Emmerich Emmanuel H. Sta. Ana October 13, 2014 Composition: Everyman Essay
Lesson 16 Grade 12
Everyman is considered as the greatest medieval morality play written by an anonymous author. Because of its religious content and moral message, poets assumed that a priest wrote it. The author of this masterpiece made it allegorical, which means that each figure represents abstract characteristics.
The play centers on the life of Everyman, a wealthy man in his time who suddenly called by Death to appear before God for judgment. On his journey to meet God, he seeks assistance from lifelong companions—Fellowship (friend), Kindred (family), and Good-deeds (material wealth); but all abandoned him. Because Everyman neglected Good-deeds in life, Good-deeds is too weak to accompany Everyman on his journey. So she advises him to go to his sister, Knowledge (awareness to sin). Knowledge then escorted him to Confession to be fully clean from his sins. In that process of penance, Everyman sold all of his earthly wealth and forgets about being selfish. As a result, Good-deeds is strengthened and finally accompany him to his final destination. As the story closes, Knowledge remains behind as Everyman and Good-deeds together descend into the grave.
This play suggests a means to salvation as Everyman enters the kingdom of heaven by performing good-deeds; and that death comes to everybody. Everyman has to clear his book of reckoning before he can progress to heaven, and one of the things the play considers is how humans will be judged after they have died. God is furious that humans are living a superficial life on earth, focusing on wealth and riches, without worrying about the greater judgment that is to come - and, notably, Everyman's own judgment - his ability to understand his life - becomes gradually more and more enlightened...
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