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Peter Shaffer quotes (showing 31-37 of 37)

“That's what his stare has been saying to me all this time: 'At least I galloped - when did you?”
Peter Shaffer, Equus
“Oh, you monster!No one exists but you, do they? You and your music!”
Peter Shaffer, Amadeus
“Look! Life is only comprehensible through a thousand local gods.”
Peter Shaffer, Equus
“He knows no physics or engineering to make the world real to him… no paintings to show him how others have enjoyed it… no music except television jingles… no history except tales from a desperate mother… no friends to give him a joke or make him know himself more moderately. He’s a modern citizen for whom society doesn’t exist.”
Peter Shaffer, Equus
“Have you ever climbed a mountain in full armour? That's what we did, him going first the whole way up a tiny path into the clouds, with drops sheer on both sides into nothing. For hours we crept forward like blind men, the sweat freezing on our faces, lugging skittery leaking horses, and pricked all the time for the ambush that would tip us into death. Each turn of the path it grew colder. The friendly trees of the forest dropped away, and there were only pines. Then they went too, and there just scrubby little bushes standing up in ice. All round us the rocks began to whine the cold. And always above us, or below us, those filthy condor birds, hanging on the air with great tasselled wings....Four days like that; groaning, not speaking; the breath a blade in our lungs. Four days, slowly, like flies on a wall; limping flies, dying flies, up an endless wall of rock. A tiny army lost in the creases of the moon.”
Peter Shaffer, The Royal Hunt of the Sun
“Look...to go through life and call it yours - your life - you first have to get your own pain. Pain that's unique to you. You can't just dip into the common bin and say "That's enough!"... He's done that. All right, he's sick. He's full of misery and fear. He was dangerous, and could be again, though I doubt it. But that boy has know a passion more ferocious that I have felt in any second of my life. And let me tell you something: I envy it. Don't you see? That's the accusation! That's what his stare has been saying to me all this time. "At least I galloped! When did you?”
Peter Shaffer, Equus
“I use that word endlessly: "primitive." "Oh, the primitive world," I say. "What instinctive truths were lost with it!" And while I sit there, baiting a poor, unimaginative woman with the word that freaky boy tries to conjure the reality! I sit looking at pages of centaurs trampling the soil of Argos - and outside my window he is trying to become one, in a Hampshire field! ... I watch that woman knitting, night after night - a woman I haven't kissed in six years - and he stands in the dark for an hour, sucking the sweat of his God's hairy cheek! Then in the morning, I put away my books on the cultural shelf, close up the Kodachrome snaps of Mount Olympus, touch my reproduction statue of Dionysus for luck - and go off to hospital to treat him for insanity. Do you see?”
Peter Shaffer, Equus

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