I read a phrase in an essay titled "The Wreck of Order in Early Modern Women's Drama"
Ferguson, Kennedy, and Hiscock have seen Salome as a play about the slipperiness of language, particularly women's language in the early modern period.
What does "a play about the slipperiness of the language" mean exactly?
Here attached is part of the context:
Since Herod cannot recognise what is due to him privately versus what is due to him publicly, he is ripe for Salome's plans catering to his overwhelming egotism. After Salome's seeming proof of loyalty, Mariam's arguments with him in the scene following seem like so much carping and not the proper sort of behaviour for recognition of a husband and king whom she had missed while he was gone. Ultimately, Salome's weapon against her brother results from rigid patriarchal understanding: an unreasonable expectation of loyalty on the part of her brother as head of the country and their family and a stunning naiveté about how language really works. Ferguson (243), Kennedy (114), and Hiscock (100) have seen Salome as a play about the slipperiness of language, particularly women's language in the early modern period. After all, women speak out frequently in the play and one of Mariam's faults is seen to be her speaking. Unlike some of these women, Salome speaks frequently but to the point. In an important interaction with Herod about Mariam's future, Salome responds to his ravings nonchalantly; as Herod tries to figure out the best way to kill Mariam, she offers up options, none of which he is willing to commit to. Herod makes the ridiculous claim that when Mariam is killed, if he cannot stand being without her, "You'll find the means to make her breathe again, / Or else you will bereave my comfort quite" (4.7.387-88). Salome, in a triumph of Nixonian double-speak, replies, "Oh ay, I warrant you" (4.7.389). She, like the Iago she is often compared to, speaks the truth, but Herod, Othello-like, cannot hear the truth because it would rip from him all sense of comfort and loyalty in the world that he, by his own machinations, has made a dishonest and disloyal world. When he does decide to remand the issuance of Mariam's death sentence, he offers to do so, ultimately, on the basis of Mariam's physical beauty. Comparing Salome to her, he says, "You are to her a sun-burnt blackamoor: / Your paintings cannot equal Mariam's praise, / Her nature is so rich, you are so poor" (4.7. 461-63). Salome does not respond with anger as one would expect from a woman whose main means of impressing the patriarchy, her beauty, has been devalued; instead, she merely replies, "I'll stay her death; 'tis well determined: / For sure she never more will break her vow, / Sohemus and Joseph both are dead" (4.7.502-04). With her very words, she uses rationality to exercise her will; she clearly sees Herod's irrationality and knows that only her clear-headedness will get her what she wants. Instead of the battle between rationality and passion (or will) that Laurie Shannon sees as part of the theme of the text (148), Salome uses reason to exploit others' passions and fulfill her own ambitions.