Everyman faces Death
James M. Burnett
Thesis Statement: Everyman is a play that is deeply tied to the human condition. The author had a perception death and a direction of death that they wanted to share with the world. I aim to show and reveal the authors intention so that we may better understand death more.
II. Understanding the Author’s perception of death
a. The time period that everyman was written in.
b. How everyman relates to the culture it was written in.
c. The cultures perception of death compared to the Authors III. The Treatment of Death in Everyman
a. How is death view within the play itself?
b. Society’s view of death then and now and how they differ. c. The purpose of death within the play Everyman.
Everyman is a play that is deeply tied to the human condition. The author had a perception death and a direction of death that they wanted to share with the world. I aim to show and reveal the authors intention so that we may better understand death more. I will do this in three ways. Firstly in order for us to have a better understanding of the play everyman I believe it is important and would benefits us great if we had a understanding of the time period the play was written in and for. I hope to show how everyman relates to the culture it was written in and that cultures perception of death compared to the Authors. Secondly death plays an interesting role in this play. We need to understand the treatment of death in Everyman. I hope to show you a comparison of how death is viewed within the play itself and the society’s view of death then and now.
“Everyman is a medieval morality play anonymously written in the mid-fifteenth century in England. It has a very simple plot. The message and strength of the play are found in the individual scenes. The author has centered the play on Everyman's plea for companionship on his journey to his grave. Everyman in the end discovers that you can't take it with you when you go and must fall back on his moral and religious values. The play is an allegory of life, in which the only thing that will save Everyman from certain damnation is Good Deeds alone.” (White) “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.”(NIV, 2007) “Everyman, even though it encompasses the ideas behind Christian faith and Catholic doctrine, is a play that expresses normal human emotions including morality. It was written in a time when dramatic plays first appeared in churches with the introduction of the miracle play. As the popularity of these miracles grew, those producing the plays decided to no longer perform inside the church. Instead, the productions left the church to cater to broader audiences. Performing on the streets and in town squares, the plays evolved to encompass less religious views and biblical teachings for more moral issues.” (InfoRefuge) When people ask me what religion I am I tend to tell them that I am not a religious person. At first they give me weird look and they say “but I thought you were Catholic”. I personally when referring to my faith simply state that I’m a Christian and that I believe in Jesus Christ. Many of my personal friends believe that being catholic is the same as being a Christian; I don’t mean to say that their wrong it’s just more than just a label. When the play everyman was written the church was predominantly catholic. Not the Catholic church of today but a more primitive version where there was still many unknown beliefs and superstitions. “Traditionally, the Catholic Church opposed the theatre because it frequently included nudity, fights with wild beasts, and because Roman sacrifice of Christians was often included as a part of pagan spectacle. An additional reason for church opposition was...
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Cary, E. L. (1903, January). A review of Everyman. Retrieved May 8, 2012, from Literature Resource Center: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CH1420009300&v=2.1&u=nhais_hsyq&it=r&p=LitRC&sw=w
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White, P. I. (n.d.). Everyman A study in the Design and Production of Medieval Drama. Retrieved May 8, 2012, from http://homepage.fcgnetworks.net/patrick/concept.html
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