Death and Everyman
Intro: Everyman is a morality play that was written by an unknown author in the late fifteenth century. The play is about man’s reckoning with God upon our death. Thesis: The attitude toward life and death in Everyman is that in order to ascend into heaven upon our demise we must have done good works in our life. Paragraph one: God’s criticism of man. The play starts with God stating all the ways in which he feels mankind has failed him. “And now I see the people do clean* forsake me”. Paragraph two: Good deeds, Everyman is informed by death the he is to go on a journey and he must bring his “book of count”. Paragraph three: Making up for lost time, Everyman with the assistance of his “friends”, set out to wrong rights and to do good deeds. Paragraph four: Everyman is forsaken; as everyman begins his demise his “friends” begin to abandon him. Paragraph five: Good Deeds stays by Everyman’s side, after beauty, strength, discretion and five wits forsake Everyman he is left with only his Good Deeds. Paragraph six: Everyman ascends into heaven, upon his death Everyman’s soul is pulled into heaven by the angel whose has Everyman “book of count” Conclusion: The deeds we do while we are alive will determine where we go after death.
Death and Everyman
Everyman is the best known of all the English morality plays (Lessing), it was written by an unknown author in the late fifteenth-century, also known as the medieval period; it is thought to be a version of the Dutch play Elckerlyc (Britannica 2012). Everyman is about man’s reckoning with God upon death. The basic concept of Everyman is that the deeds mankind does during life will determine where eternity is spent.
The title of the play Everyman, which is also the main characters name, has a significant meaning, the term Everyman means the typical man off the street. Everyman could be anyone; he is left essentially nameless as he is simply a representative of mankind. Everyman was not meant to be a specific type of person as he is to represent everyone; each person is to see themselves in Everyman. The author starts the play with the attitude that mankind has been sinful and has forgotten that one day it will be held accountable for its actions, as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:2 “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil”. The author has the point of view that perhaps mankind is too focused on the now and itself and has forgotten about its souls and where they will spend eternity. The play begins with the messenger imploring mankind to listen as God is going to speak. In God’s speech he lists his grievances against mankind; he complains that though he has given much mankind has changed little from its sinful, greedy ways. God states “And now I see the people do clean forsake me” (Everyman), meaning that after all he has done mankind has done nothing in return and has outright and publicly defied God. He goes on to speak that mankind is living like there is no heaven or hell, acting as though they are unaware of the judgment day that will soon come. God decides it’s time to take mankind to task and make them accountable for their actions.
The Author continues with his attitude of man is selfish and sinful, in the play God tells Death that it is time to make man accountable; Everyman needs to bring his book of count to God for judgment. The book of count is the Authors term for a “book of life” a list of man’s good deeds and misdeeds. The Author seems to think that mankind no longer remembers God, in the play Death sees Everyman dressed in his fine clothes and asks him if he remembers God, his maker. Everyman’s answer is, basically, why do you ask? Death then tells Everyman he is to go on a journey and bring his book of count with him it is time for his reckoning with God. Everyman is not ready, he has not lived the...
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