Monday, February 15, 2010

Equus

As some of you may know I am currently in my third year at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) majoring in English Literature. One of the required texts in my British Literature class is Equus by Peter Shaffer. The play has had some recent publicity due to Daniel Radcliffe, a.k.a Harry Potter, playing the lead role of Alan Strang.

Before reading the play I had heard some strange things: people were stating that it was about a boy who is in love with horses, he looks to them as Gods, etc, etc AND at the end of the play he kills them all. This is partly true and partly false. Despite the weirdness of the story, it is one of the best plays I have read in a long time. I found the story to be intriguing and disturbing at the same time. The metaphors and hidden symbolism are intelligent and, without sounding too much like a nerd, fascinating to uncover. As a class we contemplated whether or not it would be better to study as a performance rather than as a text and I believe it should be studied as both. One cannot truly appreciate this play without analyzing it as a text, as well as critiquing it as a performance. I recommend everyone either read the play and/or go watch a performance whenever you have a chance.

Peter Shaffer is a genius. :)

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