Characters / Jesus Christ Superstar
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.
- Alas, Poor Villain
- Angry Black Man: In both the original Broadway production and the original film.
- Antagonist in Mourning: He suffers a complete emotional breakdown after his betrayal of Jesus and subsequently hangs himself.
- Anti-Villain: Portrayed very sympathetically throughout the play.
- Apologetic Attacker
- Beauty Equals Goodness: 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.
- Tim Minchin in the 2012 tour makes a pretty convincing case for Judas being good.
- Blatant Lies:
(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!"
- B.S.O.D. Song: "Judas's Death", wherein he realizes that God chose him to be the one to betray Jesus.
- Doomed by Canon: See Driven to Suicide, below.
- Driven to Suicide: He hangs himself after betrying Jesus.
- Evil Costume Switch: 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.
- Jerkass Façade
- Knight in Sour Armor
- The Lancer: Serves as a foil to Jesus and calls him out on some of his beliefs and practices.
- My God, What Have I Done?: "Judas's Death".
- Necessarily Evil:
I came because I had to; I'm the one who saw.
Jesus can't control it like he did before.
- Never My Fault: 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.
- No Indoor Voice: in the original film.
- Only Sane Man: Believes himself to be this.
- Rage Against the Heavens: "Judas's Death".
God I'll never ever know
Why you chose me for your crime
For your foul bloody crime.
- The Resenter: Jealous of Mary and distrustful of Jesus.
- Slut-Shaming: Chastises Jesus for associating with a woman of Mary's profession.
- Sour Supporter: He admires Jesus, but strongly disagrees with a lot of his actions and proclamations.
- Supporting Protagonist: The story is largely told from his perspective.
- Tears of Remorse: After he sees the extent of Jesus's punishment at the hands of the Romans.
- Unwitting Pawn: of God, no less.
My God, I am sick.
I've been used!
And you knew
All the time!
- Villainous Breakdown: "Judas's Death".
The leader of the Twelve Disciples; a man called the "Son of God" and the "King of the Jews."
- Bishōnen: Particularly Glenn Carter's Jesus.
- Born in the Wrong Century
If you'd come today you would have reached the whole nation / Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication
- Break the Cutie
- Celibate Hero: Well, unless the production goes that direction with his relationship with Mary Magdalene...
- Crucified Hero Shot
- Doomed by Canon
- Groupie Brigade
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: "Gethsemane".
- Heroic Sacrifice: Lets himself be crucified as per God's plan.
- Hippie Jesus: Taken Up to Eleven 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.
- Hurting Hero
Nail me to your cross and break me
Bleed me, beat me
Kill me, take me now
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness
- Jesus Was Crazy: According to Pilate and Judas.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: According to Mary Magdalene, Simon and Caiaphas.
- Light Is Good: In many productions, he is dressed in white or off-white.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: He doesn't commit any miracles in the course of the play, and most productions leave the question of his divinity open-ended.
- Metal Scream: Present in almost every version of "Gethsemane", largely due to the Original Cast Precedent of Ian Gillan on the concept album.
- Protagonist Title
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
- Unwitting Pawn
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At least from Judas and the Council's point of view.
A belligerent apostle who urges Jesus to lead his followers into battle against the Romans.
One of the Twelve Apostles, prophesized to deny Jesus three times.
- Angry Black Man: Peter gets a bit of this in the 2000 film.
- Karma Houdini: 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.
The only major female character in the play - formerly a prostitute, now a follower of Jesus who finds herself falling in love with him.
The high priest who sees Jesus as a threat to the nation.
A Jewish priest, Caiaphas's second-in-command.
The Governor of Judea tasked with Jesus's trial.
The King of Galilee; Jesus is brought to him for judgment after first being taken to Pilate.