Essay on Judgment in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Albert Camus’ The Stranger

Essay on Judgment in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Albert Camus’ The Stranger

Length: 1175 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Personal judgment in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Albert Camus’ The Stranger, though internal in the first and external in the latter, mirrors society’s judgment of those who differ from the norm. The two postmodernist authors both use judgment as a tool to promote the postmodern idea that society oppresses and criticizes people who are not like everyone else. Camus and Shaffer place specific motifs and elements into their novels in order to push the idea of societal judgment on the reader. However, while the ideas may be the same, Camus and Shaffer use them contrastingly. Shaffer tends to use judgment of the self while Camus leans towards judgment of others, but the judgment ultimately leads back to people who do not conform to the norm.
Camus and Shaffer both implement physical actions and setting to imply judgment of the main characters. The two authors use images of eyes and the action of staring in different ways to cause a feeling of judgment to well up in the reader. In Equus, Equus himself often watches or sees Alan, his actions, and his faults. Alan stabs out the eyes of the horses in the barn because Equus’ gaze and mockery has finally driven him past the point of no return. The use of Equus as a judge of Alan implies internal conflict and criticism. As a part of Alan’s mind, when Equus criticizes Alan it implies his hate of himself. In addition, the physical set up of Equus emulates a jury. The fact that no actors ever leave the stage as well as the play’s watching audience bring to mind the set up of a jury and a guilty party. Similarly, in The Stranger, people often watch Meursault closely. During Meursault’s trial specifically, the woman from the restaurant was “staring at [him]” (Camus 86). Also, the jurors “were a...


... middle of paper ...


...nge, he follows the example and finds problems with everyone else. Shaffer and Camus both utilize the theme of preemptive guilt and accusation to imply that since the characters have so often been judged by society they expect it now.
Both Equus and The Stranger specifically contain judgment of the characters and consequently all people who do not fit the norm. By utilizing motifs, characterization, and physical actions, Shaffer and Camus take the judgment of their characters and apply it to everyone in society who feels they are outside looking in on all the normal people. Even though they clash with each other in the methods of deploying these techniques, Shaffer and Camus’ texts both bear the same message. These two postmodernist authors use their works as a tool to criticize and condemn society’s way of destroying the abnormal, the passionate, and the crazy.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Society’s Effect in Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

- Peter Shaffer and Franz Kafka, the authors of Equus and Metamorphosis, reveal through their main characters’ struggles how society’s oppression causes a loss of identity. This oppression is caused by society’s obsession with what it believes to be normal and how society’s beliefs drive it to conform those who don’t fit its normal image. The two authors use their characters to symbolize the different views and judgments of society. And based on these judgments, the authors use two different types of oppression that cause different outcomes....   [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]

Strong Essays
1278 words (3.7 pages)

A Comparison Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Albert Camus’s The Stranger Essay

- The ways in which truths are presented to external audiences concerning outside characters display not only a good judgment of character on the presenter, but furthermore, the often insignificant nature of whom the presenter is talking about, even if the insignificance presented is accidental. Both Peter Shaffer’s Equus and Albert Camus’ The Stranger approach different ways in presenting the truths of Alan Strang and Meursault to the audience/jury, but one thing remains clear; intentional or unintentional manipulation of these characters leads to the eternal distrust of the reliability of their presenters, Martin Dysart and the members of the law....   [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]

Strong Essays
1058 words (3 pages)

Self-Discovery in Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Equus by Peter Shaffer

- Through the incorporation of figurative language in both Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and Equus by Peter Shaffer, they set the characters in isolation during the experience of hiding emotions and focusing on other’s needs in order for the undergoing of self-discovery and peace within self. Therefore analyzing the behavior that occurs during the process and the aftermath of their seclusion will determine the success of their accomplishment with the breakthrough of peace. When comparing the two texts along with their historical context of sense of loss and alienation of individuals, the main characters, Gregor Samsa and Alan Strang, undergo the allusion of isolation and finds the understanding...   [tags: compare, contrast, comparison]

Strong Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

Peter Shaffer and Fraz Kafka Essay

- Peter Shaffer and Franz Kafka, the authors of Metamorphosis and Equus, reveal through their main characters’ struggles how society’s oppression causes a loss of identity. This oppression is caused by society’s obsession with what it believes to be normal and how society tries to conform those who don’t fit its normal image. This essay will first explain how the two authors use their characters to symbolize the different views and judgments of society. Next will show how the authors use two different types of oppression that cause different outcomes....   [tags: Character Development, Analysis]

Strong Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Essay Peter Shaffer: A Man Who Greatly Impacted Theatre

- “The conflict between virtuous mediocrity and feckless genius took hold of my imagination” (“Shaffer, Peter 1926”). The quote by Shaffer himself, helps to explain the reasoning for his plays; both the good and the bad. Throughout the past few decades, Sir Peter Shaffer has brought numerous plays to the stage, with each challenging society to be open minded to change. Sir Peter Shaffer has forever impacted the theatre world by bringing topics such as sexual choices, religion, and family values to the stage that challenged the ideals set by society through his use of plays as a means to help him answer many of his own questions about life....   [tags: theater, biography]

Strong Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

Extreme Passion Illustrated in Peter Shaffer's Play, Equus Essay

- One definition of madness is "mental delusion or the eccentric behavior arising from it." But Emily Dickenson wrote Much madness is divinest Sense- To a discerning Eye- Novelists and playwrights have often seen madness with a "discerning Eye." Select a novel or play in which a character's apparent madness or irrational behavior plays an important role. Then write a well-organized essay in which you explain what this delusion or eccentric behavior consists of and how it might be judged reasonable....   [tags: Peter Shaffer, Equus]

Strong Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Passion in Peter Shaffer's Equus Essay

- In Peter Shaffer's Equus, A psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, is conducting an investigation on Alan Strang. He is learning, through his investigation of Alan's horrific crime, about what it really means to make someone "normal" and what a psychiatrist really does. It is the job of Dysart to find the motive of Alan's actions, but he is not prepared for what he learns. After meeting Alan, Dysart has a dream. This dream is of a ritual sacrifice in Greece. Dysart's passion lies in Greece. He has always wanted to believe in something greater than himself....   [tags: Peter Shaffer, Equus]

Strong Essays
2286 words (6.5 pages)

Essay about Substituting Pain for Passion in Peter Shaffer’s Equus

- Equus is as complex as the human mind. Exploring psychological questions such as what does it mean to be normal, and should individuality be sacrificed for the sake of normality. Whilst propelling a mystery, crime story, and a psychological thriller, Peter Shaffer’s Equus examines the minds of a young stable boy who has blinded several horses and the aging psychiatrist asked to “cure” him. But would a “cure” really normalize the teenager. A seventeen year old boy, Alan is brought to a psychiatric hospital because he has blinded six horses with a hoof pick....   [tags: Peter Shaffer, Equus]

Strong Essays
700 words (2 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Figure of Dysart in Peter Shaffer’s Equus

- Peter Shaffer’s play “Equus” reads like a true tragedy blending religion and adolescence while questioning society’s “civilized norms”. Although Alan Strang seemingly suffers the most throughout the story, the true tragic figure in the play is Dysart, Alan’s psychiatrist. Dysart is forced to question everything that he previously accepted and his whole life is thrown out the window upon meeting Alan. Both Arthur Miller’s definition of a tragic figure and the traditional definition provided by Aristotle apply to Dysart....   [tags: Peter Shaffer, Equus]

Strong Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)

Passion in Peter Shaffer's Equus Essay

- 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....   [tags: Peter Shaffer, Equus]

Strong Essays
495 words (1.4 pages)