e“Salomé” commentary -- The pathetic Salome
“Salomé” by Lourdes Ortiz is a rewritten biblical story of John the Baptist’s martyrdom, which focuses on the daughter of Herodias, Salome. In this story, Salome is given a subjective position. John’s pure, firm eyes, different from all others that Salome used to see, causing her crazy fascination with John the Baptist. However, John spurned her affection, which converted Salome’s desperate love into crazy desire of possessiveness. Thus, the pathetic character is figured with an extreme narcissistic subjectivity.
Looking through the story, the repetition of the words “los ojos” is eye-catching. There are plenty of modifiers and metaphors used to describe “los ojos” of John the Baptist. At the begining of the story, “No la lengua, ni la frente, ni los pómulos…Todo en él hostil…Solo los ojos. Nunca unos ojos como aquellos, grises, como marismas, como lagos profundos; un agua calma e insondable; una luz” (23), in the eyes of Salome, everything seemed dim but the bottomless eyes, like a ray of light, were so attractive to her. Moreover, John’s eyes, unlike others’ that are full of lust, were calm, transparent and firm. “el ojo, el ojo firme, no avariento, el ojo que te despajaba de adornos de coral, de velos de gasa finísimos, de aromas de aloé, de incienso. Solo los ojos frente a frente” (24) Here, a series of metaphors express Salome’s extreme obsession for John while they have face-to-face eye contact.
The “intercambio” (24) between John and Salome produces a psychic change of Salome. Before she met John the Baptist, she was just a dancing girl, well-trained in the court to be an “objeto de deseo”, “Salomé era tan solo cítara destinda a sonar cuando ellos la tañeran. Hata este momento” (27). Until she met John - “intercambio” occuered, her empty soul was filled and lightened. “Esos ojos transparentes que se fundían con los tuyos”. She became obsessed with John the Baptist’s fine look, which stimulate her desperate...
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