stephanie's Reviews > Equus

Equus by Peter Shaffer
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's review
Jun 16, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, prize-winners, drama, psychology, would-rec, high-school-reading, absolutely-must-read
Recommended for: everyone
Read in March, 2000

i am a little sad that the play was recast with daniel radcliffe, as i feel that everyone now associates this brilliant, brilliant work with naked harry potter and a horse.

this is so much more than that. this is one of the greatest works of drama (and psychology) i think ever written. we read this my senior year of high school, in my ap lit course, with mr. hackling (one of my favorite teachers ever). and we read it in conjunction with our philosophy of religion course, so that we had four-times-a-week postings to a board that was shared with my ap lit section, and the philosophy of religion section (they were all in standard english due to scheduling), in an attempt to try to integrate the courses a little more.

it was stunning. this is a play about religion and the creation of deities, and the failures of those deities, and how our mind works to make things fit, to, in its most basest form - cope. we had so many discussions about how christianity was portrayed in the play, how this related to freud's thinking, to feuerbach and jung and kirkegaard and stoppard and woolf, and everything we had read up to that point, and it was somehow one of the most brilliant things i have ever participated in. there is SO MUCH to this play, the role of a therapist, the role of a god, the role of a boy, of a child, of a man, the relationship between man and woman, between man and god, between man and horse, between man and his therapist. i could go on and on, but dysart's last monologue remains one of the most haunting and poignant things i have ever read in a play.

(and come on, this was an all-girls catholic school, reading outloud graphic masturbation/sex scenes between alan and jill, and alan and nugget, and. if we could do it, and we could get away with it, there has to be something more than harry potter naked, right?)
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06/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Elizabeth I totally agree! I just read this book and I think it was amazing! I picked for an english project without connecting it to harry potter but then I realized it was and I was kind of set back by that. After reading it though I would recommend it to anyone and it really is truly a remarkable play!

Osama i love it --i read it over 10 times - i read it for 1st time i was 14 yo

Isabelle Just read this play yesterday and was surprised by it, it is an amazing piece of art! After reading your comment I was curious if you're religious because you wrote about your time at a catholic school and you seemed to enjoy this play which criticises religion and the possible results of its impact.

message 4: by Steve (new)

Steve Susoyev I saw Radcliffe in the role when it was on Broadway, and even by then he had put his childhood work far behind him. He is a mature and accomplished stage actor (also great in Cripple of Inishmaan), and his portrayal of Allen Ginsburg in the film "Kill Your Darlings" was arresting. For my money, his performance was far more affecting than Anthony Perkins's, in the film.

Lenny Grossman I was going to say the same thing. Radcliffe is actually a very good actor. Anyone who saw the play (and I'm sorry I missed it) probably never thought of him as Harry Potter while they were watching it. I did see him in The Cripple of Inishman and he was great in that as well. I saw the original Broadway production back in the 70's and it was incredible. If you ever get a chance to see this show, do it. It's one thing to read a play, but a play is never complete until it is an experience between actors and audience.

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