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Everyman’s Death by Anonymous (late 1400s)

COURSE # and TITLE: ENGL 102: Literature and Composition


NAME: Chataria Holloway ID #23009258


Thesis Statement
By comparing and paralleling the characters in the play with life’s attributes, the author’s perception of death and the treatment of death in the play; thus reminding the reader that this play is a moral play as described by the first appearing character Messenger. I. Author’s Perception of Death

a. Messenger: Sent by God
b. Inevitable: Everyman suffers it
c. Journey: Pilgrimage to face God
II. Author’s Treatment of Death
a. Person: Character in the play
b. Place: Purgatory
c. Things: End of existence
III. Parallel to the life: Everyman is every man
a. Preparing for death
b. Good deeds will speak for you
c. Moral play

Everyman’s Death
Everyman, the play, lives up to its name in every sense of the word. The title takes a character named Everyman and takes him through a journey to face God. Through his journey the reader is able to reflect upon their own life and see some of the various ways people view life and mistakes made. Many people share those same views now as well as then in the 1400s when the play was written. The play is a moral play. Therefore, leaving the audience with something to meditate on after reading it. The anonymous writer uses characters with human attributes of a person such as beauty, strength, knowledge among others. Other times, the writer uses characters such as God, Angel, Everyman and even Death to enable the reader to understand the play. The author’s perception of death is interesting and multifaceted. He uses death as a messenger sent by God to Everyman. Death the character is summoned by God to retrieve Everyman. Death answers God immediately. Everyman is a metaphor for mankind. God commands Death to retrieve everyman for his day of “reckoning.” In this instance, death acts as God’s messenger. In line 64, God asks “Where art thou, Death, thou mighty messenger?” Once given the command by God to retrieve Everyman for his day of reckoning. For man had forgotten about the Lord and the death he suffered for man and the principles in life God set for man to live by. Death answers immediately and responds with action to search for Everyman to bring him to God for judgment. In line 90 Death tells Everyman “Yea, sir; I will show you: In great haste I am sent to thee From God out of his majesty.” Death continues to act as messenger and in alerting Everyman to his time is near. Death is portrayed as the Grim Reaper in the movies that alerts the actor that he is no longer alive or death has taken over. Everyman author then perceives death as inevitable. Inevitable, meaning as sure as we are alive, man will surely die. Death expresses to Everyman that death is not only for every common man, but also for the rich, the famous, royalty, dignitaries and even religious leaders. He goes on to let the reader know through dealing with everyman that not even riches can deter death (which is commanded and controlled by God). The reader can view such in lines 124 to lines 130, where Death is speaking: “Everyman, it may not be by no way. I set not by gold, silver, not riches, ne by pope, emperor, king, duke ne princes; For, I would receive gifts great, All the world I might get; But my custom is clean contrary. I give thee no respite. Come hence and not tarry.” Not only does Death make known to Everyman that death is for all and is inevitable but let him know that once it comes it cannot be bribed for more time. The journey or pilgrimage to face God is yet another aspect of the author’s perception of death. After Everyman is confronted by Death and realizes that his time is at hand; he begins to think who he can take with him to meet God. Before Everyman calls on anyone, he thinks back and knows that he has not done all he...
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