The Dramaturgy of Paraphilia: How are societal taboos played out in “Equus” by Peter Shaffer and “Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men” by Lloyd Newson?
This dissertation will explore the taboo subject of paraphilia with the main study focusing on “Equus” by Peter Shaffer and “Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men” by Lloyd Newson. Paraphilia is a central theme for both pieces and refers to, “…a sexual arousal to objects or situations that are not part of normative stimula tion… the essential features of all philias are recurrent, intense, erotically laden, arousing images that pro duce sexual urges or behaviors involving either nonhuman objects (such as fetishes) or the suffering of oneself or one’s partner, children, or other nonconsenting individuals (APA, 1994). Arrigo and Purcell (2006). The study will examine the comparisons and contrasts between the two pieces to give the reader a better understanding of the characters experience of this theme. It will also highlight some of the stigma attached to mental health and well-being during the time that the plays were written and performed com pared to society’s current view on these issues. Through exploration, this project will look into differing styles, mediums and approaches that help convey how both stories of “Equus” and “Dead Dreams of Mon ochrome Men” are portrayed. Religion, homosexuality and death are reoccurring themes studied to help give a further understanding while also looking at political and social events that happened in society at the time of the original release of these performances and how these events may have caused controversy.