Equus Reading Response

11 November 2016

Shaffer’s play Equus is about Alan Strang and his perception on horses. Alan is currently being treated by a Martin Dysart, his psychiatrist, for blinding six horses. His psychiatrist tries to get Alan to explain what was going on and he eventually begins to open up. When Alan was a child, his mother was a Christian who read the bible to him every day. One day, his father destroyed a picture of the crucifixion of Jesus and Alan decided to replace it with a picture of a horse.

During Alan’s childhood, he grew an attraction towards horses from cowboy movies, his mother’s stories, and his grandfather’s love for horses. Later in the play, Alan gets a job at a stable and meets Jill Mason. Jill convinces Alan to have sex with the horses because of his attraction. In order to have sex with the horses, Alan stabs the horse’s eyes because he believed that they were Gods. He did not want the horses to see the sin he was about to commit to them.

Alan’s early childhood affected the way Alan thought about horses greatly. The picture of Jesus that was replaced confused him and he replaced Jesus with horses in his head. When his mother would tell him stories from the bible, Alan had images of horses instead of images of Jesus. When he has sex with the horses, he stabs them in the eye because he believes that they are Gods. He did not want the Gods to see what he was about to do to them.

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