Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Act 3, Scene 1 Summary
- It's late at night three days after the end Act 2.
- Prior is having a nightmare. He wakes up and turns on a light.
- There's a dude sitting in his bedroom, "dressed in the clothing of a 13th century British squire" (3.1.1).
- Prior asks the guy who he is, and the man introduces himself as Prior Walter.
- Prior is all like, nuh uh, I'm Prior Walter.
- It turns out that this is one of Prior's ancestors who had the same name. The script calls him Prior I, so we'll do the same.
- Our Prior notes that his mother told him that he's the 34th Prior Walter.
- Prior I informs Prior that he's actually the 32nd – Prior's mom is counting two bastards.
- Prior I notes that Prior is sick – he thinks Prior is dying of the plague like he did. He says that Prior will die alone because he has no wives or children.
- Prior tries to explain that he doesn't have a wife and kids because he's gay.
- Prior I doesn't get it. "So? Be gay, dance in your altogether for all I care, what's that got to do with not having children?" (3.1.25).
- Prior's ancestor says that he had twelve kids before he died.
- Another ghost appears.
- This guy is dressed like an elegant 17th-century Londoner. (We'll call this one Prior II.)
- Prior screams when he sees the new ghost.
- Turns out this is another one of Prior's ancestors, also with the same name.
- "Are we having a convention?" Prior jokes.
- Nah, the ghosts tell him, they've come to prepare the way for the messenger who's coming.
- Prior II says he and Prior I were chosen as heralds because they died of a plague like Prior. Turns out Prior II died from a plague of "Black Jack," that came from a bad water pump – half of London died along with him.
- Prior asks if he's going to die.
- Prior I says that ancestors don't come and talk to you before you die. Even if you have a lot of children around you, you die alone.
- The road of death is dark and scary, says Prior I.
- Prior II tells the other ghost to stop being such a downer. "There's good news before there's bad" (3.2.45).
- The ghosts talk again about how they've come to prepare the way for the great messenger who's on the way – it's an honor for the Walters.
- Prior starts freaking out and sings a song from My Fair Lady.
- Prior II tells him to chill out.
- Crazy lights shine and glorious music begins to play.
- The ghosts start chanting about the fabulous messenger who is on the way. Then they disappear.
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