• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Equus Essay. Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to seem like normal, average people and good parents, his portrayal of Dora leads the audience to believe the contrary. She is one of the least likable characters in Equus and t

Extracts from this document...


Q: Comment closely on scene 11, paying particular attention to the light it sheds on Dora's character and her role in Alan's crime Although it is obvious that Shaffer intended both Frank and Dora to seem like normal, average people and good parents, his portrayal of Dora leads the audience to believe the contrary. She is one of the least likable characters in Equus and thus the easiest to blame for Alan's crime. Though other factors do contribute to Alan's blinding of six horses, it seems instinctual and thus wholly acceptable to blame Dora for Alan's pain. There would be absolutely no reason for Dora to behave the way she does with Dysart if she truly believed in her own innocence: Shaffer mentions in the stage directions that she is "uncomfortable" and punctuates her last few lines in the scene with an "uncomfortable pause". Afraid that Dysart will find the majority of the magnetizing moments in Alan's "chain of shackles" as her work, Dora makes up excuses to mask this combination of guilt and fear she feels. Mixed in with these feelings is her resentment of Alan, resentment that his actions have cast shadows of doubt on her capability as a parent in front of the whole society and society's mascot: Dysart. She therefore masks the truth (that she explicitly came to see Dysart) with a nervously administered excuse: "I've been shopping in the neighbourhood. ...read more.


Ashamed. Everything you can imagine! Dora [exploding]: And me? What about me?...What do you think I am?...I'm a parent of course-so it doesn't count. Thats a dirty word in here, isn't it, 'parent'? Dora clearly views her pain and discomfort above Alan's and seems more worried about herself, her image, than Alan's pain and his grief. It seems, indeed, that as long as Alan is in her manipulative clutches she'll do anything "just as long as he's happy", but once he has broken through that bond of normalcy and religion that kept the two of them together, he isn't her son anymore, but evil. "I only know he was my little Alan, and then the Devil came". Dora has finally viewed her son as subversive, weird, perhaps even crazy, and she cannot seem to love him the way she used to when he was pliable and subservient to her. This is demonstrated by the slap, it is Dora's frustration at finding out that (much like Frank), her authority (or own personal brand of it) no longer holds any sway with Alan, and hence he "stares" at her, and perhaps hidden within the stare is the blame that Dora cannot bring herself to face. It is Dora's indulgence of both Frank and Alan that causes such disruption with the Strang household. She believes in letting them both have their way. ...read more.


In telling Dysart about the picture (and slapping Alan) she cuts the last of her ties with her son and sides with her husband, even her phrasing indicative of this new allegiance "You see, there's something Mr. Strang and I thought you ought to know. We discussed it, and it might just be important". It is odd to note, though, that she stills holds on to hope for her son, as her visit indicates. She is still willing to sneak behind Frank's back to visit Alan, "Perhaps if I could come one afternoon without Mr. Strang". Dora's tendency to sneak behind her husband's back with Alan leaves a formidable impression on him. Frank describes the pair as being "thick as thieves", and tells Dysart that Dora whispers stories and religion to her son in his room "hour after hour", with the door closed, and Dora "conspiratorially" sneaks Alan over to a neighbour's to watch television. Dora's sneakiness and leniency foster Alan's hatred and deification of the repressive Frank, delaying his revelation that dad was "nothing special", a revelation which empowered him to have sex with Jill and consequently blind the six horses. Though Alan's crime is supposed to seem a strange concoction of linked events, emotions and stories, along with a hint of something completely unique, the motivations behind his crime seem to stem from Dora, who, despite her arguments against such a claim, is really not a good mother at all. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The History Boys. Consider the significance of finding your way in life, in ...

    3 star(s)

    Fiona, suddenly dug in, no further deployments were sanctioned, and around 23.00 hours our forces withdrew.(p.28).? Everything he does, he does without showing his heart but his wit.

  2. In the play Equus worship and passion are seen in many contrasting lights. In ...

    death - thorns driven into his head - nails into his hands - a spear jammed through his ribs. It can mark anyone for life, that kind of thing. I'm not joking. The boy was absolutely fascinated by all that.

  1. With detailed reference to at least three of the monologues, discuss how the narrators ...

    of somebody she didn't know very well, apart from talking to her on a bus. She makes minor connections with this woman to portray a reason for her attending the funeral. For example, she says, "... she had a niece in Australia and I have the one cousin in Canada..."

  2. How are feelings about love revealed in Mrs Dalloway

    Dalloway's true frustration is not that the children are crossing the road alone, he is in fact frustrated about the situation he is in with his wife. The negative adjectives used to describe things which he is upset about to do with his job as an MP - "detestable social

  1. Pygmalion - the significance of accents and the characters of Eliza and Henry.

    Henry is very confident, however he is also determined and uncaring. Henry believes that he can make anyone into what he wants using his skills, which is shown when he makes the bet with Pickering. He believes he can make even a common flower girl into a duchess or seeming royalty.

  2. Discuss the view that Tony Lumpkin in "She Stoops to Conquer"is nothing more than ...

    indication to the familial relationship shows how Tony is caring and ?a good natured creature at bottom?.

  1. The play Cosi, written by Louis Nowra, supports the assumption that certain members of ...

    patients such as Roy and Henry have little control over their actions. Lucy and Nick?s inability to see the patients as equals to themselves support Nowra?s assumption that the majority of society do not deem these people to be ?normal? and therefore do not know how to interact with them.

  2. Through the selection of three characters in 'Journey's End' examine how Sherriff presents human ...

    This is also true of Hibbert's broken sentences; a few lines later he says "every sound up there makes me all - cold and sick. I'm different to - to the others - you don't understand." The language shows the extent of Hibbert's suffering, but it is the broken structure

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work