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Shaffer's literary and cultural contexts are sources of ideas and symbolism by the Equus noise, symbolic of the collective subconscious; like Greek theatre. Equus by Peter Shaffer, , Avon edition, in English. Read Equus by Peter Shaffer for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android.

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Equus by Peter Shaffer - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. DRAMA for Students. Equus - Kindle edition by Peter Shaffer. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and. 2. apr. Download Equus | PDF File. 1. Download Equus | PDF File; 2. Book details Author: Peter Shaffer Pages: pages Publisher: Scribner.

That experience is composed, of course, not merely of the words they heard, but the gestures they saw, and the lighting, and the look of the thing. There are, however, evils attendant on this sort of description.

It can imprison a play in one particular stylization. Just as seriously, it can do a real injustice to the original Director, by incorporating his ideas without truly acknowledging them. Worse, if the Director is as inventive as John Dexter, it can actually seem to minimize those ideas, just by flatly setting down on paper what was far from flat on the stage, and listing inexpressively details of his work which, in accumulation, became deeply expressive. Dexter directs powerfully through suggestion.

Into the theatrical spaces he contrives, flows the communal imagination of an audience. He enables it to charge the action of a play with electric life.

He is a master of gesture and of economy. Aesthetically, his founding fathers are Noh Drama and Berthold Brecht: I do not mean by this that he would ever direct a single minute of physical action which detracted from the meaning of a play, or in some grand visual sense subverted it—he sharply dislikes effect isolated from context—but he is naturally and rightly drawn to plays which demand elaborate physical actions to complete them.

Their visual action is to me as much a part of the play as the dialogue. I suppose my head has always been full of images.

The gold masks staring hopefully and then in gathering despair at the sky, at the end of The Royal Hunt of the Sun, had been part of my imagination ever since I first saw a Peruvian funeral mask with its elongated eyes and red-smeared cheeks.

Brindsley Miller in the lit-up darkness of Black Comedy, slowly moving the spiky legs of a Regency chair one inch before the innocent face of his spinster neighbour, had tiptoed that very journey in my head as I sat at my desk.

But such images, like the Field of Ha-ha in Equus with its mist and nettles, still have to be externalized. While I am confessing debts, let me mention John Napier who created the tough, bright masks of horsedom; Andy Phillips who lit them superbly; and above all, Claude Chagrin, who animated them. She created, with the help of six human actors, a stable of Superhorses to stalk through the mind.

Finally, out of a fine company I must set down the names of three actors who made the first performance of this play live with a very special intensity. Rehearsing a play is making the word flesh. Publishing a play is reversing the process. I can only hope this book is not too unjust to these brilliant people. One weekend over two years ago, I was driving with a friend through bleak countryside.

We passed a stable. Suddenly he was reminded by it of an alarming crime which he had heard about recently at a dinner party in London. He knew only one horrible detail, and his complete mention of it could barely have lasted a minute—but it was enough to arouse in me an intense fascination.

You see, I'm wearing that horse's head myself. That's the feeling.

All reined up in old language and old assumptions, straining to jump clean-hoofed on to a whole new track of being I only suspect is there. I can't see it, because my educated, average head is being held at the wrong angle.

I can't jump because the bit forbids it, and my own basic force -- my horsepower, if you like -- is too little. The only thing I know for sure is this: a horse's head is finally unknowable to me. Yet I handle children's heads -- which I must presume to be more complicated, at least in the area of my chief concern In a way, it has nothing to do with this boy. The doubts have been there for years, piling up steadily in this dreary place.

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It's only the extremity of this case that's made them active. I know that. The extremity is the point! All the same, whatever the reason, they are now, these doubts, not just vaguely worrying -- but intolerable I'm sorry. I'm not making much sense. Let me start properly; in order. Dora is still incredulous that Alan could do such a thing, especially since he loves horses. Dora tells Dysart that Alan has a photograph of a horse hung up in his bedroom, and that when he was a child, Dora would read him a story about a horse named Prince.

The horse in the story was so faithful that no one except his master could ride him. Dora also told Alan that when pagans in the New World first saw Europeans on horseback, they believed that the horse and its rider were one person, a strange deity.


The fact that he had to hide this love from his father and watch Westerns in secret parallels the private rituals he develops in his own room. Active Themes Frank returns home, and Dora resumes talking. Dysart asks the Strang parents how much Alan knows about sex. Dora replies that she told Alan that sex is not only a biological experience, but also a spiritual one. She begins to cry. Frank puts his arms around Dora and leads her back to their bench.

The scene ends. This elitist attitude toward horses directly contrasts the raw and rugged cowboy culture depicted in the Westerns that Alan so loves. There is silence as Alan and Dysart stare at each other. The doctor then leaves and enters the square.

Active Themes Scene 9. Dysart consents, but only if they both tell the truth. Meanwhile, Alan asks the doctor questions about his own dreams and his wife, which makes Dysart visibly uncomfortable. Dysart abruptly ends the session, which upsets Alan—he wants more time with the psychiatrist. Dysart, though, says that he will not engage with Alan until the boy begins to speak openly about his first memory of a horse. At first Alan throws a tantrum, but as he realizes that Dysart will continue to ignore him, he calms down.

The actors sitting upstage, forming a chorus, begin to hum the Equus Noise faintly as Alan begins to describe his memory. Alan is clearly embarrassed by the fact that Dysart witnessed his nightmare the previous night.

Everyone has private lives they wish to keep to themselves. Active Themes Scene As Alan describes this memory for Dysart, he walks around the circle and acts it out onstage.

He tells Dysart that he was six years old, and on a beach.

Tony Award-Winning Play “EQUUS” by Peter Shaffer | Eureka Theatre

A Horseman emerges onstage and gallops across the imaginary beach. The Horseman charges toward Alan, who cries out.

The rider swerves at the last second and apologizes for not noticing the boy. The man then offers to give Alan a ride. He lifts the boy onto the horse—the actor simulates this by lifting Alan onto his shoulders—and they ride together along the beach, faster and faster, until Frank and Dora realize what their son is doing. They yell at the Horseman to stop.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, this crucial element has to do with a horse. Dysart will explain later on that acting out these experiences is thought to help patients express themselves and deal with their trauma.

Active Themes The Horseman stops and Frank confronts him, angry that the man picked Alan up without permission. The Horseman coolly responds that Alan was perfectly safe.

Murdering Divinities

Frank tells his son to get off the horse, but Alan refuses. After an exchange of insults, the Horseman rides off, splashing the Strangs with water. In this moment, the adults are distracted by other things: Frank is more concerned with protecting his own dignity, and Dora is more amused than worried about their situation.

Active Themes Dysart thanks Alan for sharing the memory and comments that he has never been on a horse before, and Alan says that after his experience with the Horseman, he never rode again.A man in his fifties. The play is divided into numbered scenes, indicating a change of time or locale or mood. DORA That's a little extreme, dear, isn't it? Shaffer asks his audience to focus less on why Alan himself is to blame for his crime, and to concentrate instead on the societal pressures that have led to this tragedy.

Peter Shaffer: Editorial Reviews "Remarkable

KAYLEEN from Idaho
Feel free to read my other articles. I am highly influenced by board games. I do like cheerfully .