La Sainte Courtisane

DOI: 10.5040/9781408182352.00000043
Roles: Male (4) , Female (0) , Neutral (0)

Myrrhina, a courtisane, seeks out a hermit who she has heard is beautiful; she hopes to tempt him from his righteous path into a life of earthly love. However, on beholding the cross for the first time, she finds herself instead converting to a life of virtue, while he, who indeed has fallen for her beauty, hopes to take her away as his lover.

Of the play, the critic H. Montgomery Hyde wrote: 'in some ways it is not unlike Salomé and though written in English Wilde may have had it in mind for the French theatre. The paradox of a female sinner converting a righteous male rarely fails to attract an audience and has been used by many other writers notably Somerset Maugham.'

Written in 1894, La Sainte Courtisane exists only as a fragment and was never completed. Here, a line of dots in the text indicates where a new fragment begins.

From Wilde Complete Plays


Bloomsbury Publishing

Oscar Wilde

ISBN: 9780413187604

Series: World Classics

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