Salome Essay

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Cross is a Ph.D. candidate specializing in modern drama. In this essay she discusses the connections between love, sexual desire, and power in Wilde's play.

On July 7, 1896, while Wilde was imprisoned in Reading Gaol, thirty-year-old Thomas Wooldridge, a trooper in the Royal Guards, was hanged for the murder of his twenty-three-year-old wife, of whom he was jealous. Wilde was greatly troubled by Wooldridge' s death, and the execution became the basis for the poem, "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," in which Wilde proposes that the emotions that led to Wooldridge's crime are, in fact universal:

Yet each man kills the thing he loves, / By each let this be heard, / Some do it with a bitter look / Some with a flattering word. / The coward does it with a kiss, / The brave man with a sword!

In "The Ballad of Reading Gaol," love is intertwined with violence, inseparable from...

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This section contains 2,229 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Salome Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Salome from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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