Tony Kushner’s Use of Angels in Building a Community

Emil Rybczak


Tony Kushner's 'Angels in America' deconstructs traditional communities as insufficiently supportive to the postmodern subject. He builds a new queer family based on self-respect, mutual care and environmental concern. This article will discuss how various forms of the angelic are advanced dialectically to facilitate the protagonist's and play's development. The author uses a Benjaminian reinvention of Judeo-Christian angels to introduce his theme, whilst proposing a psychoanalytical reading of the same characters. In order to negotiate the challenges these angels represent, the protagonist is helped towards the new community by two human angels, one a female visionary and one a mother figure.


Gender Studies; Queer Theory; Jewish Studies; Walter Benjamin;

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