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Research the role of women in Victorian culture. How does Salome reflect Victorian beliefs about gender roles?

Who is the main character in Salome? Some critics would answer Salome herself, some would argue Herod, and Wilde himself, though probably in jest, said that the moon is the protagonist of the play. Using evidence from the play, support your point of view.

Read the story of Salome in the Bible, Matthew 14:1-12. In what ways has Wilde changed the Biblical story? What has he achieved with these changes?

Read Wilde's play A Woman of No Importance. Compare the moral issues raised in this play with those raised in Salome. How are the two plays alike? How are they different?

Discuss Wilde's use of color in Salome. What function does the frequent mention of color serve? What might the different colors in the play symbolize?

Read Sophocles's Antigone, a play which also has a strong female character who battles a king and pays with her life. Antigone, however, is generally considered a heroine, while there is some debate about the nature of Salome's character. Compare and contrast these two characters in light of what might be considered ' 'proper'' roles for women.

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