The play Everyman may have been written many years ago, but its lessons are still relevant today. Generally, the facts of death are very traumatizing and in fact unthinkable. This leads the modern day Everyman to ignore its significance, dying without acknowledging or reflecting on their lives here on earth. It is based on this fact that this paper aims to show the position of the author of the play “Everyman” regarding death.
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 make religious sermons more impressive by introducing short parables during mass. Therefore, Morality plays were actually recreations of the scripture. Eventually, these plays later moved outside of the church walls and into the mainstream. Consequently, they became a very popular form of entertainment in theaters. The main characteristics of morality plays include; being tailored to educate the audience through entertainment, they made complex issues for instance, original sin and their consequences to be easily understandable, they personified aspects such as -Vices, Virtues, the Devil and the Good Angel, and God making them easy to understand and communicate meaning to thus who could not read. Therefore, a character representing either humanity as a whole or a fraction of the social structure; supporting characters that are exemplifications of either the good or evil; Objects towards providing the audience with moral leadership and they aims at encouraging human beings men to lead righteous lives (wonderfulfaustus.com, 2013).
Allegory plays are symbolic plays where the characters in the play have a double meaning. Generally, the in-depth meaning communicates; ethical, social, spiritual, and or political worth, and...