%%Do not leave trope names hanging - give context.

%%AlternativeCharacterInterpretation can apply to just about any of these characters and YMMV highly. There's a reason why this play was extremely controversial when it came out. All interpretations are welcome but treat others' interpretations with the respect you'd want them to give yours.


The leader of the Twelve Disciples; a man called the "Son of God" and the "King of the Jews."

* {{Bishonen}}: Particularly Glenn Carter's Jesus.
* BornInTheWrongCentury
-->''If you'd come today you would have reached the whole nation / Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication''
* BreakTheCutie
* CelibateHero: Well, unless the production goes ''that'' direction with his relationship with Mary Magdalene...
* CrucifiedHeroShot
* DoomedByCanon
* GroupieBrigade
* HeroicBSOD: "Gethsemane".
* HeroicSacrifice: Lets himself be crucified as per God's plan.
* HippieJesus: Taken UpToEleven in the 1973 film, where he ''is'', for all intents and purposes, a hippie actor.
** Most other productions tend to retain at least some aspects of the hippie look as well.
* HurtingHero
-->Nail me to your cross and break me\\
Bleed me, beat me\\
Kill me, take me now
* IncorruptiblePurePureness
* JesusWasCrazy: According to Pilate and Judas.
* JesusWasWayCool: According to Mary Magdalene, Simon and Caiaphas.
* LightIsGood: In many productions, he is dressed in white or off-white.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: He doesn't commit any miracles in the course of the play, and most productions leave the question of his divinity open-ended.
* MetalScream: Present in almost every version of "Gethsemane", largely due to the OriginalCastPrecedent of Ian Gillan on the concept album.
* ProtagonistTitle
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth
* UnwittingPawn
* WellIntentionedExtremist: At least from Judas and the Council's point of view.


One of the Twelve Apostles, Judas was initially Jesus's right hand man but has grown concerned about the cult of personality surrounding Jesus, believing it's overgrown his teachings. His political and interpersonal disagreements with Jesus set the plot of the play in motion.

* AlasPoorVillain
-->''So long Judas \\
''Poor old Judas''
* AngryBlackMan: In both the original Broadway production and the original film.
* AntagonistInMourning: He suffers a complete emotional breakdown after his betrayal of Jesus and subsequently hangs himself.
* AntiVillain: Portrayed very sympathetically throughout the play.
* ApologeticAttacker
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Depending on how you interpret his character, his being played by a balding young man who hasn't shaved recently in the 2000 version either subverts or plays it straight.
** Music/TimMinchin in the 2012 tour makes a pretty convincing case for Judas being good.
** That goes double for Josh Young in the 2012 Broadway revival
* BetrayalByInaction: He actually threatens to ''not'' betray Jesus just to spite him and God's plans.
* BlatantLies:
-->''(about Mary)'' "It's not that I object to her profession..."
-->''(to the high priests)'' "Jesus wouldn't mind that I'm here with you!"
* BSODSong: "Judas's Death", wherein he realizes that God chose him to be the one to betray Jesus.
* DoomedByCanon: See DrivenToSuicide, below.
* DrivenToSuicide: He hangs himself after betrying Jesus.
* EvilCostumeSwitch: in the 2000 film, after betraying Jesus to the Pharisees, Judas takes off his jacket to show off his black shirt, and starts wearing red after committing suicide.
** In the 2012 Live Arena tour, he wears grey and green, before switching to black post-suicide.
* JerkassFacade
* KilledMidSentence: "You have murdered me! MURDERED ME! MURDERED..."
* KnightInSourArmor
* TheLancer: Serves as a foil to Jesus and calls him out on some of his beliefs and practices.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: "Judas's Death".
* NecessarilyEvil:
-->I came because I had to; I'm the one who saw.
-->Jesus can't control it like he did before.
* NeverMyFault: On a meta level - whilst other characters have the deeds accredited to them in the Bible presented in different ways to make them more or less sympathetic, Judas actually has negative aspects of his character removed entirely (such as his robbing from the Apostle's purse) to make him more sympathetic.
* NoIndoorVoice: in the original film.
* OnlySaneMan: Believes himself to be this.
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: "Judas's Death".
-->God, I'll never ever know \\
Why you chose me for your crime \\
For your foul bloody crime.
* TheResenter: Jealous of Mary and distrustful of Jesus.
* SlutShaming: Chastises Jesus for associating with a woman of Mary's profession.
* SourSupporter: He admires Jesus, but strongly disagrees with a lot of his actions and proclamations.
* SupportingProtagonist: The story is largely told from his perspective.
* TearsOfRemorse: After he sees the extent of Jesus's punishment at the hands of the Romans.
* UnwittingPawn: of God, no less.
-->My God, I am sick. \\
I've been used! \\
And you knew \\
All the time!
* VillainousBreakdown: "Judas's Death".

!!Simon Zealotes

A belligerent apostle who urges Jesus to lead his followers into battle against the Romans.

* AngryBlackMan: In the original film.
* {{Bishonen}}: In the 2000 film.
* LaResistance: A militant leader looking to overthrow Roman power.
* LargeHam: '''AAAAA-MEEEEEEEEN!!!'''
* LyricalDissonance: His song is an energetic, joyful song and dance number about trying to convince Jesus to rebel against Roman rule.
* PoisonousFriend: He tries to get Jesus to declare war on Rome in order to gain absolute power.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Calls for a war against Rome.


