A Morality Play

A morality play is a form of late medieval drama characterized by an allegorical presentation of the human search for salvation, distinguished from the miracle play and the mystery play, the morality play presents Saint*s lives and Bible*s stories.  It has strong religious purpose, didactic meanings and Christianity.  Besides, the personification of abstract terms is the most outstanding feature in a morality play.  Everyman is the best and the most famous example of morality paly.  In Everyman, allegory appears everywhere.  Each character has his allegorical significance.  Each of them is defined by his name and behaves within the limits of that definition.


At the very beginning, there is a messenger that gives the audience a preamble and the didacticism.  And then God comes first.  He thinks that the spiritual life of human beings is desolate and blind.  All that human beings care about is fortune.  People have totally forgot the lessons that Jesus taught them.  Everyman has become the follower of avarice and degenerate.  Therefore, God decides to justice on everyman living without fear.  So God sends Death as a messenger to Everyman.  When Death comes to Everyman, Death asks Everyman to go with him with a sure reckoning.  Everyman is scared and afraid, he takes an excuse of his unsure reckoning to delay the journey he must take.  Everyman tries to earn more extra time, but Death resists his require but Death tells Everyman that he can find someone to go with him.

Then Everyman is eager to find a company.  First, he goes to Fellowship.  Fellowship gives him a lot of beautiful words and he tells Everyman that he will never forsake him.  But when Everyman asks Fellowship to go together for the journey of death, Fellowship changes his attitude very quickly.  Fellowship turns against his friend and deserts him.  Later, Everyman visits his kindred and cousins.  He thinks that they can give him a hand.  Unfortunately, his cousin tells Everyman he had the cramp in his toe so he can*t go with him.  His kindred say he can give a maid to Everyman.  Two of them both resist going with him.  Everyman is very upset and he turns to find his favorite-Goods.  Everyman thinks that Goods must be very loyal to him.  However, Goods is very practical, realistic and brittle.  He refuses Everyman directly.  Then Everyman goes to his Good deeds but Good deeds is too weak to stand.  Good deeds promises Everyman to be his company and be his friend in front of God.  But Good deeds is so weak that he can*t move.  So he tells Everyman to find his sister, Knowledge, and she may help Everyman with his dreadful reckoning.  Then, Knowledge takes Everyman to see a person called Confession.  Confession gives Everyman a jewel called Penance.  Everyman has to endure the strong penance and if he binds himself by penance, he can have the forgiveness.  Everyman suffers his penance, but he feels light and joy from his heart.  After his confession, Good deeds becomes strong and he can walk.  Then Good deeds asks Everyman to find his Discretion, Strength, Beauty and Five wits.  All of them agree to go to the journey with Everyman.  Then Knowledge suggests Everyman to go to priesthood.  A priest presents as God*s commissioner on the earth, a protector and an administer.

After Everyman turns from priesthood, he asks all his friends to go into the grave, but Beauty is not willing to do it.  Beauty is the first one running away.  Later, one after another, Strength, Discretion, Five wits, are running away.  At last, Good deeds is the only one left and he companies Everyman to descend into the grave.  After descending into the grave, an angel comes out and shows that Everyman*s soul is being taken into the heaven.

At the end of the play, there is a doctor who is a theologian to give us an epilogue.  The doctor gives the audience a conclusion that everyone should die and nothing is left except his good deeds.