Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
by Tony Kushner
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches Theme of Justice and Judgment
Many of the characters in Angels in America wrestle with ideas of justice. Some seem to view it as a set of fixed laws, which they will pay for if they violate. Some base their sense of justice on the precepts of their religion. Still others create their own rules, basing their idea of justice on what they as individuals think is right and wrong. The play doesn't offer any easy answers on the nature of justice, but it definitely offers many varied and complex points of view. It even goes so far as to explore the idea that, ultimately, there's no such thing as justice at all.
Questions About Justice and Judgment
- What characters in the play are subject to justice or judgment? How so?
- What sorts of judgments (legal, personal, societal) are seen in the play? Are the judgments always fair? Why or why not?
- Religion is often associated with the theme of Justice. Is that the case in the play? Explain.
- This play is full of the ideas of infection and disease. Some people in the past and present have associated disease with divine judgment for wrongdoing. Discuss how the play agrees with or disputes this idea.
Chew on This
Justice is presented in Angels in America not just as a legal term, but as a force that governs humanity in all its aspects.
Kushner creates well-rounded characters and in doing so makes it difficult for a reader to have completely negative or positive judgments about anyone in the play.