One of the Twelve Apostles, prophesized to deny Jesus three times.

* AngryBlackMan: Peter gets a bit of this in the 2000 film.
* KarmaHoudini: Judas: Betray Christ once, suicide and eternal damnation. Peter: Deny Christ three times, become the first pope.
** YMMV, as he also was the only of the Apostles to follow after Jesus, even when he told them to make a break for it.

!!Mary Magdalene

The only major female character in the play - formerly a prostitute, now a follower of Jesus who finds herself falling in love with him.

* BeneathTheMask: "I Don't Know How to Love Him" reveals she's just as clueless as everyone about what to make of him.
* CompositeCharacter: She combines elements of herself with that of Mary, the sister of Martha, whose "waste" of costly perfume on Jesus was derided by Judas.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
-->'''Mary:''' "[[LampshadedDoubleEntendre And I've had so many men before, in very many ways]], he's (Jesus) just one more."
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: She's the holiest of ho's, alright.
* NumberTwo: Judas believes that she has usurped his role as Jesus's most trusted follower.


The high priest who sees Jesus as a threat to the nation.

* BadassBass
* BassoProfundo
* TheChessmaster
* EvilSoundsDeep: He's the only bass in the show, and one of the few in all of music theater. (Not only that, he's actually a ''basso profundo'', which is rarer still).
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: He believes that the actions of Jesus will have negative repercussions for the entire Jewish race.
* KickTheDog: It's pretty damn cruel to mock Judas for having been paid 'pretty good wages for one little kiss' in betraying Jesus when Caiaphas forced him to accept the money to give to charity as a 'fee' to begin with.
* NecessarilyEvil: See IDidWhatIHadToDo, above.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: The stated rationale for the priests' actions:
-->'''Caiaphas:''' For the sake of the nation, this Jesus must die!
* SopranoAndGravel: Contrasted with high-voiced Annas, who is usually played by a countertenor.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: With Annas.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Caiaphas is driven by a desire to avoid 'blood and destruction' against the Jews.
* VillainRespect: He thinks "Jesus is cool" for not openly preaching violence against Rome.


A Jewish priest, Caiaphas's second-in-command.

* AgeLift: Reversed, in history he was the older man and Caiaphas' father-in-law, most productions present him as a younger SmugSnake sidekick.
* BaldOfEvil: In the 2000 film.
* TheDragon: To Caiaphas.
* LackOfEmpathy: The coldest of the priests, who says he can't really understand why Judas is filled with remorse for betraying Jesus since he 'backed the right horse' in the end.
* SmugSnake
* SopranoAndGravel: He is played by a countertenor, which is the highest of male voices, to contrast him with BadassBass Caiaphas.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Like Caiaphas, Annas is driven by a desire to save the Jewish people from Rome's wrath.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: With Caiaphas.

!!Pontius Pilate

The Governor of Judea tasked with Jesus's trial.

* AlliterativeName: '''P'''ontius '''P'''ilate.
* ChewingTheScenery: Fred Johanson takes this to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFUYxkdIv10 epic proportions]] in the 2000 film.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome:"Pilate's Dream", in which he meets with Jesus and is responsible for his death.
* IgnoredEpiphany: Takes little no no note of his prophetic dream.
* LargeHam[=/=]PunctuatedForEmphasis: "What? Doooooooo you mean by that? Thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat is nooooooooooooot! An aaaaaaaaaaaan! Swer!"
* MundaneMadeAwesome: He counts along while Jesus is flogged to the tune of heavy metal guitar.
* OutDamnedSpot: ''I wash my hands of your demolition!''
* PuttingOnTheReich: In the 2000 film.
** He ends up looking like a weird {{Expy}} of [[Franchise/StreetFighter M. Bison/Vega]].
*** "For you, the day Bison/Vega crucified your Christ was the most important day of your life. ButForMeItWasTuesday."
*** Wasn't it Friday?
* ShamingTheMob: He lambasts the mob screaming for Jesus to be crucified, since he sees Jesus as a harmless crazy man being used as a scapegoat by the mob for the revolutionary rumblings his presence set off.
* ATasteOfTheLash: Unwilling to execute a man, he first orders Jesus to be whipped instead.


The King of Galilee; Jesus is brought to him for judgment after first being taken to Pilate.

* AffablyEvil
* BerserkButton: Ignoring him and not performing the miracles he wants makes Herod positively explode.
* CampStraight: For all his camp and debauchery, he's a married man.
* CardCarryingVillain: The only unashamedly evil character and is not suffering an existential crisis.
* ChewingTheScenery
* FatBastard: In the 70s production, Herod is noticeably paunchy and quite the nasty jerk.
* IronicEcho: Jesus says "Get out!" first when clearing the temple then to Judas. Herod drives him away with the same words.
* LargeHam
* RoyalBrat: Interested in getting things his way, having fun and enjoying life.
* SissyVillain

* TheChessmaster
* ThePlan / GambitRoulette: For the highest of stakes and with his own son's life as the ante.
* TheUnseen: He doesn't actually appear in the musical.