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5.0 out of 5 stars ...comments on Equus,
I enjoyed this play very much and have read it several times. Each time I read the play I grasp a better understanding of what Shaffer may be conveying to the audience. This play made me ask so many questions about society today and what some of the truths are in life.
I do not believe this play to be about materialism or convenience and the killing of our capacity for worship, passion, or pain. Alan had a capacity for worship and passion, just not within the normal boundaries of societies acceptable views. Alan had the capacity for pain, but reached his climax when in the stable and blinded the six horses. If man is materialistic it is because the opportunity presents itself and we are already that way. There is no spiritual or mental decay of modern man. Religion flourishes as it always has, and causes peace and war as it always will. We know more now than we ever did in the past about medicine, science, the arts, humanity, the origin of man, and life itself.
In the case of Alan, he suffers from mental illness, but can be healed with love and passion from those around him; Dysart being the one to take the first step and not giving up on him. Worship is not a human need, but the freedom of worship is a human right. I believe this play to hold these truths; the human need for understanding, compassion, and healing.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Chilling Mystery,
Step one: take an Agatha Christie novel
Step two: mix in a bit of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Step three: add a little bit of sexual innuendo
Step four: add very distinct and creepy staging
Step five: add religion
Final Step: add horses and...
you've got Equus- a chilling mystery about a lunatic who blinds horses because of...well, now that would be telling the ending of the mystery, wouldn't it!
A must read for anybody mature enough to read it (13+ probably)
4.0 out of 5 stars Frightening, yet powerful,
Equus is a hard-hitting dramatic work that will make readers question their beliefs in mental illness, religion (particularly Christianity), and the emotional and spiritual emptiness described in most adults as 'normal behavior.' Schaffer achieves a nearly unthinkable task at making his audience almost feel sympathy for Alan, a young man who has cruelly blinded six horses.
Along Dysart's (the psychiatrist who must discover why Alan has committed such a horrible crime) and the reader's journey through Alan's tortured life and mind, the reader comes to partially understand and all but accept Alan's deed as a man's faith betraying him. Dysart, paralelling Alan in the 'normal' world, experiences that loss of worship in a far different, yet equally devastating manner.
I suggest seeing the play performed if at all possible. Seeing Equus live-action truly brings it's horrific brilliance to life.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the masterpieces of contemporary theater,
This is one of the most dense, hard-hitting, catharsis-inducing, adjective-provoking works of modern theater and a keynote in contemporary literature. From the pen that scribbled the likes of Amadeus, Shaffer confronts such topics as teen sexuality, childhood imprinting and its effects upon later life, the sociology of religion, and other complex ideas in an interesting, visually stunning work. A great work from a great writer. I place this alongside other 20-th century theatrical masterpieces such as Miller's Death of a Salesman, Norman's 'Night Mother, Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Baraka's The Dutchman, and Sartre's No Exit.
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or not, a page turner!!,
By A Customer
This play was incredible!! I chose to read it because Peter Shaffer was one of the authors on my AP English list. Usually literature for school is boring and dull, but this is not. From the first scene to the last, I was unable to put it down. There is so much to the play; it's really quite eerie. I especially liked the play (besides the fact that it is interesting) because there was so much to analyze and ways to "take it." Usually it is hard to interpret works, but this one is so complex, the reader muct pick on some meaning. I really hope to see the play on stage. Sure, the play is "out there" but I recommend it highly!! For those who would like a summary, it is about a boy named Alan who is sent to Dr. Dysart (psychiatrist) instead of prison (he blinded 6 horses). What happens during the play is that Dysart tries different ways to get Alan (who is difficult) to speak about his experiences. Alan has a passion for horses and this passion makes Dysart rethink his own life. My advice: just read it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerfull,
I hate reading with a pasion and the only reason I have read this is because that is is one of our set works . It is a very powerfull book Due to it having all the relivant topics . Religeon , sex ,love and parenting and how it is all involved in this book . The charicters are all real people in todays world bataling with thse things . Dysart is the most important charicter in the book due to him having to treat and battle with dealing with these patiants . It is a spelbinding book due to all the powerfull charichters in it . There is also many underlying plots in this play and this must also say somthing about the writer . To end off I must just say I hate reading but this is an acception .
4.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Play,
Equus is a powerful play dealing with a myriad of issues including psychiatry, love, crime, insanity and family in a compact and readable manner. Even though the play deals with so many complex issues, it is eminently readable, one might even say a page-turner. A final note of interest: the playwright tells us in his introduction that the plot of the play came from a newspaper headline he saw describing a particularly bizarre crime. Although the author never learned anything more about the crime, the headline sparked his imagination. The play, therefore, also serves as an intriguing study of the playwright's own imagination.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer disturbing brilliance......,
As the most well-known and acclaimed of Shaffer's plays, Equus definitely makes that reputation obvious as soon as you open the pages. As stylized and abstract as some of it is, it is nothing more than life changing. I saw a taped recording of it when Sir Anthony Hopkins played the role of Dysart, and it was brilliant, pure theatre. For theater-aficionados, this play should be in your script collection, no doubt! This is a play in which the audience is so spellbound that they have an extremely difficult time averting their eyes from the stage. For any directors or actors out there in a theatre production group, perform this play......no inhibitions needed!
5.0 out of 5 stars The eyes of the beholder.......,
Schaffer's play about the blinding of stabled horses by a young man professed to have a deep love for horses is both disturbing and spell-binding. The taking of the boy through to the reason and truth of his deed by a life-weary therapist is poignant stuff. The bottom line reason for the terrible act - first full frontal nude play i ever saw : so unnoticed because of the sheer intensity of this moment - is completely believable and earth shattering. A brilliant piece of work - like "The Lion In Winter" I wish i could have written it.
5.0 out of 5 stars He blinded six horses with a metal spike...,
My GCSE (16+ exams) English coursework title - "What makes 'Equus' a powerful play?" After rattling on for 6 sides, I realised that I was never going to have enough time, energy left in my hand or ink left in my pen to complete the assignment. Everything about this play, the religion, sexual connotations and deep misunderstandings about the human mind contribute to a most disturbing atmosphere created by Schaffer, which works effectively to produce 'Equus'.
And just a note to anybody who had read the book, and something to encourage you future readers - look deeply into the names of the characters, Alan, Dora and Frank Strang. If you get out a name dictionary, you may discover something very interesting...
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Equus by Peter Shaffer (Paperback - May 28 1984)
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