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. .
Everyman does not resist death and even prepares for it by performing the religious rituals of the seven blessed sacraments and scourging himself. Through the performance of rituals Everyman is trying to attain the ultimate goal of reaching Heaven. He finds that the only character that will accompany him on his journey is Good Deeds, but she is weak. This represents the idea that he has not done enough good during his life and must now do something to change.
The Western philosophical tradition has developed numerous viewpoints on, and fostered various attitudes toward, our mortal nature. There was once a situation where people regarded death as a theme and we shall die. In Western Attitudes Toward Death and Dying (1974) Aries proposes that death itself has, from the early medieval period onward, undergone a series of gradual yet discernible changes, which he titles “tame death,” “one 's own death,” “thy death,” and “forbidden or wild death.” This fourfold division centers directly on how people experience and understand death. As such, it stands as a peculiar history, one that often eschews more visible changes (e.g., the Reformation) in favor of less discernible shifts present in literature, art (including funerary art), liturgy, burial practices, and wills. It is characterized by the use or assumption
The play “Everyman” is about a complacent Everyman who is informed by Death of his approaching end. The play shows the hero’s progression from despair and fear of death to a “Christian resignation that is the prelude to redemption.” Throughout the play Everyman is deserted by things that he thought were of great importance portrayed by characters that take the names of the things they represent.
The playwright today must dig at the roots of the sickness of today as he feels it--the death of the Old God and the failure of science and materialism to give any satisfying new one for the surviving primitive religious instinct to find a meaning of and to life in, comfort his fears of death with (qtd in Golden 39).
Everyman is a classic play written in the 15th century whose subject is the struggle of the soul. This is a morality play and a good example of transition play linking liturgical drama and the secular drama that came at the end of English medieval period. In the play, death is perceived as tragic and is intensely feared. The protagonist; Everyman, is a person who enjoys the pleasures of life and good company. When he is unexpectedly called by death to account to God for his actions on earth, he is thunderstruck. He is filled with sorrow and self-pity. He pleads with death to give him more time, but death informs him it is impossible and that man cannot escape the reality of death. Faced with this eventuality, Everyman desperately turns to his friends for help. As Scott states, “Everyman’s friends in the play are personifications of his qualities and possessions” (Scott 15). He has friends like Fellowship, good deeds, knowledge, and later in the play he meets Beauty, Strength, Discretion and Five Wits.
Everyman is English morality play written by an anonymous author in late fifteenth century. The play’s represent the values that Everyman holds on to by its characterization. The spiritual life of Everyman was neglected by him, but he is quickly repents of his sins as the play develops. After realizing Everyman is summoned by Death, he doesn’t want to die and die alone for that matter. Everyman soon realizes that when he is seeking for a companion to go on a journey that he wants to go but there is no one available. He soon comes to terms that everyone will soon abandon him who accompanied him on earth. The play is in allegorical characters that represents variety of concepts such as (Knowledge, Good Deeds etc.)