I just spent the last three and a half hours of my life skimming Angels in America, making note of every mention of and reference to blood.
Ho-ly cow. I did not know what kind of an undertaking that was going to be. I did not realize in my previous readings that most everything in this play is described in terms of blood.
Harper wants to move so she can have a change in scenery and some new blood. Prior is easy; his blood has turned against him. His bloodlines, on the other hand, are returning to him through the ghosts of prior Walters. Louis leaves Prior because he can't handle the disease only to find redemption in the end through his own bruised and bleeding plea for reconciliation. Belize seems to act as the caretaker of everyone else's blood, both physical and familial. Hannah and Joe fight to avoid their mother/son ties, and Hannah finds something of herself in mothering those left in her son's wake. Roy's blood attacks him - as does everyone else in the play - and and unlike Prior and others who are only affected by their blood, Roy is overcome and gives his last speech from the undetermined beyond.
Bear in mind that I also have many notes about the situations and relationships in which there should be blood but for some reason there isn't. Like the angels. Or the baby that Harper will never have.
But all of this blood doesn't add up to much. Yet. The course for which I'm preparing all of this is on the staging of history. So I still need to pull something meaningful out of this and relate it to the presentation of history in Angels.
I'm a little bit worried about this happening. By tomorrow at 2pm. But a close-reading of blood references in a contemporary play will not be the most difficult thing I've done of late. Not even close.
Here's to sunnier days ahead!