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Though his worked remained largely unknown, and was not produced for quite some time after his death (therefore, his influence was very limited), with Danton’s Death, Büchner’s first play, the first “modern” play, was a historical drama. 1057/9781137275424  Narrating the Past through Theatre until Henrik Ibsen, a bit, but not really seen overtly until the work of August Strindberg and Oscar Wilde’s Salome). Thus, in a sense, it took a historical work to change the way drama narrativized. Writing in 1835, and very politically active himself, Büchner and his work sat in anticipation of the Industrial Revolution and Marx, and looked back upon the French Revolution.

The movement associated with Salome’s own death is particularly important. We can see from the Rosenbach Salome that Oscar Wilde clearly thought about the placement of the staircase. 11 Though it is not possible to know for certain, one can surmise that by moving the staircase closer to the audience, Wilde wanted to make it even more prominent. The unused staircase looms throughout the entire play. The staircase’s prominence is unmistakable, and there is a tension that has built up around it since it has not been used.

Salome is like (or maybe is) a penumbra: “The partially shaded region around the shadow of an opaque body, where only a part of the light from the luminous body is cut off; the partial shadow, as distinguished from the total shadow or umbra; esp. ”9 She makes it difficult to see where the true shadow ends and the light begins. Somewhere in-between Herod and Iokanaan she moves. She is both seer and murderer, but in fact she is neither. ”10 What are the spaces between which she moves? Salome moves between two main worlds: the world of the servants and the world of the servers.

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