Scene by scene analysis of "Equus"

Authors Avatar by romanyamberindia345 (student)

Romany Watkins

(Act 01 – Scene 01) This scene indicates us a first overview about the psychiatrist Dysart. The scene is a monologue of Dysart, in what he thinks about the boy and the horse. Here you can understand that Dysart wants to find the problem of the horse, or what

Sun 12:12

Romany Watkins

(Act 01 – Scene 01)

This scene indicates us a first overview about the psychiatrist Dysart. The scene is a monologue of Dysart, in what he thinks about the boy and the horse. Here you can understand that Dysart wants to find the problem of the horse, or what is wrong in the horse, that Alan did the crime. But Dysart's main problem is he cannot understand the horse's head - "a horse's head is finally unknowable to me". He only handled children's heads. Scene 1 delivers insight into the whole story and about the exercise that Dysart has to do.

(Act 01 – Scene 02)

In scene 2 Hesther is coming to Dysart because of an urgent concern. Entering the room Dysart welcomes her with a kiss on her cheek. So what kind of relationship do they have, is not clear but it seems that they have a strong and close relation. Hesther tells him the problem with the boy Alan Strang. He would be going to prison if nobody helped him. Dysart is not interested in this case and tells her that he has enough patients. Hester goes on telling him the story of this boy and what the boy is about and then he is getting more and more interested because this boy is not normal. There are things about this boy Dysart seems to find very special and perhaps mysterious. Dysart asks Hesther what the boy has done and when getting an answer there is a long pause. While reading what Alan has done the reader is shocked and he or she wonders how somebody can do this. What is this boy about?

(Act 01 – Scene 03)

The third scene of act one shows that Alan is a very introvert person who doesn’t show any interests and doesn’t want other persons to know anything about him. The fact that he doesn’t react when Dysart speaks to him reveals that he doesn’t want to talk about himself. Inside of himself, Alan seems to be a little boy because he starts to sing commercial songs instead of answering the questions of Dysart. It’s like he did not speak the same language as Dysart. Also, he does the reverse of what other people want from him, for example he doesn’t sing the song which Dysart wants him to sing but the first one for the third time. So he does everything in order not to show his real personality. As he recognizes that Dysart is interested in him, he seems to be surprised. That shows that he isn’t used to stand in the focus. I think Alan is very surprised because Dysart is that nice to him. He hadn’t thought that he would get his own room without asking for one. The third act indicates that something changes in Alan because he notices that the people are not the same. In Dysart, he sees a good-natured person. Maybe this fact makes him change his mind about people in general.

(Act 01 – Scene 04)

In scene 4 the nurse tries to be nice to Alan by showing him his room in a very friendly kind of way, which reverts to the third scene. This fact concentrate the suspicion, that Alan learns to get to know the good side of people. Alan's respond is to sing commercials and he signalizes her in that way how uninterested he is to get a relation to anyone. The songs seem to have a special meaning to him. Maybe he sings them because his parents forbid him to watch TV. That would be an indication that he does exactly these things he must not. The answer he gives has nothing to do with the things the nurse says. This leaves the impression that he didn't get anything of it. With his “fuck off”, he shows that he isn’t interested in anything. He doesn’t care if he gets into trouble because he doesn’t behave himself. His life appears to be senseless because he doesn’t show any interest into anything. He “fucks off” his life. It seems like he is living in his own world.

(Act 01 – Scene 05)

This dream seems to show how Dysart feels inside. He is dreaming about "killing" boys and girls for sacrificing them. That could be a parallel to his real life. In his dream he is not doing something good and by going on with reading, he doesn't seem to know what to do. This dream represents the absentia of his life and his state of happiness, which doesn't exist. He appears to live only in his work and to have the feeling that the work is not enough to implement his life.

(Act 01 – Scene 06)

Dysarts blame on Hesther is an affirmation of his unhappiness with this case. He says "you feeling unworthy to fill a job. I feel the job is unworthy to fill me." to Hesther, here continues the meaning of his dream. He thinks the case of Alan demands sparse of him. But the reality is that he does not understand this boy. That's probably the first time for him that he does not understand the action of a patient.

(Act 01 – Scene 07)

In this scene it becomes badly apparent that Alan's parents, Frank and Dora, work against each other. Their opinions are very different and if there's the opportunity to run each other down they jump at the chance. Mrs Strang shows peradventure through holding her hands tightly together by motion Dysart to sit down. She's scared of Dysart's questions and afraid of getting blamed for Alan's act. Also the relationship between Alan and horses becomes more clearly. Already as a young boy he loved horses and Westerns. His mother was happy about it and showed him that horses play a role in the bible, too. The song they learned by rote was on one hand an alliance between Dora and Alan and on the other hand a contact to the bible. Along the way Dora used Alan's interest for horses to give him an understanding of the bible. By letting him slip off at the afternoon to a friend’s house, Dora got Alan's confidence. But she did it without her husband's knowledge. That's one of the points she worked against him and his education. You can see, by Frank entering the door, Alan lies back under the blanket. He wants to avoid that Frank sees him or wants to talk to him. The relationship between father and son isn't good.

With saying "I told him how that came from Equus... Alan was fascinated by that word... I suppose because he'd never come across one with two U's together before.", Dora reveals why Alan calls his master "Equus". It fascinates him and was an important moment in his life. When Dora leaves the room, Frank starts talking about their marriage. Through some comments he shows Mr.Dysart that they have a lot of problems. Also Frank feels, that Dora thinks her opinion is more important than his own. He's very sick about it and blames the religion for it. He blames the religion for every problem inside the family, also the act of Alan. Especially the last part of the scene, with Dora lying on the floor and crying “Laugh! Laugh as usual!" demonstrates the bad relationship between the couple. You don't really know what she means, but she shows anger and frustration through her reaction.

(Act 01 – Scene 08)

Alan cries "Ek; Ek". He means "Equus; Equus". Alan is dreaming of his master. His master comes in many nights and it's a torture for Alan. He knows that Equus can see him everywhere and he has no chance to flee. It doesn't matter if he is awake or asleep: Equus wants to control him and observes Alan's operations. If you try to transfuse the character of Equus of a special person in Alan's life it's very similar to Frank, Alan's dad. He also wants to know, to control and to appoint everything in his own life and also in the life of his family. Frank doesn't like television and thinks you become stupid by watching it. He says, the television has to leave the house. He doesn't want to know what the rest of the family thinks about it. Also he wants to know everything about Alan's activities. But Alan doesn't want to tell him everything. That's normal. Teenagers need liberty. If you look for a second similar person you can find Dora, Alan's mother. With her religious life she compresses Alan. A religion has many rules and especially for a teenager who wants to party, have fun and make sexual experiences, it's very hard to combine them with their life. Teenagers need their liberty. Equus, Frank and Dora aren't prepared to give Alan these liberties.

Join now!

(Act 01 – Scene 09) 

In the ninth scene of act one, Dysart asks some questions to Alan. Instead of answering, Alan inquires counter questions. That’s not usual for Dysart so he doesn’t respond because it’s not his job. His patient tries to turn the tables on. He doesn’t want to subordinate to Dysart. The only resort of Dysart is to cooperate with Alan because otherwise, he wouldn’t get his answers. He feels very uncomfortable as Alan starts to ask Dysart about his privacy. He wants to know what kind of dreams he has and if he’s married. Maybe this ...

This is a preview of the whole essay