s illustrations are not to be taken into account, as they are evenly distributed throughout the play.

Therefore, one can conclude to a tripartite structure of the play14. The Tripartite structure is echoed and re-echoed throughout the play, as most words and things are repeated three times15. Thus in each part is there a person looking at and lusting after another:

– in the first part, the young Syrian observes and desires Salome,
– in the second, Salome observes and desires the prophet,
– in the third, Herod watches and lusts after Salome.

In the first part, the page warns the Syrian against the danger of watching the princess too closely (46, 50, 60, 62), in the second, Heriodias reproaches Herod for his insistant gaze upon her daughter (90, 98, 100, 120, 124) in the third, Salome reproaches Iokanaan complainingly for not having looked at her (160, 162). Similarly, the princess expresses thrice her desire to meet Iokanaan:

« I would speak with him » (66),
« I desire to speak with him » (66),
« I will speak with him » (68).

Then thrice she declares her love for three different attributes of Iokanaan’s body, but abhorrence only follows the two first:

« I am amourous of thy body, Iokanaan! Thy body is white, like the lilies of a field that the mower has never mowed (…) There is nothing in the world so white as thy body. Suffer me to touch thy body » (82) « Thy body is hideous(…) » (82)

« It is of thy hair that I am enamoured, Iokanaan. Thy hair is like clusters of black grapes(…). Suffer me to touch thy hair » (82)/ « Thy hair is horrible(…) » (84)

« It is thy mouth that I desire, Iokanaan. Thy mouth is like a band of scarlet on a tower of ivory(…). Suffer me to kiss thy mouth » (84)/ « I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan » (86). Thrice does Herod enjoin Salome share his pleasures:

« Salome, come drink a little wine with me » (100),
« Salome, come and eat fruits with me » (102),
« Salome, come and sit next to me » (102),

and thrice does she refuse:

« I am not thirsty, Tetrarch » (100),
« I am not hungry, Tetrarch » (102),
« I am not tired Tetrarch » (102).

He thrice bids her dance for him (126, 126, 132), and after the dance, makes three substitute offers to her as compensation for the prize she requires which he won’t concede: « I have an emerald, a great emerald and round, that the minion of Caesar has sent unto me. When thou lookest through this emerald thou canst see that which passeth afar off. Caesar himself carries such an emerald when he goes to the circus. But my emerald is the larger(…) It is the largest emerald in the whole world. (…) Ask it of me and I will give it thee »(148), « Salome, thou knowest my white peacocks, that walk in the garden between the myrtles and the tall cypress-trees. Their beaks are gilded with gold and the grain that they eat are smeared with gold, and their feet are stained with purple. When you cry out the rain comes, and the moon shows herself in the heavens when they spread their tails. Two by two they walk between the cypress-trees and the black myrtles, and each has a slave to tend it (…) I have but a hundred and in the whole world there is no king who has peacocks like unto my peacocks. But I will give them all to thee » (150), « I have jewels hidden in this place (…)I have a collar of pearls set in four rows. They are like unto moons chained with rays of silver (…). I will give thee the mantle of the high priest. I will give thee the veil of the sanctuary » (154). She thrice demands the head of Iokanaan (146, 148, 148), thrice scorns his offers and reasserts her hesire to possess Iokanaan’s head: « Give me the head of Iokanaan! » (150, 152, 154), while her mother thrice commands her not to dance: « Do not dance my daughter » (132, 132, 140), and then thrice congratulates her daughter: « That is well said, my daughter » (142, 142, 150). It thus appears that the number three is meant to lend more strength to each character’s discourse, « the threefold repetitions enabling infinite multiplication also paradoxically create a feeling of solipsistic imprisonment, of something unavoidable. Fate has always been linked to the number three (there were three Parcae for instance, three Norns…) »16. And in the play there are three deaths: the young Syrian’s, Iokanaan’s, and Salomé’s. Psychoanalysis associates the number three with death and the castration complex17.

