Equus

Frank Strang Character Analysis

Alan Strang’s father, a devoted atheist, and a hardworking, “self-improving” man. Frank’s strict and sometimes-explosive nature is the main source of tension in the Strang household. In addition, his atheism often comes into conflict with the religious feeling of his wife Dora and son Alan. Though Frank seems to be an exceedingly disciplined and rigid person, his own vices – and needs – are revealed when he is seen at the same pornography theater to which Jill Mason takes Alan.

Frank Strang Quotes in Equus

The Equus quotes below are all either spoken by Frank Strang or refer to Frank Strang. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Passion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of Equus published in 1984.
Act 1 Quotes

You sit in front of that thing long enough, you’ll become stupid for life—like most of the population. The thing is, it’s a swiz. It seems to be offering you something, but actually it’s taking something away.

Related Characters: Frank Strang (speaker), Alan Strang
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

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A boy spends night after night having this stuff read to him; an innocent man tortured to death—thorns driven into his head—nails into his hands—a spear jammed through his ribs. It can mark anyone for life, that kind of thing. I’m not joking. The boy was absolutely fascinated by all that. He was always mooning over religious pictures. I mean real kinky ones, if you receive my meaning…. Bloody religion—it’s our only real problem in this house, but it’s insuperable; I don’t mind admitting it.

Related Characters: Frank Strang (speaker), Alan Strang, Frank Strang
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

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Frank: He took a piece of string out of his pocket. Made up into a noose. And put it in his mouth. And then with his other hand he picked up a coat hanger. A wooden coat hanger, and—and—
Dysart: Began to beat himself?
Frank: You see why I couldn’t tell his mother…Religion. Religion’s at the bottom of all this!

Related Characters: Martin Dysart (speaker), Frank Strang (speaker), Alan Strang, Dora Strang
Related Symbols: Horses
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Act 2 Quotes

Whatever’s happened has happened because of Alan. Alan is himself. Every soul is itself. If you added up everything we ever did to him, from his first day on earth to this, you wouldn’t find why he did this terrible thing—because that’s him; not just all of our things added up. Do you understand what I’m saying? I want you to understand, because I lie awake and awake thinking it out, and I want you to know that I deny it absolutely what he’s doing now, staring at me, attacking me for what he’s done, for what he is! [Pause: calmer.] You’ve got your words, and I’ve got mine. You call it a complex, I suppose. But if you knew God, Doctor, you would know about the Devil. You’d know the Devil isn’t made by what mummy says and daddy says. The Devil’s there.

Related Characters: Dora Strang (speaker), Martin Dysart, Alan Strang, Frank Strang
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Poor old sod, that’s what I felt—he’s just like me! He hates ladies and gents just like me! Posh things—and la-di-da. He goes off by himself at night, and does his own secret thing which no one’ll know about, just like me! There’s no difference—he’s just the same as me—just the same—

Related Characters: Alan Strang (speaker), Martin Dysart, Frank Strang
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Frank Strang Character Timeline in Equus

The timeline below shows where the character Frank Strang appears in Equus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
Passion Theme Icon
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
...and reenacts the moment he barged into the doctor’s office. Alan reveals that his father, Frank Strang, hates television, and doesn’t allow Alan to watch it. The scene segues into a... (full context)
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
Back in Dysart’s office, the psychiatrist describes Frank as a “[r]elentlessly self-improving” socialist. Dysart goes on to discuss Alan’s relationship with Dora; the... (full context)
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
...Martin Dysart visits the Strang home on a Sunday evening. He meets Dora there, but Frank is still at the printing press—he “doesn’t set much store by Sundays,” according to his... (full context)
Passion Theme Icon
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
Frank returns home, and Dora resumes talking. She says that the Strangs have always been a... (full context)
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Psychiatry, Repression, and Madness Theme Icon
...lifting Alan onto his shoulders—and they ride together along the beach, faster and faster, until Frank and Dora realize what their son is doing. They yell at the Horseman to stop. (full context)
Psychiatry, Repression, and Madness Theme Icon
The Horseman stops and Frank confronts him, angry that the man picked Alan up without permission. The Horseman coolly responds... (full context)
Passion Theme Icon
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
...a picture of Christ being tortured by Roman centurions—Our Lord on his Way to Cavalry. Frank allowed the first picture to be hung in Alan’s room, but one day, after an... (full context)
Passion Theme Icon
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
...bet all cowboys are orphans!” he says. The Nurse interrupts Dysart to tell him that Frank Strang has arrived to see him. The doctor, surprised, tells the Nurse to show him... (full context)
Passion Theme Icon
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Scene 14. Frank Strang enters the square. Dora doesn’t know he is here—he tells Dysart that he must... (full context)
Passion Theme Icon
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Psychiatry, Repression, and Madness Theme Icon
As Frank continues to describe Alan’s ritual, we see Alan put an invisible piece of string in... (full context)
Act 2
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Psychiatry, Repression, and Madness Theme Icon
...parents are always to blame for their children’s mental illnesses. Dora argues that she and Frank were good parents who shouldn’t be treated like “criminals.” They loved and cared for Alan.... (full context)
Religion and Worship Theme Icon
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
...girl in the film begins to take a shower, Alan grows excited. Meanwhile, we see Frank Strang enter the back of the square and look for a place to sit. Alan... (full context)
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
Scene 30. Frank, Alan and Jill stand at a bus stop outside the movie theater. Alan and Jill... (full context)
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Modern Society and Normality Theme Icon
Psychiatry, Repression, and Madness Theme Icon
Scene 31. Alan walks around the circle and describes Frank’s face as he rode off on the bus as “scared.” He bitterly reflects on the... (full context)
Sex and Sexuality Theme Icon
Alan now feels sorry for Frank, a man with secret needs and desires, just like himself. Feeling distraught, he asks Dysart... (full context)