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Angels in America | Study Guide

Tony Kushner

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Angels in America | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Tony Kushner's Angels in America. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

angels-in-america-tony-kushnerPrior, Perestroika, Act III, Scene III was going to be such hard work.never imagined losing my mindLouis wants the scales to be balanced, but the Angel says the world and its logic have collapsed.DenialThe more Roy, Joe, Prior, and Louis deny their feelings and true identity, the more misery they feel. Main CharactersDarkness DarknessTHEMESHuman SufferingCharacters feel abandoned by God as Joe fights his “immoral” urges, Roy suffers from narcissism, and Prior's illness and visionsterrify him.Set in the 1980s at the height of the AIDS epidemic, the two-part Angels in America is at once realistic and transcendental. Loving relationships are torn apart, disease and its psychological disruptions must be dealt with, and angels—both physical and allegorical—appear, shedding light on the depravity of life in America.JusticeAIDSRepresents devastation because antibodies are powerless to protect against itSymbolizes judgment on American society and the chance to become pure againPoliticsRepresents the worldly and corrupt, but also the arena where human freedom is enactedSymbolsThe AngelAngels in Americaby the NumbersTony Awards for Best Play Angels in America received—in 1993 and 1994, for the two parts of the playYear the first antiretroviral drug, zidovudine (AZT), was approved by the FDAto treat HIV1987People estimated to be living with HIV around the world by the end of 1990Year Kushner received the National Medal of Arts>8 million20132Sources:, Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Paris Review, TonyAwards.comCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.LouisYoung, Jewish gay man; works for the courtHannahJoe's reserved Mormon mother; befriends PriorThe AngelEmbodiment of four divine emanationsBelizeDrag queen and nursePriorYoung, artistic gay man; the ProphetSONNURSEFRIENDSMARRIEDPASTBOYFRIENDSCOLLEAGUESLOVERSRoy CohnNew York lawyer and political power broker; gay but in the closetHarperAgoraphobic, pill-popping MormonJoeCloseted gay Mormon; clerk for a justice of a federal courtFRIENDSScreenwriter and playwright Kushner grew up an outsider in Louisiana but moved in 1974 to New York, the main setting for Angels in America. His experiences as a closeted gay Jew lend an edge to his plays, which often deal with change, loss, and politics.TONY KUSHNERBORN 1956AuthorTony Kushner1991EnglishPlayAuthorFirst PerformedOriginal LanguageDramaAngels in America

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