Homework Help

Explore the theme of madness in Equus.

user profile pic

sabrina9231 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 1, 2011 at 8:43 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Explore the theme of madness in Equus.

Tagged with equus, literature, madness, theme

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:38 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

In Peter Shaffer's Equus, the theme of madness is present as the story explores the undefined line between evil and insanity.  The fact is that Alan Strang commits a gruesome act of violence by blinding the horses, but the reasons that have motivated Alan's actions are unknown.  His doctor Dysart tries to figure out whether Alan is simply evil in nature or whether he is mad--in the end, Dysart realizes that he might be able to cure Alan of his psychosis, but he is not sure whether or not a cure will also kill Alan's personality.  What appears as madness in Alan might actually be a bizarre manifestation of the boy's personality, and the play questions whether or not it is right to make Alan conform to societal expectations.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes