The Elephant Man Essay

Bernard Pomerance
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In the following essay, Greiff compares the tragic elements in Dr. Treves to those found in Dr. Dysart in Equus.

Two highly successful contemporary plays are so alike in conception and design that one description seems to serve for both. A doctor and his patient are the major characters in these plays, with their relationship and conflict quickly becoming the dominant dramatic center. The doctors in both works are professionally prominent and, at least to the audience's initial view, comfortable within the norms and boundaries provided them by society. Their patients, however, are freaks. One suffers profound mental disturbance, to the point of violence, while the other is so physically distorted that few people can stand his presence or sight. The patients, in fact, are pariahs, shunned not only by society but by blood-kin as well. Their doctors nevertheless draw very close to them and, with partial or...

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This section contains 3,337 words
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Buy The Elephant Man Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Elephant Man from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.