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Equus (1973)

por Peter Shaffer

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2,143217,431 (4.01)37
Equus is Peter Shaffer's exploration of the way modern society has destroyed our ability to feel passion. Alan Strang is a disturbed youth whose dangerous obsession with horses leads him to commit an unspeakable act of violence. As psychiatrist Martin Dysart struggles to understand the motivation for Alan's brutality, he is increasingly drawn into Alan's web and eventually forced to question his own sanity. Equus is a timeless classic and a cornerstone of contemporary drama that delves into the darkest recesses of human existence.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 21 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I've been trying to read more (non-Shakespeare) plays lately, and it was hard to ignore the pull of curiosity to read this one, given how unorthodox and eerily controversial its premise is. But in this case, Equus was one of those works that ended up being a lot deeper and more far-reaching for me than the 'scandalous' gossip surrounding it suggested.

It's actually a very short and straightforward play (only two acts), where you have no difficulty keeping track of the characters, setting, or action. In the present day, a psychiatrist named Martin Dysart attempts to unravel the motives of a particularly disturbed young patient entrusted to him by a magistrate friend; a boy named Alan who gouged the eyes out of six horses in some kind of seemingly unprovoked mad frenzy.

As Dysart gains Alan's trust, he eventually teases out the motives and mentality behind his bizarre crime, which are tied up in issues of religion, family, passion, sexuality, and the human need for something greater than oneself. The play manages to do quite a bit with the interplay between these topics in such a short time. I'd love to see it performed live; even reading the stage notes and the way in which elements like the lighting, rotating stage, and horse actors interact gave me a very distinct feeling of the play's eerie, charged atmosphere.

Dysart's development and slow change over the play was done very well, as he questions throughout whether any man, especially one who claims to be healing the psychological pain of children, has the right to take away the kind of passion and mad truth that has manifested itself in Alan.

I feel like a really good literary round table discussion on this play, one fully willing to engage open-mindedly with the weird, religious/sacrilegious, sexual, and psychological depths it broaches would bear a lot of fruit. Maybe someday I'll get to have one. In the meantime, I'll continue musing on some of the strange, chillingly compelling questions Equus raises about gods, sanity, and truth. ( )
  booksong | Mar 18, 2020 |
A great play; a wonderful role for a young actor. I saw the original Broadway production; wish I could have seen Daniel Radcliffe's performance too. A boy, six horses, a psychiatrist, a girl, and parents. And religious fervor. ( )
  deckla | Aug 20, 2018 |
I've been meaning to read this book for years - since 2008, apparently. I picked this one up last year, and finally got around to reading it. Four years to read a book - quite a while, innit?

Anyroad, I'm not entirely certainw hat I thought I'd be getting into. My impressions of the book were largely gleaned from disillusioned Harry Potter fans (How could Radcliffe do this??) and confused media reviews about a play with bestiality at its center. Well, the script was nothing like that.

The play was more heavily psychologically bound. The protagonist of the play is a psychiatrist who specializes in child psychology. He describes his career as having reached a menopausal point - he's begun questioning whether or not he's doing the children he treats much good.

If you take away the pain in someone's life, aren't you taking away what is most personal, most intimate to them? If you take away the pain, are you taking away the passion? Is Alan, who views his God Equus as bound up in all horses, better off for being able to interact with his God? There are a number of deep questions bound up in this play, and the minimal descriptions afforded with it are quite evocative.

I greatly wish to see this play performed live now, and more, I greatly wish to discuss it with others who have had the pleasure of reading it. To say this piece moved me would be a bit of an understatement. This is just the sort of theater that I most enjoy. ( )
1 vote Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Haunting and intelligent. Anything that deals with super strong religious themes will creep me out. Interesting personal struggles for the psychiatrist that involved strong dialogue for him. Glad I finally read this one. Would love to see it on the stage. The direction in the book was intriguing to me. ( )
  ctkjs | Jan 3, 2018 |
Equus reeks of wasted potential.
The conceit -- that the world has become unromantic, mechanical, normal and one young man's attempt to break through it all -- was good. The set, the Noise, stage directions -- all good.
But the dialogue and the story itself were hamfisted and mediocre. All of the characters except Alan are bland and one dimensional. It's like something Ballard would have written when he was having an off day. I haven't seen it played -- but I think even with a great company it would fail. ( )
1 vote noonaut | Jan 19, 2017 |
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Equus is Peter Shaffer's exploration of the way modern society has destroyed our ability to feel passion. Alan Strang is a disturbed youth whose dangerous obsession with horses leads him to commit an unspeakable act of violence. As psychiatrist Martin Dysart struggles to understand the motivation for Alan's brutality, he is increasingly drawn into Alan's web and eventually forced to question his own sanity. Equus is a timeless classic and a cornerstone of contemporary drama that delves into the darkest recesses of human existence.

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