Sample questions

  1. How helpful are the stage directions for Equus, including the set and the descriptions of the Chorus? Do they impact on your understanding of the play?
  2. Are there points of comparison between Alan and Dysart? Think about what they have in common, and how Dysart is feeling as Equus ends.
  3. How does Equus shape your perception of who or what is to blame for Alan’s behaviour and problems?
  4. What do you think is the most significant theme in Equus?
  5. How does Peter Shaffer draw on conventions of the theatre to write Equus? Are there ways in which he flouts convention?
  6. What function do you think the Chorus fulfils in Equus?
  7. How does Equus present the effectiveness of psychiatry? Do you think Dysart can ‘cure’ Alan?
  8. Why do you think Shaffer made the idea of worship central to Equus? What do these characters worship: Alan, Dysart, Dora, Frank, Hesther?
  9. Discuss the character of Alan. Is he the hero of Equus? What are his strengths and weaknesses?
  10. How do you think the minor characters move Equus forward? What do they contribute to the play, and are they believable? Choose two characters on whom to focus.
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