The play Equus is about a young boy who viciously blinds six horses with a metal spike in a stable and the psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, who investigates the boy’s mental state. It is a very complex, multileveled story, with many relationships effecting Allen’s (the stabber) behavior. The relationship between Alan and Equus is a very complex one. His worship for the horse comes from his mother’s beliefs in God. She is very religious and pushes religion on Alan. His father was the opposite.
He would not let Allen keep a picture of God in his room and forced him to replace it with a picture of a horse. Slowly, the horse became God in Alan’s eyes. Alan’s father seems to fear religion and in some instances he fears horses. He becomes belligerent on the beach when the man lets Alan ride the horse with him. He also becomes belligerent when Alan’s mother tries to include religion in Alan’s life. It seems his father has strong emotional reactions to anything he can’t control or understand. Alan sensed that reaction and because of it he turned a horse into a god.
It’s almost like Alan was drawn to anything his father did not like because he did not want to be like his father. Allen is driven to all his father hates, such as television and religion. When Alan sees his father coming out of the porno movie theater, he is devastated because he is caught acting like his father. The relationship between Alan and Dysart is one of mutual envy. Dysart envies Alan because of his passion. Dysart lives a boring life with a wife he does not love. He resents her for lacking passion, when he lacks passion himself.
He is sarcastic when he speaks of his relationship and his life. He has no passion for anything. He is saddened because his job is to cure Alan and in doing that he will make him a normal person with no passion in his life. To cure Alan, Dysart must destroy part of him. Alan envies Dysart because he is normal. Alan’s mutilation of the horses and his obsession with God and horses torture Alan. I think he envies Dysart because he has none of the demons that he has. When Alan blinds the horses it is in desperation.
He believes the horses are watching him, forever taunting him. It is his only escape. He feels as if he betrayed the horses by having a sexual relationship with a woman. In Alan’s mind he has committed a grave sin and the horses were the witnesses. Blinding them was his attempt to cover up his actions. His ‘sin’ makes him a failure in the horse’s eyes, unfortunately he is a failure in his own eyes as well. This is why Alan’s last words in the play were ‘Find me… Find me… Kill me…Kill me’ (pg. 106). He really was tormented by guilt and wanted to die himself.