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Of Men and Centaurs.: Identity and the Relationship of Humans and Horses in Peter Shaffer´s Equus.
Linköping University. Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication.
2010 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master thesis is about Peter Shaffer´s play Equus (1973). It looks at identity and the relationship of humans and horses in the text. In the introduction the author, his work in general and particularly Equus, further research and own aims and motivations for the thesis are presented. The second chapter explains the methods used to understand the play as a descriptive, narrative piece of literature according to Mick Short. Analyzing takes place in the main part: chapter three works on the concept of identity, gives a theoretical frame based on Stuart Hall´s ideas, and then characterizes and interpretes the figures Martin Dysart and Alan Strang. The two protagonists form themselves in endless processes of identification. Chapter four elaborates the historical human-horse-relationship, its characteristics and its relevance in the text. Humans and horses are presented together due to their complex similarities. The discussion following combines the results of the main chapters and states their overlapping and support of each other. Conclusions are, that Hall´s concept of constant identification is true for the two analyzed characters, that the common history of humans and horses can be found as a complex companionship in the play, that the topics of identity and the horse-human-relationship interfere with each other, and finally, that Dysart and Strang use horses to create their individual identities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. , 55 p.
Keyword [en]
Peter Shaffer, Equus, identity, horses, humans
Keyword [de]
Peter Shaffer, Equus, Identiät, Pferde, Menschen
Keyword [sv]
Peter Shaffer, Equus, identitet, hästar, människor
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-60520ISRN: LIU-IKK/MPLCE-A--10/02--SEOAI: diva2:357167
2010-06-11, IKK 4220, Key huset, Campus Valla, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden, 15:00 (English)
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2010-10-15 Created: 2010-10-15 Last updated: 2010-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Kage, Melanie
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Linköping UniversityDepartment of Culture and Communication
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