Analysis Of Peter Shaffer 's ' The Play ' Essay

1263 Words Jan 27th, 2015 null Page
In his play Equus, Peter Shaffer weaves a tapestry of myriad emotions and experiences interlaced with insinuating dark and light undertones The juxtaposition of ‘light’ and ‘dark’ (both literal and metaphorical), often captured by the lighting of the stage, typically serves to accentuate the mood of a scene or the stance of a character. This juxtaposition is redolent of a sense of balance between opposing forces that permeates the play. The lighting also serves to ultimately justify the actions of a character from another’s perspective.

The opening scene of the play strikes a relatively dark note and is set in ’darkness’ with Alan Strang, the primary protagonist, and his horse, Nugget, in a spotlight. As his psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, enters the scene, a dim light is cast onto the circle of wood that surrounds the elevated square of wood Alan in standing on. Dysart’s resentment and desperation is reflected in the dimness of the light cast upon him. In his aside, Dysart questions the horse’s emotional turmoil and its feeling of grief or passion and thus views it as a ‘disabled’ entity (instead of Alan whom society views as disabled). Extending the disability of the horse to himself, he exclaims that he is lost and is desperate to “jump clean hoofed onto a whole new track of being”. However, he resents the fact he is restrained by his “bit” and says he can’t see it (the new track) since his “educated, average head is being held at the wrong angle“. This scene contrasts…

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