Equus Exploration Notes - Sample Essay

At the end of scene 1, Alan has dived deeper into his self-conscience by the help of Dysart with the use of the metallic sound created by the banging pen. He uses capital letters to show that Alan has raised his voice. Such as “WONDERFUL” (PAGE 58), he also uses ellipses, which we analysed as his way of showing the tension increase by the fact that he seems confused but we also discussed that it may mean that it could show his mind is racing around as he is on the horse in the flashback.

The “cruelty of theatre” is a sense of discomfort for the audience and Peter Shaffer has created this by the crude language such as “raw, stiff, trample” and this creates the needed tension which makes this scene so effective. Characterisation In a small activity we explored the way Dysart would walk. We discussed whether he would walk with the head leading? I believed that he would walk with his head, oppose to his chest or arms because he uses his head first in all situations and so why would that change in his walk.

However, I did discuss you use of arms because they were his tools and so I thought his arms might guide him through his life. Vocal Awareness As Dysart is educated and well spoken I think that his accent should be quite posh and sophisticated whereas Alan’s would be a mixture of Irish and northern because of the parents accents however he might be have a English accent because his dad didn’t really spend a lot of time with him and so he might not of picked up his accent. I believe that the most suitable accent for Alan would be English.

Social, cultural, historical and political In the 1950 homosexuality was banned from being practised and the government expected women to stay virgins until they were married. Males and females were expected to date for the initially idea of marriage. The reasons why this was because they were scared of the number of pregnancy would increase and the number of S. T. D’s would also increase. In this time period social progressivism had occurred and the western community had recognised same sex partnerships, abortion, contraceptives.

There were many issues in these time period for one there was the war in Vietnam, America had sent in at their peak over 500,000 men into battle. The capital punishment was abolished in 1973 (expect for treason) and the last execution was in 1964, it was totally abolished in 1988. After the world war the parliament had issued a censorship on all plays that were going to be shown however this was challenged the section of people called “the angry young men” which were a group of people who tried to break the censorship by showing harshness and realism.

This term was brought on after the play “look back in anger (1956). It was demolished in 1968. I believe that if the censorship was not demolished then this would of defiantly challenged it because of the harshness of the lexis (f**k, kill) and also the violence in scene 34 where Alan is shown stabbing out the horse eyes. Artaud who influenced peter Shaffer believes in the cruelty of theatre which doubt would have been allowed in the censorship. Resources http://hrsbstaff. ednet. ns. ca/waymac/GLOBAL%20HISTORY/1960s/sexual_revolution__attitudes_abo. htm www. wikipedia.

org Below I will now annotate a scene from the play and explore the vocal awareness, non verbal communication, and interpretation of the play: Visual, aural and spatial The costumes of the characters should be realistic because then it shows a contrast between them and the events that occur in the play. I don’t thin that many props should be used, I think that mine should be used to suggest the idea that the objects are there. I think that this will mean that actors and actress will perform with more non-verbal expression. The horse’s mask vgv The Equus noise

The Equus noise is composed of hums, stamps and thumps. Never neighing and whinnying, this is to illustrates presence of Equus the god (this is done throughout the tense ritualistic scene in the play) this is relates to artuadian ideas because it is used frequently to create an eerie atmosphere on stage which engages the audiences inner sense . we explored the Equus in a small activity where all the class stood in a circle and we started to hum at different volumes, this let us see which level seems to give off a eerie atmosphere, gradually we then added in stamps and thumps, to increase tension.

We discussed the idea of having a random order of stumps and thumps or we talked about having an ordered number of stumps and thumps, I think it was best to have a random order of thumps because then this would build up tension because each stamp and thump is unexpected. Practitioner Antonin Artaud is a practitioner that lived between 1896 and 1948; he was the inventor of the term “the theatre of cruelty”. Artaud wanted to push the audience and the actors/ actresses to push their senses to the extreme limit.

Peter Shaffer achieves this in scene 21 where Alan is having a flashback to when he was riding the horses. In the stage direction it says that “he runs and jumps high onto nugget’s back” this would push the actor’s sense of safety to the limit because he is actually carrying Alan on his back. Artaud also believed in the language of movement, he believed that this language could communicate ideas to the audience more directly then words, and in scene 21 most of the action is mimed and this means that non-verbal communication is needed.

In this scene he is about to ride the “god”, Equus and so he would have a ritual, this would mean that his character would moved slowly and precise, not making any sudden movement, he should walk around the field with his arms down by his sides his if he was walking down the aisle to get married. When he picks up the “manbit”, he should bend over slowly and emphasis the fact that he has just picked up a “manbit”, this would represent the ceremony of this event because this is a special object. This would also increase the tension in the scene with relates to the “theatre of cruelty”.