Tony Kushner's Angels in America

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Most of the characters in Tony Kushner's Angels in America struggle with their sexuality. Reflected in this struggle, the homosexual characters are flawed to the degree at which they hide their sexuality. Prior, Belize, Louis, Joe, and Roy all deal with this issue in the course of the play. Prior is the least closeted homosexual while Roy is the most. Prior is chosen to be a prophet, is morally upright, and represents good. Roy, the unlawful lawyer, represents evil. Belize, Louis, and Joe fall in between Prior and Roy on the scale. By having these particular characters represent what they do, Tony Kushner places a negative stigma on those in the closet and emphasizes his negative opinion on closeted homosexuals. Prior is one of the most openly gay characters in the play. In act two, Prior suffers in the hospital. He says, "I want Louis. I want my fucking boyfriend, where the fuck is he? I'm dying, I'm dying, where's Louis?" (Kushner 66). He shows his dependence on his boyfriend and his need to seek comfort in his homosexual partner during this traumatic time. Also, just before the angel arrives at the end of part one, Prior says, "I can handle pressure, I am a gay man and I am used to pressure" (Kushner 123). He puts his strong suits forth, including his homosexuality, to convince himself he can handle the situation. In act four, in response to Hannah questioning his homosexuality, Prior says, "Oh, is it that obvious? Yes. I am" (Kushner 231). He has no problem admitting his homosexuality, even to complete strangers. Because of Prior's openness throughout the play, he is, without a doubt, completely out of the closet. Belize is also very open and out of the closet. The way he speaks to people clearly indi... ... middle of paper ... ... will ultimately get what they deserve ? death. This conclusion can be generalized and not taken literally, and in that way applied directly to everyday situations. Even so, this remains another startling conclusion gathered from Tony Kushner?s work. In his play, Tony Kushner writes about flawed homosexual characters. While doing so, he develops an interesting relationship: the farther in the closet one is, the more flawed or evil one is. By making this startling correlation, Kushner places a negative stigma on those who are not open about their homosexuality. Through this evident relationship, Kushner strongly conveys his negative attitude toward closeted gays; thereby adding startling depth to his play, Angels in America. Works Cited Kushner, Tony. Angels in America. New York, New York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc., 1995.
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