ENGL 102-B33: Literature and Composition
Fall B 2013
October 8, 2013
Everyman, a medieval morality play was written by an unknown author in 1495 and contains 921 lines. Regarded as one of the finest of the morality plays, Everyman is said to be an adaptation to the Dutch play Elckerlyc.1,2 The Chambers Dictionary of Eponyms defines “everyman” as the typical or average person, ‘the man in the street.’ The allegorical character Everyman is portrayed as the classified definition.3 The failure of every man is sin. Like a scorpion delivers a deadly sting, sin spreads its immovable sting; the result-death seizes its allegiance. ““. . . Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin . . .”— (I Corinthians 15:55-56, New International Version). Before sin yielded its entrance, there was no account of Death. Sin is how Death marked Everyman. The character Death is symbolic of physical death and Everyman is symbolic of the entire human race. Physical death is predestined and removes the physical life of all humanity.
Death is named by God, His mighty messenger (63);4 it can be perceived that Death is a forceful messenger of God. Not forceful to feel threatened or intimidation, but forceful in a sense of an “eye opener.” Under God’s rule, Death dispatches and conveys God’s message. Death is summoned by God, and is obedient to God’s submissive will and authority to approach Everyman and inform him of his inescapable journey to encounter Death and God’s judgment. God inhabits the domination of Death’s message. Death declares to Everyman God’s dominates, “For it is God’s commandments that all to me should be obedient” (117-118).5 Everyman fears Death despite the fact that God is in control, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more” (Luke 12:4). Everyman fears, because he is unable to account for Good Deeds. When...