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Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches


by Tony Kushner

Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

  • It's the same day. Joe is at Roy's place. Roy is in an expensive bathrobe – he's trying really hard to look like he's not sick, but he still looks pretty bad.
  • Joe tells him that he's not going to take the job in Washington. Harper has disappeared, and his mom is coming to help him look for her (or something like that).
  • On top of all that, Joe has been in the hospital for two days with a bleeding ulcer.
  • Roy gets really mad and calls Joe a wuss.
  • Joe tells Roy that he wishes he could have done it. Roy represents the good things in the world to Joe, and he wishes he could measure up to him.
  • Roy calls him a wuss again. He tells Joe all about what he thinks of as his greatest accomplishment: the execution of Ethel Rosenberg.
  • (Learn about this famous lady here.)
  • Roy goes on about how he convinced the judge to give her the death penalty, talking to him on the phone outside the courtroom. He brags about how it was illegal, but he couldn't care less. He doesn't care what anybody thinks.
  • Joe can't believe Roy would do anything so horrible and illegal. He suggests that the only reason Roy is saying this is because he's sick.
  • Roy says he's not sick.
  • No way, says Joe, you told me before you have cancer.
  • Nope, no cancer here, says Roy.
  • Roy offers Joe his hand to shake. Joe takes it and Roy pulls him in really close, telling him that he's hard on him because he loves him.
  • He lets Joe go and says, "Prodigal son. The world will wipe its dirty hands all over you" (3.5.33).
  • Joe tells him that the world already has.
  • Before Joe leaves, Roy grabs him and asks him why he's betrayed him.
  • Joe pushes him across the room and almost hits him.
  • "Transgress a little, Joseph. [...] There are so many laws, find one you can break," Roy says (3.5.39).
  • Joe takes off.
  • As soon as he's gone, Roy doubles over in pain – he's been hiding it the whole time.
  • He calls for some dude named Andy, but Andy doesn't show up.
  • Instead, in walks Ethel Rosenberg.
  • (Looks like Prior isn't the only one who can see ghosts.)
  • She tells him he doesn't look so good.
  • Roy screams, "I'M NOT AFRAID OF YOU OR DEATH OR HELL OR ANYTHING!" (3.5.53).
  • He slumps to the floor in pain.
  • Ethel picks up the phone and calls an ambulance for Roy. (How does that work, exactly?)
  • Roy tells Ethel that he's immortal because he made history with his life.
  • Ethel laughs a little bit and says, "History is about to crack wide open. Millennium approaches" (3.5.66).

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