Monday, November 4, 2019

An Analysis Of Shaffer’s Equus

An Analysis Of Shaffers Equus The play is in two acts, the first consisting of twenty-one; the second of thirty-five scenes. It is not realistic in that it includes flashbacks performed onstage (like a movie). However, it is an explanatory one with Shaffer’s notes while read. It is a play consisting of individuals rather than types. Each character has his/her individuality along with his/her own perspective of life. We learn about the characters from what other characters tell about them; from what they tell about themselves; as well as from Shaffer’s explanation about them within parentheses. Although it is an open ended play it goes far from the lineer plot structure with its amazing climax. The forward and backward action of the play makes it a different one. Moreover while the play has speech when the time is present, it contains action when it is backward. It is a symbolic play and can be called â€Å"a journey into the mind† of Alan Strang, a seventeen year old boy. It analyzes Alanâ⠂¬â„¢s religious obsession with horses which is based on his complicated feelings due to his religious background and his increasing sexual side as a teenager. This confusion of religion, in fact, is a consequence of some signals from his religious, middle-class mother and his atheist, working-class father. Alan’s perception of religion and sexuality is conflicted and his way of praying becomes a fear of a horse spirit named Equus. He ends up with blinding six horses in the stable because of the fact that they have watched him with a girl. Rosefeldt states that Equus is â€Å"†¦inspired by a real-life event of which the author had very little details. Someone told Shaffer about a boy who blinded horses† (Rosefeldt 89). Equus, the horse gradually becomes a source of freedom and worship for Alan. As he worships Equus passionately, Alan goes away from being ‘normal.’ There are two main characters in the play, Martin Dysart and Alan Strang, the protagonis t. While the play is Alan’s story, it soon becomes Dysart’s story, too. Dysart is a psychiatrist and is asked to treat Alan Strang. Dysart admits to treat Alan as a patient, believing his lawyer friend Hesther Salomon that the boy has something special. In Act I, the audiences learn that Alan comes from a Christian mother – Dora Strang – and an atheist father – Frank Strang who have argument in agreeing how to raise Alan. Alan’s mother tries to impose religion on Alan and does not avoid talking about sex as well. As he grows up and becomes a teenager, his mother’s words become confusing for him. Alan’s obssesion with the horses is actually a typical result of his mother’s words: Dora. †¦ I used to tell him a funny thing about falling off horses. Did you know that when Christian cavalry first appeared in the New World, the pagans thought horse and rider was one person? Dysart. Really? Alan. (sitting up, amazed) One p erson? Dora. Actually, they thought it must be a god.

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