February 24th, 2011
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Before seeing this play I did not know a lot about Judas. I only remembered that he was the one to betray Jesus from reading the Bible early on in my childhood for CCD. After seeing The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, it helped me better understand who Judas was and the kind of life he lived. I was not fully aware of his close relationship with Jesus. I simply understood that he was chosen as one of his twelve disciples. In the play it is explained by Mary Magdalene that Jesus was closest to Judas and her out of all twelve disciples. I was also surprised when she describes their relationship as Judas being “almost an alter-ego to Jesus – he was the shadow to Jesus’ light. He was the sour to the sweet and the cool to the warm.” Initially I knew that he was known as the one who turned Jesus over to the Jews, but did not realize his reaction and his struggle following Jesus’ death. It was if Jesus believed in Judas, even after his betrayal, even though Judas did not believe in himself or the forgiveness of Jesus. The story of Judas sharing his spinning top with the other child came as a surprise to me. Since I knew he was the one to betray Jesus, he just seemed to be a heartless person. To hear that story from his mother during his trial provided me with compassion for Judas, which I did not have before. I thought the portrayal of Mary Magdalene was accurate to my image of her. I’ve read that most people see her as Jesus’ wife or lover but she described herself as his best friend. She also said they shared many good times together and sort of implied that the two shared chemistry in a way. Although she did not come out and say that they were interested in each other, it seemed as if they loved one another more than just friends. Prior to seeing the play I did not know much about Saint Monica. Afterwards I did some research on her and found that she was the Saint of Married Women and the mother of Saint Augustine. The images and stories I read about her did not fit the portrayal of Saint Monica in the play. Of course, like most people, I view saints as being polite and well put together. Saint Monica in the play was the complete opposite of that image I had. It did not offend me, but certainly shocked me. She seemed trashy, loud, obnoxious and juvenile. I was initially also confused as to why she was the one to go see Judas. But after some research and discussion with my father found that she was also the saint of disappointing/troubled children, in this case was Judas. I also enjoyed the idea that her and Mary were friends and knew each other. It made it seem as if everyone in heaven, or hell, have the opportunity to meet and become friends. I really enjoyed the depiction of Satan. His personality, clothing and persona seemed spot on to me. Even his walk and body language matched up to the laid back personality I imagined. I was surprised however about the scene where he describes his love of God and how he does not hate him, as opposed to what most people believe. I found it very interesting, seeing as how I believed they were eternal enemies. Satan however, seemed to be nicer than I would imagine. Although I would imagine a laidback, carefree person; I also pictured a more dark and cruel man to be Satan. After all he is known as the “Prince of Darkness”. I expected him to curse, yell and laugh evilly more than he did in the play. In addition, the energy that filled the room changed when Satan entered. Red lights were cast on the stage to create a darker, more hellish environment.
There were a few themes brought up in the play; the most noticeable theme being betrayal and punishment. Not only was Judas’ betrayal to Jesus discussed, but also Butch Honeywell. Butch Honeywell, who cheated on his wife multiple times, speaks at the very end of the play. His monologue expressed the message that betrayal is betrayal, regardless of who you are or what you...
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