Furthermore, according to Freud, « to decapitate=to castrate »18. Medusa’s decapitated head is all the more terrifying as its gaze is fatal to, or rather « makes the beholder stiff with terror » turning him to stone, in spite of its supposed lifelessness. Freud sees this stiffness as a symbolic representation of penial erection meant to reassure the onlooker before the terrifying genitals of the archetypal mother image. Moreover, the numerous snakes Medusa wears on her head in lieu of hair, betray the fear of castration, as they stand for numerous penises, and large numbers generally mask a fundamental absence. Thus, Iokanaan’s decollation illustrates the fear of castration. Besides, as Marie-Claire Hamard points out19, Beardsley’s climatic representations of Salome contemplating her reward and Salome about to kiss her trophy, both associate Iokanaan and Salome with the Medusa; on the silver charger, Iokanaan’s hair looks like bloody snakes; in Salome’s hands, the prophet’s head looks petrified, as if changed into stone by Salomé’s gaze, while the princess’s hair has taken Iokanaan’s former erectile, snake-like appearance (158 & 159). At the sight of Medusa’s head, spectators turn into stone, which reflects the fear of the evil eye. The fear of losing one’s eyes or extremeties is often linked to the fear of castration, establishes Freud in his essay on ‘The Uncanny’20. Salome mustn’t be looked at, lest she should give one the evil eye. She is the castrating agent. As such, she is at once feared and envied. For any thing feared is at the same time attractive, desirable, because it makes the subject aware of its difference. The subject almost immediately envies the object he is looking at, aiming at the abolition of the awesome difference that creates a separation between himself and his object. But possession of the object implies either its destruction or its retaliation, as envy is rooted in the two party relationship of the paranoid-schizoid phase, when the child envies the goodness of the ideal object (the breast), seeks to appropriate it and projects all his persecutory feelings onto it, while he concommittantly fears retaliation from the ideal object, namely being eaten up and/or destroyed by it21. « Envy aims at being as good as the object, but, when this is felt to be impossible, it aims at spoiling the goodness of the object, to remove the source of envious feelings22. Devoration, possession and destruction are intertwined. « All excess, all renunciation, brings its own punishment » is one of Wilde’s apothegms23. In the play, observers seem to want to devoure what they observe. For instance, Salomé craves to kiss Iokanaan: to bite his mouth « as one bites a ripe fruit » (160). « I am athirst for thy beauty; I am hungry for thy body » (162), cries she. Her pining after Iokanaan’s head seem to indicate her envy of something he possesses, and she lacks, a penis. However, her desire for Iokanaan initially stems from her perception of him as her double. She falls in love with him precisely because she narcistically projects herself unto him. At least, she describes him in the same terms as the ones her admirers employ to qualify her. She is constantly contrasted with the moon which is depicted as « a little princess who wears a yellow veil, and whose feet are of silver. (…) a princess who has little white doves for feet (…), dancing » (44), « like a little princess whose eyes are eyes of amber. Through the clouds of muslin she is smiling like a little princess » (72). An assumed virgin, Salome compares Iokanaan to the moon, which she had previously associated with chastity:

« [the moon] is like a little piece of money, a little silver flower. She is cold and chaste. I am sure she is a virgin. Yes, she is a virgin. She has never defiled herself. She has never abandoned herself to men, like the other goddesses » (62),
« [Iokanaan] is like an image of silver. I am sure he is chaste, as the moon is. He is like a moon-beam, like a shaft of silver. His flesh must be very cold, cold as ivory… »(76)

