Everyman As A Medieval Morality Play

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Everyman is a medieval morality play, written in the late 15th century by an unknown author. Regarded as one of the finest of the morality plays, Everyman is said to be an adaptation to the Dutch play Elckerlyc. “It was composed around 1495, consists of 921 lines, and is preserved in four separate manuscripts. There is no record of its having ever been staged for its contemporary audience.” “everyman is the name sometimes given to the typical or average person, 'the man in the street '. The description comes from the allegorical character everyman in the sixteenth-century morality play of the same title” The failure of every man is sin. Like a scorpion delivers a deadly sting, sin spreads its immovable sting; the result-death seizes its allegiance. The character Death is symbolic of physical death and Everyman is symbolic of the entire human race. Physical death is predestined and removes the physical life of all humanity. Death is perceived as a messenger of God. “When Everyman finally grasps the sinister import of Death 's visit, he offers a considerable bribe, one thousand pounds, in an attempt to defer the matter (121-123)”. During the conversation of Fellowship and Everyman, I am reminded of Job and the conversation with his three friends. No one would stand and be Everyman’s mediator. Kindred offered his maid to support Everyman, but he refused the proposal. The Cousin formulates an excuse (a sore toe) not to help Everyman. Goods, an allegory of money has excuses (to brittle). Everyman places faith in friends, family and money. Goods have done his job of deceiving Everyman. Instead of taking responsibility for his own faults, Everyman places blame on Goods for his deception and misconceptions. Everyman... ... middle of paper ... ...Father, Son and Holy Spirit). God created all of humanity with their five senses. The Bible says to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. “Despite its renown as the most accessible morality play, Everyman is actually atypical within the genre. It includes only a portion of the morality structure, which generally begins with a struggle for the soul (psychomachia) of the central character and leads to the figure 's eventual salvation. 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. As an allegorical representation of all of humanity, Everyman, by example, teaches the audience of death 's inevitability as well as the proper path to salvation, one of the most common themes of medieval literature.”

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