영어영문학연구, Vol.60 no.2 (2018)
pp.81~105

Decadence, Fabrication of the Fìn-de-siècle Salomé, and Oscar Wilde’s Salomé

Son, Younghee

(Kwangwoon University)

This essay explores the construction of Salomé in Wilde’s Salomé as the degenerate Jewish femme fatale, her transformation into a covert male transvestite, John the Baptist’s affiliation with fìn-de-siècle decadents, and his alliance with Herod against Salomé and Herodias. Drawing on Huysmans’s reading of Moreau’s Salomé, Wilde carries on with constructing Salomé’s image as the perverse femme fatale echoing the male decadents’ misogynous and anti-Semitic discourses. His text generates the Jewish femme fatale indulging in Oriental promiscuity, which brings Salomania into vogue throughout Europe. Wilde’s depiction of John the Baptist was influenced by Pater’s worship of Da Vinci’s portrayal of the feminized prophet, which embeds a cryptic code of homosexuality within the play. This secretly changes the cultural stereotype of the Jewish femme fatale into a male transvestite and hints at Wilde’s challenge to the taboos on homosexuality. However, the encryption of homosexuality also helps Salomé reveal Herod’s alliance with the Baptist, who acts as a misogynous male decadent like Wilde himself, and their antifeminism. Thus, Wilde’s Salomé turns out to be a self-contradictory text where the anti-patriarchal challenge to sexual taboos collides with patriarchal notions of women.
  퇴폐주의; 팜므 파탈; 동성애; 오스카 와일드; 살로메; decadence; femme fatale; homosexuality; Oscar Wilde; Salomé

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