By: Maggie Jordison
Morality plays were most popular during the Medieval and Tudor eras. A morality play is a performance where the protagonist is faced with personifications of moral attributes that try to convince the protagonist to choose a life of good, rather than the evil path they were heading towards. The story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a morality play in the form of a novella. The author uses allegorical characters and a relatable hero to promote a Christian moral.
Allegories are often used in morality plays, and in A Christmas Carol. Most of the characters in the novella are allegorical. The ghost of Christmas past represents Scrooge’s mind and memory. The ghost is symbolic of how Scrooge became who he was. Scrooge essentially represents everything anti-Christmas; to this day if you call somebody a Scrooge you are saying that they’re against Christmas. Scrooge’s greed and misunderstanding of Christmas is represented by the quote “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.” (Dickens, 6). There are other allegories in A Christmas Carol as well, for example the ghost of Christmas yet to come is an allegory for fear, more specifically the fear of death. Allegories affectively promote the morals of a story.
Another characteristic of a morality play used in A Christmas Carol is the use of a relatable hero. Scrooge goes through a personal change that can be identified with. Stepping outside himself and looking at his past faults gave Scrooge the insight to correct and improve his overall self. People go through versions of this change quite often, whether it is making a new years resolution or taking time to look at their life. The quote “I will live in the past, the present, and the future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.” (Dickens, 52) represents the end result of Scrooge’s change....