Her vision is not just fatal to her ideal object, or projected double; it also brings about her fall and execution. Wilde skillfully alludes to the myth of Narcissus through many a reference to silver flowers (the Greeks’s narcissus were silvery(24), not yellow…), through the association of both Salome and Iokanaan with the narcissus or silver flower (60 & 62), through the various suggestions that both the Syrian and Salomé are in love with their own image, as the Page recalls how the young Syrian « had so much joy to gaze at himself in the river » (90), and Salome’s love for Iokanaan sounds like « solipsistic worship »(25).
According to O. Rank, in Greek mythologies as elsewhere, the fatal meaning conferred on the double is intimately linked to narcissism, or the love for one’s own body(26). Narcissism and its counterpart latent homosexuality thus appear to be mortiferous in essence. According to another tradition of the myth of Narcissus, the latter is left inconsolable by the death of his twin sister, and is eventually solaced by the sight of his own image as reflected in mirroring water, which he fantasizes is the face of his beloved sister27. Here the myth is reversed; the sister figure, Salome, is at first reassured by the sight of what she hallucinates as her twin. « For the ‘double’ was originally an insurance against destruction to the ego, an ‘energetic denial of the power of death’, as Rank says; and probably the ‘immortal’ soul [Iokanaan, the voice of the Eternal] was the first ‘double’ of the body »28. But soon enough, Iokanaan shatters her hopes and wrecks the deformed image she has of herself as chaste. Threatened in her sense of identity, she feels the urge to break the unflattering mirror who reflects such a horrifying image. Furthermore, Rank sees the myth of the twin brothers and the buiding of the city of Rome as a desire for emancipation from the maternel domination, according to the principle of auto-procreation29. As Iokanaan refuses to acknowledge her (desire), and form a twin couple with Salomé so as to oppose her mother Herodias’s yoke-like authority, Salomé has no alternative but destroy him. It should be recalled that Wilde had opposed the Biblical tradition in which Salome acted upon her mother’s request; in his play, « Salomé, after dancing, demands John’s head not to obey her mother, but out of unrequited love »30 thanks to a displacement of the mortiferous desire from the mother to the daughter. She tries to get rid of the maternel yoke by offering a fetish (phallus) to her mother : the head of John the Baptist.
Her incestuous desires for her twin brother are coupled with fratricidal ones, which could be deciphered as paranoiac delusions of persecution by the father, or his substitute, the brother. In the race for love from parental figures, the brother is an obstrusive rival that must be brushed aside. As we have already remarked, love and hate coexist with envy of the object. Oscar and his brother looked very much alike. In Oscar’s case, his love for his brother’s body may have stemmed from his perceiving himself as a women, for one thing, as phallic -as opposed to his castrated brother- and from his narcissistic love for his own body. His hatred, from the ‘double’ complex. Wilde’s brother wrote a poem on Salomé in which he gave voice to her; should it be taken as confirmation that the mythic princess stood as symbol of a familial problematic?

As to Salomé’s ending, the reason behind the fact that the phallic virgin could not be decapitated rests perhaps in the envy her phantasized penis suscitated; she must be destroyed, and her envied attribute with her. Or perhaps, as Martine Thomas suggests, the shields shielding Salomé « symbolize the restoration of the princess’s lost virginity, her hymen regained »31. It is believed that the female child ‘s vagina is sometimes covered with a phallic veil by the parents’fantasia, as if the mother’s loving gaze on the father’s sex were transposed onto the child’s. Thus, father and mother can see this child, an acknowledged daughter as phallic rather than pierced, which doesn’t awaken the father’s fear of castration32. Salomé’s dance before Herod is an allegory of the virgin’s defloration. The moon has turned red, « red as blood » (138), and as the prophet’s Medusa-like head reminds Herod of his sexual impotence, he wishes her (and Salome) to be veiled, so that they be removed from his sight and no longer defy him with the threat of castration. Her dance is of a hysterical nature in Herod’s psyche, as he compares the moon (Salome) to a mad woman « looking everywhere for lovers » (94). She should strive to be perceived as an ideal object by her father (or his surrogate) and combat her mother’s gaze which defines him as a negligeable entity. But Salome refuses to be Herod’s lunar goddess. She disowns the positive aspects of Hecate as she shuns his lunar presents (the peacocks and the jewels); she won’t be associated with life or fecondity, because of her very narcissism. While she is mortiferous, Iokanaan is life giving. Indeed, the death of John the Baptist is of a sacrificial nature; « while his birth marked the revival of nature, his death coincided with the harvest, in which the cutting of grain suggested his beheading [and provided] nourishment for the living »(33)

