The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Book online The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Original Title:

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot: A Play



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Comment 1:

I am a young reader, who until a year ago hadn't really read any plays, mostly just novels. Reading Shakespeare has been interesting, but not quite something I would actively pursue or spend free-time reading. I'd never really considered reading plays, only seeing them performed. Until I embarked on this unexpected spiritual experience in literature.The only reason I read Judas in the first place was that several members of my favorite theater company are currently involved in a production of the play in Chicago and I bought tickets (I will be seeing it in a week and am very excited!). It was recommend that I read it before seeing it. I bought a copy about 3 months back and have read it at least once a month, purely because I enjoyed it so much. Being a non-religious person, I had an unbiased view on the story. Although I'm sure if I had more knowledge of Christian mythology I would probably be able to enjoy it even more. At the beginning of my experience reading Judas, I found myself attempting to take and switch sides for awhile before I began to realize that simply observing the events unfold in their entirety was more enjoyable for me. I've never been very good at questioning while I read (I'm sure my teachers hate me for that), but this story created constant ideas and questions in my mind that evolved the more I read. I'd never had such an experience with any piece of literature before. The seamless flow between humor and dark intensity blew me away, I could be laughing out loud on moment and then a moment later be staring at the page with my mouth hung open, feeling as though I was witnessing a real court case unfold before me. The level of profanity shocked me a bit at first, but that was merely because I didn't expect quite so much of it, but I quickly got used to it and it blended so smoothly with each character's specific way of speaking that it only stood out to me as abundant after I had read finished the play. Mr. Guirgis' words on faith in the introduction spoke to me strongest after I had finished reading his play;“It’s not about joining a team or a church or choosing sides or learning a prayer. It’s not about man‐made concepts of good and evil. It’s not about doing “enough” or “too little.” It’s not about shame and guilt. It’s about You. It’s about the collective Us. Thomas Merton said, “To be a saint means to be myself.” What if that were true? What is it that we need to overcome in order to be truly “Ourselves”? I won’t pretend at all that this play answers that question, but if it provokes the question in you, then please let it. Ponder it. Because we need you.”Despite what you do or do not believe, faith is something important, and you owe it to yourself to question, think, and discover what those sort of things mean to you. I strongly believe in Mr. Guirgis' message. It's not about what you believe, it's about understanding why, and asking questions and challenging yourself on a spiritual level (whatever spiritual might mean to you). It's something we all need whether we think we do or not. Everyone is different, so not everyone will approach this the same way, but you owe it to yourself as a human being to do so.

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