Moreau's Husband: A Cultural Criticism

578 Words3 Pages
Symbolism Symbolism was both an artistic and a literary movement that suggested ideas through symbols and emphasized the meaning behind the forms, lines, shapes, and colors. What unites the various artists and styles associated with Symbolism is the emphasis on emotions, feelings, ideas, and subjectivity rather than realism. Their works are personal and express their own ideologies, particularly the belief in the artist 's power to reveal truth. In terms of specific subject matter, the Symbolists combined religious mysticism, the perverse, the erotic, and the decadent. Symbolist subject matter is typically characterized by an interest in the occult, the morbid, the dream world, melancholy, evil, and death. Symbolism provided a transition from…show more content…
key to Wilde 's own play, may have its source in the art of Moreau: another critic finds that the entire composition of Moreau 's Salome is infused with a "conflicting symbolism", a "beauty of inertia" and a "necessary richness" which emphasizes the "wholly arbitrary and irrational character" of Salome herself. Joris Karl Huysmans gives a prominent description of the Salome painting in his novel A Rebours (1884). The novel 's protagonist, has acquired Moreau 's painting, considering it to incarnate the very spirit of decadence; it is one of the few works of art which send him into raptures of delight. Huysmans ' lengthy description of the painting is notorious for its detail and sensuality. Oscar Wilde 's individualism refers to the self-realization that individual is not bound to a religious ethics custom. The purpose is to realize the instinct of man 's desire, but also can show the redemptive power of beauty in against the reality. The play reflects the hypocrisy of bourgeois ascetic and vulnerability. Wilde 's symbolism relies on indirect suggestion and evocation, but his dramatic technique, his ability to create stage presence out of mere suggestion, empowering the audience and providing them with "two different kinds of access" to that mystical truth behind
Open Document