Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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In the eyes of many, Peter Shaffer?s ?Equus? can be viewed as a just a perverse, complicated story of a young, psychotic boy. Even so, this play is a tragedy. A tragedy is a literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin. Tragedies can be classified into two sub categories: Aristolian tragedies or ?common man? tragedies. ?Equus? takes on characteristics of both types of tragedies and while it seems to have more characteristics of an Aristolian tragedy, it still holds true to some characteristics of a tragedy of a common man.

There are many significant points needed in which a literary work can be considered a tragedy in an Aristolian sense. Some of these points include having a superior protagonist with a complex and/or an inner conflict and a ?tragic flaw?. There has to be questions of moral order and deep suffering as well as a ?fortunate fall? of the main character.

These are just a few of the characteristics needed to have a work considered an Aristolian tragedy. ?Equus? only has a few of these qualities. In the play there is a protagonist, Alan, even though he is not superior. Alan, has quite a bit of both complex and inner conflict. He is the product of a religious, lenient mother and an atheist, strict father. He has to deal with listening to his mother?s Bible stories as well as his father?s random comments. Alan is a seventeen-year-old male who is not very social and is not very educated in any way. What little he does know he has learned from his mother and the little television he watched at the neighbor?s house. The inner conflict that comes out of this is huge. Alan is a young man who knows...