How Does Peter Shaffer Use Themes as Devices in Equus to Validate the Unpleasant.

Decent Essays
It is difficult to suggest what the comfortable view of normal is as there are many different perceptions, which should be considered. In the beginning of ‘Equus’ one considers the character of Martin Dysart to be normal as he rarely strays outside of societies boundaries. However, as we move through the play one discovers there is much more to Martin Dysart than once thought. In reality the themes dealt with in ‘Equus’ challenges our own sense of what is normal. They are as equally as shocking to Dysart, yet made justifiable by Alan Strang’s worship for Equus, the god of horses. This is why ‘Peter Shaffer’ uses ‘Equus’ as a sort of device to standardize and make the strange acceptable. He does this by introducing a sense of innocence into…show more content…
Although abstract normality adopts god like features and begins to dominate our lives. It is ‘The average made lethal.’ Sadly, it is unescapable and whether we accept it or not it will stay with us forever. Through the help of Strang, Dysart acknowledges this and realises his job consists of ‘removing the good smile in a child eyes’. He feels as though by limiting one to the constraints of normality part of their humanity is lost. This is shown through his dream on page 24. This dream is the first time that the audience can see Martin Dysart’s transition from the comfortable view of what is normal to a more unique view on life.

‘Peter Shaffer’ uses ‘Equus’ as a device to standardize and make the abnormal acceptable. In reality many of the themes and actions dealt with challenge our sense of normality so by introducing an element of innocence into Strang’s character, we as an audience, are suddenly forced to connect and sympathise for him. The innocence is ultimately illustrated by Strang’s worship and love for Equus. Without the element of innocence it would be difficult to forgive his defiance of the ‘comfortable view’ of what is normal. Yet without the defiance we would be unable to forgive him for fitting the societies view of what is normal. Essentially this innocence is the element, which balances the personality of Alan Strang beautifully. Interestingly these are the very elements that Dysart is lacking. ‘That's what his stare has been
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