In the 16th century English morality play “Everyman” who’s author is unknown. Everyman has an encounter with death who reminds him who his maker is and that it is time to make a reckoning of his good and bad deeds. He realizes that salvation lies in his hands, and that it is a personal decision that only he can make. One senses the desperation in the heart of Everyman, having realized that his life was blackened with sin; he strives to change the black he has accumulated in the “book of counts” and change it to a book of white. Everyman feels like he must make atonement for his sin, in order to escape death, for salvation is in the hands of the sinner.
Death is something everyone is familiar with and at the same time very much afraid of. It is no different when it comes to the character in Everyman. When God is observing the people walking on earth, he sees how they are only serving themselves and not serving him. People are living as if there is no Heaven or Hell, or if there is even a judgment day after they die. Yet they try and are even content living out their own lives, depending on all the riches the world has to give, giving no thought to death. Like the writer of Hebrews said, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Heb 9:27) so it is with Everyman. Everyman is like people today, living like there is no tomorrow, not thinking about the judgment that all of every man will face when death comes knocking at their door. God sees everything getting worse, year after year and decides to “Have a reckoning of every man’s person;” (45).
God calls Death, his “mighty messenger” to go to and fro over the earth and strike every man with Death’s dart who loves the world and its riches more than God. Death will send every man to hell, unless, “Alms be his good friend” and can save him from eternal judgment. Everyman is just waltzing through life as if everything depends on him, without a care in the world. Living life to its fullest, following after all the ladies, and attempting to make all the money he can since life is so good, are at least that is what he thinks. Laan, a writer with MLA said, “The human action and its allegorical significance together form a distinct structural pattern which not only imposes discipline but also contributes its own intrinsic meaning” (Laan, 1963. P. 465). Everyman’s character certainly contributes to the worth that mankind is loved enough by God to get an opportunity to except salvation before death has its final place in their life. For it is in the hands of the sinner to receive the salvation by grace that Jesus has to offer. If left un-excepted, than every man will go to a hell prepared for sinners and the fallen angels.
Death see’s Everyman walking down the road all “finely dressed” when he asked him why he continues to carry on in life the way he does? He asked him if he has forgotten his maker, the one that created him to enjoy this life. Death explains to...