Everyman Essay

Everyman Essay-75
Medievil drama developed out of early religious plays, which had been made out of the drama of the medieval church..These early dramatic forms still focused on the religious and moral themes that dominated the Christian imagination during the Middle Ages.

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It is not known, however, how these evolved into the particular form of the morality play.

Few morality plays have survived, and only remained sufficiently well regarded in later times to be dignified with performance.

A play about the reaction to imminent death, with its configurations of characters implies much about how life should be lived.

God initiates the action with the premise that all human beings are to be called to give an account of their actions.

The active involvement of the spectator is not through emotion so much as it is in the discovery of the meanings of characters and the significance of the configurations in which they are arranged.

Allegory engages the mind and succeeds well in representing a complex, highly specific, theological system at the same time that it generates, by juxtaposition and order, sufficient immediacy to give force to the moral exhortation. There is no attempt to catalog the deficiencies of Everyman’s past life; rather, the play focuses on the poignant hour of death and implies what Everyman is and what he ought to be at that critical moment.

Here the subject matter is admonitory, particularly concerning death.

As Albert Baugh pointed out, it is difficult to discover precise sources for the subject matter or the dramatic method.

There are, however, certain parallels with medieval sermons, which often bolstered moral exhortations with allegorical examples.

Indeed, allegory is pervasive in medieval literature, as is, for that matter, concern for a happy death.

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