A summary of equus a play by peter shaffer

He begins with a monologue in which he outlines the case of year-old Alan Strang, who blinded six horses. He also divulges his feeling that his occupation is not all that he wishes it to be and his feelings of dissatisfaction and disappointment about his barren life. Dysart finds that the supply of troubled young people for him to "adjust" back into "normal" living is never-ending, but he doubts the value of treating these youths, since they will simply return to a dull, normal life that lacks any commitment and "worship" a recurring theme. A court magistrate, Hesther Saloman, visits Dysart, believing that he has the skills to help Alan come to terms with what he did.

A summary of equus a play by peter shaffer

He is confronted by this recognition through his treatment of Alan Strang, an adolescent who inexplicably blinds six horses with a horsepick.

It is a crime that shocks and outrages the owner of the stables, who believes that Alan should be imprisoned.

A summary of equus a play by peter shaffer

Unperturbed, Dysart begins seeing Alan and then begins to make inquiries. He finds the Strang household to be absolutely normal superficially, but, beneath this appearance of normality, strange tensions vibrate. Strang is dictatorial and repressed; Mrs.

A summary of equus a play by peter shaffer

Strang is filled with religious mania. Neither is able to deal in any real way with what happened. Alan himself seems unable to deal with his actions, and Dysart works to find ways to allow Alan to tell him things that will help to explain the blinding of the horses.

Using a small recorder, Alan tells Dysart of his first encounter with a horse on a beach when he was six years old.


A rider took him up and down through the surf, Alan glorying in the ride until his enraged father pulled him down from the horse, claiming that the horse and rider were menaces to safety. For Alan, it was a moment of great passion; it began his sense of a godlike spirit in horses, a god he named Equus.

Dalton, Dysart learns that Alan was introduced to the stable by Jill Mason, and at first he believed that he found a good worker, since Alan did much more than his share of grooming the horses and cleaning the stables.

Oddly, however, Alan never rode the horses, though Mr. Dalton suspected that periodically they were ridden at night. Clearly, Alan was passionately fascinated by horses; in fact, he worshiped the god The entire section is words.Shaffer's play, Equus won the Tony Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics' Circle that year as well.

[ citation needed ] His screenplay adaptation of the play was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in Equus plot summary, character breakdowns, context and analysis, and performance video clips.

to save the doctor himself. English playwright Sir Peter Shaffer’s international hit is a dazzling, complex, and thrilling look at passion, sex, religion, and sanity. Characters. Martin Dysart. Best Play First Produced. Genres. This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Equus by Peter Shaffer.

“Equus” is a Tony Award-winning play written by Peter Schaffer and published in It details the efforts of Dr. Martin Dysart to get to the root of the problems affecting neurotic seventeen year-old Alan Strang, who has blinded six horses with a pick at the stable where he works.

Jul 09,  · This feature is not available right now. Please try again later. Equus is a play by English playwright Peter Shaffer. Focusing on a young man with a pathological religious fixation on horses, and the psychiatrist who attempts to unravel the mysteries of the young man’s psyche, it was inspired by a true story of religious mutilation of horses near Suffolk that led Shaffer to try to figure out what could have motivated the culprit.

Peter Shaffer had an identical twin brother, Anthony Shaffer, who also became a successful playwright and screenwriter. He was most famous for the play Sleuth, which he later adapted into a film starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine.

Initial spark.

Equus (Play) Plot & Characters | StageAgent