There are undoubtedly three main actors, namely Herod, Salome and Iokanaan; three main observers, namely the Page, the Syrian, and Herod; three main observed, namely Salome, Iokanaan, and the Moon. Each voice is but the counterpart of the two others, each subject, and each object, the third party within an undivided whole; the threefold aspect of the play only testifies to its essential unity. If there is but one subject then, the three main voices in the play are perhaps more conveniently understood in Freudian terms; then Iokanaan would be the super-ego (the voice of Father God), Salomé the id (the expression of all lusts and insatiable desires), and Herod the ego (having to conciliate the conflicting demands of the two others). As both super-ego and id are destroyed and only the ego remains on the scene, perhaps should we consider the play as a wishful fantasy piece of fiction, by which Wilde sought to soothe his anguishing inner conflicts between the various elements of his personality and assert the supremacy or victory of the ego over all other instances. Herod is indeed impotent both as father and husband. He is a victim of this double impersonnation of the same (ego) Salomé and Iokanaan -Oscar Wilde’s split ego- who both want him destroyed, yet for different reasons.
Or perhaps was Wilde merely trying to kill his spiritual father. In literature, one must always kill one’s father, had he said, reflecting upon Flaubert’s Herodias34. His perverse morbidity was transparent to Stevenson, who satirized such pessimists as Wilde and Swinburne in his New Arabian Nights. Unlike Wilde, Stevenson felt « self-contempt about being an artist, alias prostitute, as he put it in ‘To a young gentleman who proposes to embrace the career of Art’ « (35).

Although I am aware that « every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter »36, I feel my essay should have run smoother and longer. As O. Wilde might have put it, « I prefer the other truth, my own, which is that of the dream. Between two truths, the falser is the truer »37

Notes :

