The Death of Everyman

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Keller details that The Summoning of Everyman, departs from typical morality conflict, asserting that, “Everyman, instead, focuses exclusively on the final phase of the morality narrative-the coming of death. The play thus eliminates the usual struggle between good and evil for the soul of the protagonist.” (2000). The author combines the presence of Death, the inevitability of death, and the fear inducing specter of the “march toward death”, to portray the nature of physical death in the will of God as the consummation of all things. Everyman, is the most widely studied and produced morality play of the genre. In it, the audience “…traces its hero from a state of sin and unpreparedness through repentance to a triumphant death, his salvation assured.” (Westburg, 1983). The author begins depicting a sovereign God who looks down on Earth with grave disappointment as He considers the disaster that characterizes the life of Everyman. In response to this total depravity, God dispatched Death to summon the protagonist to the inescapable end of all life, to bring all things to their expected end, death. In Everyman, the anonymous author depicts Death, and the threat of his coming as the consummation of all things. Death is clearly seen as God’s messenger, sent to bring conviction to Everyman and summon the protagonist to account for his life. He is subordinate to the will of God, and like all messengers in Scripture, seeks only to do the will of God. The indisputable presence of Death creates the first conflict for Everyman. There seems to be mixed emotions among people about whether they would want to know the precise date and time of their demise. Some might want to know how they would die. What is almost certain is that no ... ... middle of paper ... ...hmidt. Literature and Spirituality. Boston: Longman, 2011. 265-87. Print. Burns Westberg, Dana. Everyman. Theatre Journal 35.2 (1983): 250-52. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Web. 10 May 2014. . Cicéron, , and Alexander J. Inglis. Essay on Friendship (laelius De Amicitia). Toronto: W. Briggs, 1908. Print. Dunn, E. C., “Everyman”. New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 485-486. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 May 2014. Habermas, Gary R. The Risen Jesus & Future Hope. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Pub, 2003. Print. Keller, James "Everyman." Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature. Westport: Greenwood, 2000. Credo Reference. Web. 11 May 2014. Ryan, Lawrence. Doctrine and Dramatic Structure in Everyman. Speculum 32.4 (1957): 722-35. JSTOR. Web. 10 May 2014. .

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