Study Guide

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Act 5, Scene 1

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Act 5, Scene 1

February 1986

  • It's very late that the same night in Prior's hospital room. Hannah is sleeping in a chair and Prior is standing on the bed.
  • Hannah wakes up.
  • Prior tells her the angel is coming.
  • A trumpet and drums are heard. There's thunder, then flaming Hebrew letters appear all over the wall. The angel appears, looking really scary and dressed all in black.
  • Hannah screams and covers her eyes.
  • The angel declares that she has returned. (Yeah, we picked up on that.)
  • Prior demands that she take back the book.
  • There's more thunder.
  • Prior asks Hannah to help him.
  • She yells that this is a dream.
  • Whatever, just help me, says Prior.
  • Hannah tells him he has to wrestle the angel.
  • After a moment of hesitance, Prior jumps on the angel and wrestles her.
  • The angels screams in a chorus of voices, "I I I Am the CONTINENTAL PRINCIPALITY OF AMERICA, I I I AM THE BIRD OF PREY I Will NOT BE COMPELLED, I... " (5.1.20).
  • Suddenly there's a blast of music and a glowing ladder appears.
  • The angel tells Prior, who is still holding on to her, that he's won, that he's gained admittance to Heaven.
  • Prior says he'll only go up there if he can come back.
  • You beat me, so you can do whatever you want, the angel says grumpily.
  • Prior climbs the ladder.
  • The angel looks at Hannah. Hannah tells the angel to leave her alone. She's trying desperately to wake up from this dream but can't.
  • The angel holds out her hand to Hannah. Hannah crosses over to the angel and kneels.
  • The angel kisses her on the forehead then gives her a long hot kiss on the lips. "The Body is the Garden of the Soul," the angel tells her (5.1.29). Hannah has a gigantic orgasm.
  • The angel flies up to Heaven to the sound of trumpets.

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