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Discuss the use of Form and Structure in Equus

Uploaded by Appleman on Oct 12, 2007

Discuss the use of Form and Structure in Equus


Peter Schaffer’s play Equus is a non linear play. This means that it doesn’t start at the beginning and nothing else occurs in the order in which you would expect it to. If it was linear, we would start with Alan at a very young age, and finish with the monologue that Dysart opened the play with. We would see what Alan did at the time he did it, and we watch all of the action being relived when Alan tells Dysart what he has done. It is also non naturalistic, meaning that it doesn’t mirror what real happened. It does not start at the beginning. The acting however is naturalistic because it represents what is real, how it would really have occurred if where the play started was in fact the start of the story.

Equus is also episodic. This means that each scene is like a different episode, telling a different part of the story to the previous scenes. Each episodic scene either adds a new clue to the mystery of why Alan did what he did to the horses, or each scene creates a new mystery to be solved in a later scene. Each separate scene allows the story to move on.

The story is set out like a suspense thriller. The audience is intrigued to know why it happened so they keep watching until the truth is eventually revealed. But with each scene that goes by, another piece of the mystery is either solved or revealed to us, creating yet more suspense because there is more to be resolved. In the opening couple of scenes, we learn what it is that Alan has allegedly done, and we then see him singing instead of answering questions. This is the hook. We want to know what is wrong with this boy, why he did what he did, and why he is acting so strangely. So we continue to read the play, coming across so many questions, and to begin with, very few answers.

In this play, Dysart becomes like a detective. We know that he is a psychiatrist and not an actual detective, but the way his goes about his job makes him like a detective. He is determined to know the truth and uncover all the facts, and find out what really happened. He tries a...

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Uploaded by:   Appleman

Date:   10/12/2007

Category:   Plays

Length:   4 pages (1,012 words)

Views:   6189

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