Comment on the setting in the play Salome by Oscar Wilde.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In art, literature and architecture, the 19th century knew a Byzantine revival. The emphasis on symbols and the severity of images was attractive to Aesthetes and Decadents reacting to rigid forms during the Victorian period.

Oscar Wilde described Salome as being Byzantine is style. Byzantine art dated roughly from 400 - 1453 AD and was given to abstraction and symbolism without interest in accurate depth or realistic representation of emotion or form.

In architecture, the Byzantine style had highly elaborate domes, etc and decorative interiors seeking to present the cosmos within doors to church parishioners. The elongated figures used in religious decorations had elaborate refinement of detail. It is these qualities that Wilde seems to have embraced in the setting for Salome.

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Salome

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