History of the Play
Like many other morality- allegorical plays, Everyman, fits in as the finest representative of this category. This morality play reflects on the reaction of mankind when faced with the dilemma of eternity. In the play, God sends Death to summon Everyman- a representation all mankind. It is expected the all good and evil actions of Everyman will be counted up and Everyman will give an account to God at the last day. Therefore, this play centers on the story of Everyman's journey to this final days of reckoning. As one would expect, Everyman attempts to persuade other characters to accompany him to his summon thinking and hoping that this would earn him mercy from God. Notably, all the other characters in this play are also allegorical; meaning that, each one of them gives a clue as to how they will act or react to Everyman’s invite. Accordingly, it is through these characters actions that the conflict between good and evil is dramatized. Essentially, the inspiration of this Morality Play was centered mainly on the longing to communicate principles of Christian living in a manner such that the common, and illiterate human beings would understand its meaning and concept (Yaw Adu-Gyamfi & Schmidt, 2011).
Morality plays date back to the 15th century, the clergy found it more appropriate to ma...
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...e, either knowingly or unknowingly. As such, he challenges the audience to revisit their own actions every time so that they can face penance. Penance or repentance in this case helps Everyman to go through a severe and purifying form of bodily and conscience sufferings. However, after the purification process Everyman’s Good Deeds are strengthened, and through knowledge he is prepared to face judgment with the help of pure Good Deeds and his clean Conscience. Therefore, the Author shows that though Everyman is wicked, there is hope. Everyman must forget about himself, focus on others and repent, then he will be able to face God.
wonderfulfaustus.com. (2013). Morality Plays. Retrieved from wonderfulfaustus: http://wonderfulfaustus.wikispaces.com/Morality+Play
Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, & Schmidt, M. (2011). Literature and Spirituality. London, England: Longman.
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