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.