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Eveyman Analysis Essay Research Paper Everyman

Eveyman Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Everyman is a medieval allegory and also classified as a morality play that is

majorly devoted to the demonstration of how temporary everything in life is as

death approaches, except good deeds. We witness the struggle of salvation that

takes place throughout the play by the main character, Everyman. This character

is literally the embodiment of everyman in the world. Everyman represents

everything that mankind is and does.

Everyman begins with God dissatisfied because all creatures on the earth

choose riches over righteousness and generally live a life of sin. The play seems

to follow a pattern where Everyman pleads with a character, who is the physical

embodiment of some worldly attribute, to go with him on a journey to his day of

ending life, which is followed by promises of allegiance from the other characters

ending in ultimate betrayal.

Their is a noticeable halt from this pattern, led by two of the earthly

characters, Knowledge and the Five-wits. On line 706, Knowledge begins a

discussion on the usefulness and power of the Priesthood. Everyman, hearken

what I say: Go to Priesthood, I you advice, And receive of him, in any wise… in

which any wise means at all costs. Five-wits goes on to explain the importance

of the sacraments as keys to salvation, and how only the priest holds those

keys. The Five-wits burst into a final glorification of the priesthood that includes

suggesting that through the priesthood has more power than the angels, and has

power to hold God s flesh, and the power to damn people to hell or save them

forever, and finally just explaining that all of God s blessings come through the

priesthood and the priesthood only.

Everyman, that is the best that ye can do: God will you to

salvation bring. For priesthood exceedeth all other thing: To us

Holy Scripture they do teach, And converteth man from sin,

heaven to reach; God hath to them more power given Then to

any angel that is in heaven With five words he may consecrate

God s body in flesh and blood to make, And handleth his Maker

between his hands. The priest bindeth and unbindeth all bands,

Both in earth and in heaven. Thou ministers all the sacraments

seven; Though we kiss thy feet, thou were worthy; Thou art

surgeon that cureth sin deadly; No remedy we find under God

But all only Priesthood. Everyman, God gave priest that dignity

And setteh them in his stead among us to be. Thus be they

above angels in degree (730-749).

Throughout this play, the search of survival that Everyman is after is

clearly evident. He realizes that Death is after his reckoning, and knows that he

needs to find a way to feel security, not only with himself, but with the fact that

he will be in front of God laying everything to him. Death makes known to

Everyman that he cannot run away from death, he basically reinforces that death

is part of life. You live, do your wrongs and rights (good deeds), and then you

face God for your eternal salvation (death). Death then refers to the way

Everyman has lived his life and demands his reckoning or account book.

Everyman must tell God how he has spent his life and if he has spent it wisely.

As Dr. Desmet says, In an important way, the play Everyman demonstrates the

ways in which a person who does have talents (Good Deeds that are trapped in

the ground) wastes them , like the servant who buries his one talent the ground

and is cast into the dark, the place of wailing and grinding of teeth.

Everyman was responsible for several good deeds during his lifetime.

These good things that began to diminish with old age, as did each of his five

senses, until they all just completely disappeared. Everyman definitely had his

flaws. His good deeds were practically canceled out by sin. For instance,

Everyman has great love for material possessions. Throughout his life he

believed that money made right whatever is wrong. This obsession with goods

and riches results in greed. With all of his wealth, everyman does not share with

the poor, so his possessions have made him blind for his reckoning.

Another one of Everyman s flaws is that Everyman doesn t put his trust in

God and into himself or his attributes. Instead, he seeks comfort and help from

Fellowship, Kindred and Cousin, and from his riches, but none want anything to

do with hi journey. It is not until these painful moments of realization that

Everyman recognizes some truths about life. He learns that he can find true

friends only within himself and through God.

The conclusion that has been brought up with Everyman s situation, is

that Everyman s main concern was for Goods, another character in the play, to

go along his journey of death. Goods does not go because materials are not

what make a person. The idea of heaven or hell is to see what kind of person

you really were throughout your life. Goods decided that he would not go with

Everyman on his journey because goods does not decide what sort of person

your are or were.

Everyman then realizes he needs to go to Good Deeds. When Good

Deeds hears Everyman s proposal, he refuses it. he takes note that Everyman

has not done very many good deeds in his life. Good Deeds leads Everyman to

Confession. As he meets with Confession, he confesses all of his bad deeds to

the priest, which we know holds the key sacraments to salvation. Everyman is

forgiven. Everyman then descends with Good Deeds into a grave, where the

angels welcome him and tell him hi reckoning is clear. Therefore, realizes that

materialistic things only last in our lifetime, but your good deeds will always be

with you, especially at your hour of death, this being the moral of the story.