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Dynamics of Space and Relationship in Equus

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2016, 29(2), pp.111-132
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

So Young Yoon 1

1건국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Peter Shaffer’s Equus is a salient text for digging up the meaning of space and relationships between Alan and Horse-God Equus, between Alan and Father, and between Alan and Dysart. Based on a true story, this text is said to take 2 years and a half to complete. Known for eccentric and violent behavior on horses, protagonist Alan Strang was sent to hospital to consult the doctor Martin Dysart. He did blinding six horses by pricking their eyes with a sharp weapon. This play reifies three kinds of relationships converging on Alan; his objects are Equus, Father and Dysart. All the three characters function as Alan’s double. First, Equus is Alan’s mother, idealized god/father and Alan himself. Second, Alan’s father as a double functions as Alan’s unconsciousness. Repression and prohibition are placed in the name of the father. Last, Dysart is thought to be Alan’s alter ego. Reversal of roles between Alan and Dysart happens when Alan asks Dysart a few questions and vice versa. While Dysart plays a role in digging up Alan’s unconsciousness and past, during the process he feels from Alan some passion, which he hasn’t got ever. This play has a circular structure of two monologues by Dysart at the beginning and at the end. Dysart’s confessional monologues show how he feels about the limitation of his job and how he should correct many abnormal adolescents in the name of cure. According to him, he acts like a priest to do that. In conclusion, this play shows the importance and dynamic aspects of space and relationships with Alan. In particular, Alan’s room and the stable as a temple and Dysart’s office are mainly significant space to show how Alan’s relationships with Equus, Father and Dysart develop.

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