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Course Hero. "Salome Study Guide." June 14, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2018.


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Salome | Quotes


She is like a princess who has little white doves for feet. One might fancy she was dancing.

Young Syrian

These lines show the degree to which the young Syrian is obsessed with Salome. He cannot stop staring at her, and his perception that she is dancing foreshadows Herod's desires and Salome's dance and the price she exacts for it.


She is like a woman who is dead.

Page of Herodias

This description is one of many that describe the moon in human terms. Nearly all the perceptions of the moon are made from male perspectives and describe the moon as female. The page is worried something terrible is going to happen; the moon, searching for dead things, is an omen of coming disaster.


You must not look at her ... Something terrible may happen.

Page of Herodias

The page sees how obsessed the young Syrian is with Salome and warns the young man something bad will happen if he continues to stare at Salome. The page is proved correct; the young Syrian kills himself, having succumbed to Salome's manipulation and inadvertently providing himself with a romantic rival.


Why does the Tetrarch look at me all the while with his mole's eyes under his shaking eyelids?


This observant question shows the degree to which Herod's lustful attentions toward Salome are unwelcome and confirms Herodias has good reason for forbidding her husband to look upon Salome. Herod is lusting after Salome, even though she is his stepdaughter, and the attention is repulsive to Salome.


Look at me, Narraboth, look at me. Ah! thou knowest that thou wilt do what I ask of thee.


Salome realizes the young Syrian is in love with her and takes advantage of his infatuation to manipulate him into releasing Iokanaan. Salome's words show she is aware of his inability to resist her and will do anything she asks.


Go, bid her rise up from the bed of her abominations, from the bed of her incestuousness, that she may hear the words of him who prepareth the way of the Lord, that she may repent of her iniquities.


Iokanaan's words reveal his perceptions about Herodias and explain his reason for not allowing Salome to touch him. To Iokanaan Salome, because she is her mother's daughter, is as guilty of her mother's sins as her mother is.


I hear in the palace the beating of the wings of the angel of death.


Iokanaan knows someone is about to die, although he doesn't know exactly who, why, or how. He knows something evil and awful is about to happen and can hear death swooping in. He uses a religious image—the angel of death—to convey his prophetic words.


There is nothing in the world so white as thy body. Suffer me to touch thy body.


This description is part of the flattery Salome uses to try to tempt Iokanaan into becoming her lover. When he refuses, Salome changes her tactic and insults the very same body. Salome does not like to be refused and lashes out at Iokanaan.


I will kiss thy mouth, Iokanaan. I will kiss thy mouth.


This is Salome's threat, and at this point in the play, the audience doesn't know Salome will take that kiss at the price of Iokanaan's life. It is a threat to commit assault because Iokanaan has expressly forbidden Salome to touch him. But Salome doesn't care what Iokanaan wants.


I remember that I saw that he looked languorously at Salome. Truly, I thought he looked too much at her.


This observation shows Herod's hypocrisy. He notices the young Syrian looking at Salome "too much," but Herod himself is far guiltier of the same thing, and Herod's actions will have greater consequences.


Why are you always gazing at her?


This question shows Herodias's frustration as she watches her husband ogle her daughter. Herodias is powerless, feeling as though no matter what she says, Herod will continue to do as he wishes, particularly regarding his desire for Salome.


I will not deliver him into your hands. He is a holy man.


Herod, who has imprisoned Iokanaan, suddenly turns into his savior for a short while, keeping him safe from the throngs outside the palace. Herod believes Iokanaan may really be a witness to the son of God and thus fears him.


Whatsoever thou shalt desire I will give it thee, even to the half of my kingdom, if thou wilt but dance for me.


This statement is the reckless promise Herod makes to entice Salome to dance for him. He will regret his offer because it will result in Iokanaan's death. It is also inappropriate for Herod to be bribing his stepdaughter to do the ancient equivalent of a striptease dance for him, but he is completely obsessed in his uncontrolled desire for the young princess.


Give me the head of Iokanaan!


This is the repeated demand Salome issues each time Herod tries to convince her to accept some other payment for her dance. She will accept nothing else. Her obsession reflects her savage cruelty.


Well, I still live, but thou art dead, and thy head belongs to me. I can do with it what I will.


This statement and Salome's actions immediately following it reveal her as a vicious and vindictive necrophiliac. She assaults his head, kissing him against his will now that he cannot refuse or fight back.

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