Peter Shaffer – his oppositions turned to good use

Peter Shaffer


Peter Shaffer, the playwright, has died who was a towering figure in both British and American theatre. His best known works were Equus about a damaged boy and his horse; Amadeus about Mozart and Salieri; and The Royal Hunt of the Sun. One obit said: ‘His daring, often deeply disturbing, plays plumbed the psychological depths of conflicts between opposing states of mind.’ He himself described the sense of struggle in his work as that of Apollonian and Dionysian forces. “There are those who are touched by the gods and others who are firmly rooted to the earth.”

Born 15 May 1926, a week after naturalist David Attenborough and two weeks after HM Queen, he had the same inordinately enduring, fixed chart as them. In his case his Taurus Sun opposed Saturn square Jupiter in Aquarius opposition Neptune.  So he would be continually playing with the idea of opposition and complexity.

Neptune would give him vision. Jupiter in Aquarius humanitarianism and a broad canvas for his rich creativity. Saturn in Scorpio an obsessive drive to get it right.

His chart is replete with quintiles and septiles – 5th and 7th Harmonics which are both highly creative.

Like David Attenborough, he had a talented brother, a barrister who also became a playwright with Sleuth.

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