Yeats’s Creative Use of Wilde’s Salomé in his Revisions of The Shadowy Waters, On Baile’s Strand and Deirdre

  • Noreen Doody


This chapter looks at the changes that Yeats makes to his three early plays in the months following his attendance at Wilde’s Salomé (1905). This early input from Salomé is the beginning of a particular strain of influence that builds into a central, powerful component within Yeats’s creative work. Salomé is of great importance to the development of Yeats’s aesthetics: the revisions of his three plays indicate their indebtedness to Wilde’s play in terms of emotion, intellectual content, metaphysical leanings, image, symbol and structure. He combines, re-makes and refines these elements within his work and later chapters will show this process continuing and advancing within his creative thinking.

Yeats’s introduction of sexuality into his work is one of the most notable changes he makes, particularly in relation to language and the re-imagining of his heroines, Dectora and Deirdre, who he re-configures in the image of Salomé as complex, desiring women who will enable Yeats’s later creation of his central symbolic image of the dancer.



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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noreen Doody
    • 1
  1. 1.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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