The present paper aims to offer an overview of Dixon’s From Passions to Emotions: The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category and Pugmire’s
Sound Sentiments: Integrity in the Emotions, emphasizing the historical evolution and descent of emotions into abstract secularization and the nature
of emotional vices, respectively. The theoretical background provided will
serve as methodological framework for the second part of this paper that will
revolve around Peter Shaffer’s play Equus (1973) and the passions and
affections, as well as disillusionment, cynicism and resignation displayed by
the two main characters: a young boy named Alan Strang and his middleaged
psychiatrist Martin Dysart.