The most scandalously well-known ingredient in Oscar Wilde"s life and art must be the unconventional sense of sexuality that ended up ruining his career. This essay aims to illuminate the sexual politics he was taking on against the fin de siecle Victorian society increasingly concerned about the ongoing anomalies of sex and gender--a profoundly decadent phenomenon--by reading Salome(1894), a biblical adaptation, in the context of the battle between the Victorian sexual conservativism and the New Woman. The hostility of the Victorian England against the image of the New Woman as sexual libertine seems to be interestingly echoed in a femme fatale destroyed by a political authority in Salome for her brutally candid expressions of sexual desire. While it is an open question whether or not Wilde viewed the New Woman"s sexually liberated image as agreeable and positive and it is possible that the hideous representation of the sexually voracious heroine of the play indicates Wilde was probably repulsed by such an image of the woman, this essay concludes that the signs of his identifying or even sympathizing with Salome found either in or out of the text suggest that he may have regarded the sexual challenge of the New Woman as something similar, and even linked, to one he was taking as a homosexual artist. By reading Salome as a radical sociopolitical commentary, this essay tries to demonstrate that there exists more beyond the popular assumption that it is just an apolitical aestheticized jewel.
DOI 인용 스타일