Study Guide

Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika Act 5, Scene 3

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Act 5, Scene 3

  • It's 2am in Roy's hospital room. Roy's corpse is still in the bed and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg sits in a chair.
  • Belize enters with Louis following. Louis wears an overcoat and dark glasses.
  • Belize tells him the glasses look stupid and that he should take them off. Louis does, revealing the fact that he's got two black eyes and a cut on his face.
  • Belize wants to know how Louis got beat up.
  • "Expiation. For my sins," Louis says (5.3.6).
  • Louis wants to know why Belize brought him here.
  • Belize tells Louis he wants him to smuggle Roy's AZT stash out of the hospital. He called Louis because he's a Jew. Belize feels a little guilty about stealing from the dead, so he wants Louis to say the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead.
  • Louis refuses. Roy is the root of all evil; why would he say a prayer for him?
  • Belize talks about how forgiveness is a beautiful thing, especially when it's hard.
  • Louis says he doesn't really know the Kaddish. He tries to say it but messes up.
  • Ethel Rosenberg stands and softly begins to chant it.
  • Louis repeats after her.
  • They end with, "V'imru omain [...] You sonofab****" (5.3.36-39).
  • Ethel vanishes.
  • Louis marvels at how miraculous it was that he somehow remembered the Kaddish.

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