Everyman

“Everyman” is a powerful play written about morality during a time when England was separated from the Roman catholic church. This is an allegorical drama that taught lessons about how Christians should live and how to save their souls and get into Heaven when they die. Everyman is afraid to die and does not want to leave behind everything he has. By the end of the play, he realizes that only good deeds can be taken with him and nothing else goes to the grave. A messenger for God tells the audience to pay close attention, “Ye think sin in the beginning full sweet,” he says, “which in the end causeth the soul to weep when the body lieth in clay” (lines 13-14).

God also says, “all creatures be to me unkind, living without dread in worldly prosperity” (lines 23-24). The conflict between the spiritual and earthly is raised, and God is angry that people focus on worldly prosperity without thinking of damnation and sin. Everyman can be considered as the protagonist, and Death the antagonist. Everyman has all the qualities the protagonist should have. He has the most to lose, and in losing everything- Fellowship, Knowledge, Kindred, Goods, Beauty, Five Wits, and Discretion- he underwent the greatest change.

First he was terrified of dying, even pleaded with Death to prolong his death and having to leave the earth, but doesn’t allow him to. Death tells him he must come for all people when it is their turn to go. Everyman had the most to lose and did lose it all. Everyman showed that penance in itself is dynamic and capable of changing Everyman’s understanding of himself and his relationship to others. Death can be seen as the protagonist because he is what drives the play forward.

God tells Death, “Go thou to Everyman, and show him in my name, a pilgrimage he must on him take which he in no wise may escape, and that he bring with him a sure reckoning, without delay or any tarrying” (lines 66-71). Death reminds us all that…

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