Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
Justice and Judgment Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
Prior: I like your cosmology, baby. [...] but it seems to me that it lets you off scot-free. [...] No judgment, no guilt or responsibility. (1.9.91-93)
Could Louis' complex ideas of justice just be an excuse to let him off the hook for abandoning Prior? It's obvious that Louis feels incredibly guilty about it. Could it be that deep inside, he knows that abandoning someone you love in his time of need is just plain wrong?
Roy: They're gonna try and disbar me. [...] Because I don't see the Law as a dead and arbitrary collection of antiquated dictums, thou shall, thou shalt not, because, because I know the Law's a pliable, breathing, sweating... organ, because, because...
Martin: Because he borrowed half a million from one of his clients [...] And he forgot to return it. (2.6.36-42)
It's interesting that both Louis and Roy try to expand their notions of justice beyond traditional ideas of right and wrong. It's also interesting that both of them have done things that most people would consider wrong. Roy has basically stolen money, and Louis has abandoned the person he loves. How do their rationalizations hold up against the things they've done?
Joe: I just wondered what a thing it would be... if overnight everything you owe anything to, justice, or love, had really gone away. Free. [...] To shed our skin, every old skin, one by one and then walk away, unencumbered, into the morning. (2.7.49)
Joe seems to view justice as something that is controlling, that gives us a structure by which to live. By this point in the play, however, Joe is coming to question everything he's ever believed in. At this moment, he longs to be free from his old notions of right and wrong.