1 Oscar Wilde, Salomé, 1893, édition bilingue de Pascal Aquien, GF-Flammarion, Paris, (1993). The text of the play extends from p.44 to p.164 for the English version, and from p.45 to p.165 for the French one.
2 Richard Ellmannn, Oscar Wilde, 1987, Penguin Books, London, p.320.
3 Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891, Penguin Books Classics, England, (1994), ‘The Preface’.
4 Oscar Wilde declared once that « Mallarmé is a poet, a true poet. But I prefer him when he writes in French, because in that language he is incomprehensible, while in English, unfortunately, he is not »; in R. Ellmann, Oscar Wilde, op. cit., p.320. Did O. Wilde mean to write in a language that would allow his reader to think he was a straightforward author after all, or did he mean to outdo Mallarmé and concoct a text in a language that seemed comprehensible on the surface and yet retained all its impenetrability.
5 See Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘A Chapter on Dreams’, in the Oxford edition of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Weir of Hermiston by Emma Letley, World’s Classics, 1987, pp.198-209.
6 Frank Mc Lynn, R.L.S.: A Biography, 1993, Hutchinson, London, p.5
7 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.270.
8 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.326.
9 Sarah Bernhardt thought the one defect of the play « was that Herod, not Salomé, was the central figure », ibid., p.351
10 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.325.
11 M. H. Abrams, A Glossary of Literary Terms, third edition, Cornell University, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., (1971); under « Act », « Drama », « Tragedy » and « Comedy ».
12 F. Grellet & M.-H. Valentin, From Sidney to Sillitoe, An Introduction to English Literature, Hachette,Paris,1984; p.23.
13 Ibid, p.65.
14 See also Martine Thomas’s essay, ‘Oscar Wilde’s Salome: A Few « Fin de Siècle » Aspects’, in Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens n°36, 1992, Université Paul Vale, pp.153-169.
15 See Pascal Aquien’s Preface to our edition of Salomé, pp.29-32.
16 Martine Thomas, op. cit., p.156.
17 See S. Freud, ‘The Theme of the Three Caskets’, 1913, in The International Psycho-Analytical Library n°10 Collected Papers, volume IV, Papers on Metapsychology & Applied Psycho-Analysis, Ernest Jones (ed.), New York, Basic Books Inc. Publishers, (1959), pp.244-256. Commenting upon Freud’s ‘The Case of Little Hans’, Erich Fromm links the fear of castration to the fear of death:  » The first encounter with death is a very serious event in a child’s life, and it can produce additional anguish in an already sensitive child, owing to the fear of castration ». In Erich Fromm’s The Crisis of Psychoanalysis, 1970, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New york, Chicago & San Francisco; chapter V, ‘The Oedipus Complex: Comments on the Case of Little Hans, p.75.
18 S. Freud, ‘Medusa’s Head’, 1922, in The International Psycho-Analytical Library n°37, James Strachey (ed.), Freud’s Collected Papers, volume 5, Miscellanous Papers (1888-1938), New York, Basic Books Inc. Publishers, (1959), pp.105-106.
19 Marie-Claire Hamard, ‘La femme fatale: Salomé et le Yellow Book’, in Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens n°36, op. cit., pp.29-49.
20 S. Freud, ‘The Uncanny’, in The International Psycho-Analytical Library n°10, op. cit.
21 Hanna Segal, INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK OF MELANIE KLEIN, The International Psycho-Analytical Library n°91, M. Masud R. Khan, The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-Analysis, London, 1973, Chapter Three: ‘The Paranoid-Schizoid Position’, pp.24-38.
22 Hanna Segal, INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK OF MELANIE KLEIN, op. cit., Chapter Four: ‘Envy’, p.40. Melanie Klein considers envy to be the most primitive and fundamental of emotions, as it occurs within a two-part relationship; the subject envies the object for some possession or quality and no other live object enters into this relationship. Jealousy, as opposed to envy and greed, is based on love and aims at the possession of the loved object and the removal of the rival. It pertains to a triangular relationship and therefore to a time of life when objects are clearly recognized and differentiated from one another.
23 Dorian Gray, op;cit.
24 Edith Hamilton, La Mythologie, 1940-42, Marabout, (1978), pp.95-98.
25 Martine Thomas, ‘A Few « Fin de Siècle » Aspects’, op. cit., p.162.
26 Otto Rank, Don Juan et le Double, 1932, Petite Bibliothèque Payot (1973), éd. 1989, trad. Dr. S. Lantman, pp.82-83.
27 ibid., pp. 81-83.
28 S. Freud, ‘The Uncanny’, op.cit., p.387.
29 Otto Rank, Don Juan et le double, op.cit., p.95.
30 R. Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit, p.325.
31 M. Thomas, op. cit., p.166.
32 Monique Cournut-Janin, ‘L’ adolescence de la fille: Une crise à trois’,
33 Ewa Kuriluk, SALOME AND JUDAS IN THE CAVE OF SEX The Grotesque: Origins, Iconography, Techniques, 1987, Northwestern University Press, Illinois, p.201.
34 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.355.
35 ibid, p.140.
36 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.292.
37 Ellmann, O. Wilde, op. cit., p.324.


Oscar Wilde, Salomé, 1891,
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘A Chapter on Dreams’, in The Strange Case of Dr Jkyll and Mr Hyde

Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde

Christopher Innes, Modern British Drama (1890-1990), Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Martine Thomas, ‘Oscar Wilde’s Salome: A Few « Fin de Siècle » Aspects’ & Marie-Claire
Hamard, ‘La Femme Fatale: Salomé et le Yelow Book’, in Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens n°36, 1992, Université Paul Vale.
Ewa Kuriluk, SALOME AND JUDAS IN THE CAVE OF SEX The Grotesque: Origins, Iconography, Techniques