Synopsis Chaffer Essay

Pages: 9 (2484 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

This is a clear irony that is present to the audience in the play. This is because many of the limits of Alan's faith in Equus are attained directly from Bible and bedtime stories that Dora read to him as a child.

Even though Dora appears to be very satisfied, Schaffer has tried to maintain her body language in such a way that she appears nervous and anxious. She does not boast herself or walk proudly which again signaled that he/she does feel shame regarding her actions. Because Dora and Alan are shown to have a much deeper bond, Dora shares a lot with her son. In doing so, Dora shares an anecdote with her son in which she refers to something as God. This embeds in Alan's mind and plays a great role in his perception of Equus later on. The main aspect of Dora's character that has been depicted in this play is that of her religious beliefs. She is a woman of strong belief in Bible and Christianity. Because she has a strong bond with his son, she always tells his son about the stories that are there in the Bible.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Synopsis Chaffer Assignment

Dysart is shown as an expert psychiatrist who is not satisfied with his own life. Seeing how Dysart is a psychiatrist, he should have his thoughts together. He should be at peace and know what he is doing, but his own life is just as conflicted as his patient's life. He has problems in his work life and his marital issues as he deals with being a priest and being normal. It is depicted in the play that Dysart has never had a physical relationship with any woman, and not even his wife. When he asks Alan questions about him so as to reach his psychological depths, Alan starts to question Dysart. When Alan asks Dysart does not have any children, Dysart is shown to become extremely anxious. Dysart has a negative side which shows that he is quite negative and looks at things in a very negative way. As the story proceeds, Dysart is shown to uncover things about him and his career. In the beginning, it is shown that Dysart knows the answer to every question. Dealing with Alan, he ultimately uncovers the complexities of life and his career. He starts wondering whether he is doing any social good or not. Alan and his problems become sort of enlightening for Dysart as he makes him question his beliefs and his ideals. It is shown that the focus of the play shifts from Alan to Dysart as the play progresses.

Hester is the one in the play that is shown to have a rather stable mindset. She is Dysart's colleague who he turns to for advice and for support. This shows that she knows what she is doing and does not have any negative or suppressed emotions as is the case with Dysart (Shaffer, 2005).

Frank, who is Alan's father, despises the Christians and Christianity. He does not approve of what is taught in the Bible. On the other hand, Alan believes that Christianity exists and he is also a Christian. As a young boy, Alan purchases a picture of Jesus before Cavalry. He purchases this picture from Reed's Art Shop. This picture basically depicts the suffering of Jesus. The picture shows how Jesus was chained, and how he was made to suffer. After buying this picture with his own pocket money, Alan hangs in at the foot end of his bead, the place from where the photograph is the last thing that he used to see before going to sleep. The fact that it was the last thing he saw before falling asleep is shown to be a clue for Alan's psychiatrist Dysart. The next thing that audience is told about is that this portrait is torn and thrown away by Frank, who does not want Alan to come under the influence of Christianity. Because Alan is portrayed as someone who loves horses, Frank decides to replace the picture with that of a horse. Frank does so in order to make Alan happy. Slowly and gradually, the belief of Alan about God and Jesus starts to shift to horses, and he starts believing that horses are God.

Since Dora (Alan's mother) is a Christian, she wants to impose this religion on her son. However, Frank is an atheist and this is the main reason why he is extremely against Alan practicing Christianity. It is demonstrated in the play how Dora always tells Alan about stories from the Bible, and also about sex. Alan's love for horses also came from the stories told by Dora.

When Alan sees the picture of the horse every day, he starts believing that the horse is the God. Having this belief, he starts considering Equus as the God. Since Dysart is unable to go the depths of Alan's psychology, he hypnotizes him. Needless to say, Alan is not aware of the effect on hypnosis on him. When he is imagining things under the effect of hypnosis, he sees the horse chained like Jesus was chained in the picture. This makes the point quite clear that the imagination of Alan is greatly influenced by the teachings of his mother about Bible, as it has already stated before Frank. Alan starts to believe that Equus lives in all horses, just like God lives in all people. He also believed under the influence of the teachings of his mother that the horses were chained and blinded because of the "sins of the world." Under the effect of hypnosis, when Alan goes back in time when he was 12 years old, by looking at the picture of Equus, the psychiatrist Dysart starts asking things about the stable he went to (Shaffer, 2005).


Shaffer, P. (2005). Equus.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Synopsis Chaffer" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Synopsis Chaffer.  (2014, April 3).  Retrieved January 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Synopsis Chaffer."  3 April 2014.  Web.  24 January 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Synopsis Chaffer."  April 3, 2014.  Accessed January 24, 2021.