Equus. by Peter Shaffer

Essay by G.J.I August 2005

download word file, 2 pages 1.0

Downloaded 30 times


Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing.

Physical and emotional phenomenon of violence in Equus

The first phenomenon of violence that can be seen in the play is that of Alan Strang, with the blinding of the horses. Scene 2 pg 4 Hesther, "He blinded six horses with a metal spike." This is an outburst of violence that forms the basis of the play

Violence in physical form can again be seen, this time from the father in scene 10, pg 25, "He pulls Alan from the horseman's shoulders. The boy shrieks, and falls to the ground." This could also show how the model of the household has influence on the actions of the son.

Emotional violence can be seen in scene 17, with the words of Alan having a result in the feelings of Dysart in scene 18. Alan is very offensive and harsh towards a sensitive area of Dysart's personal life, resulting in an emotionally wounding conflict

The play shows contrary human impulses toward rationality and irrationality.

Irrational impulses are highlighted by the various phenomenon of violence that can be seen throughout the play, both physical and emotional.

Is there a connection between passion and aggression suggested by Shaffer?

It is very apparent in this text that there lies a strong connection between passion and aggression. In many cases the play echoes one, the other or both. A very strong example of this correlation is seen on page 35 where Alan is found beating himself with a coat hanger for the sake of worship before the icon of the horse, whilst chanting. His religious passion is combined with self afflicting aggression.

How do the characters explain or come to terms with Alan's sadistic behaviour?

Frank uses the television to justify what Alan...