Study Guide

Tony Kushner Writing Styles in Angels in America

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Epic Theatre

Angels in America is built with an epic plot construction. In early storytelling, epic referred to the kind of tale Homer told in the Odyssey and Iliad: stories that cover long periods of time, perhaps months or even years; involve many locations, ranging from small rooms to forests and battlefields; follow many characters through multiple plot lines; and alternate short and long scenes, with a series of crisis points, rather than a single strong climax near the end. Many of Shakespeare's plays follow in the epic tradition, and other notable modern examples include the plays of Bertolt Brecht (Mother Courage and Her Children), and Robert Schenkkan's Kentucky Cycle, a six-hour, nine-play saga covering two hundred years of history in the lives three eastern Kentucky families.

Kushner's massive undertaking with Angels in America is divided into two complete plays: Millennium Approaches and Perestroika. Together, they span more than...

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This section contains 1,178 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Angels in America Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Angels in America from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.