Herod the Great and Poem

Topics: John the Baptist, Herod Antipas, Herodias Pages: 4 (1064 words) Published: November 10, 2008
ENC 1101
July 11, 2008
“Salome” is a poem written by Juan Calvino. The poem itself has fourteen lines; each being no more than five to six words in length, containing three stanzas in total. “Salome” is a ghastly poem which is also very vague, but if taken the time to be examined the poem can have multiple meanings. Although, the poem's historical significance gives you a much deeper perspective. The poem itself cannot be understood in its entirety without looking at its biblical influence. When I first read this poem I had my own notions, but after researching its context I found a more definitive meaning. The title Salome can be rooted back to Christian mythology as read on The Victorian Web,

In Christian mythology, Salome was the daughter of Herodias and stepdaughter of Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee in Palestine. Her infamy comes from causing St. John the Baptist's execution. The saint had condemned the marriage of Herodias and Herod Antipas, as Herodias was the divorced wife of Antipas's half brother Philip. Incensed, Herod imprisoned John, but feared to have the well-known prophet killed. Herodias, however, was not mollified by John's incarceration and pressed her daughter Salome to "seduce" her stepfather Herod with a dance, making him promise to give her whatever she wished. At her mother's behest, Salome thus asked for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Unwillingly, Herod did her bidding, and Salome brought the platter to her mother. (Lee) As the Christian text is read, one begins to see that there is much more beyond the context of the poem. There is a history behind it that leads to a deeper understanding of the poem itself. Without understanding Salome's unbalanced past, an accurate analysis of the poem can not be reached. (Lee)

The first stanza is direct and factual, implicating that there are no hidden meanings behind Calvino’s words. As the poem states in lines one through four,...

Cited: "Instruction." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 02 Oct. 2008. .
The Victorian Web Project. Elizabeth Lee. 1997. Salome, National University of Singapore. 16 January 2007..
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