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Compare and contrast the themes of death in Everyman and Morality Play

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Compare the theme of religion in "Everyman" and "Morality Play"? The morality play was popular in England from 1400 to 1600. During this time Christianity was the foremost religion in England. Morality plays have been classified as "the dramatization of a spiritual crisis in the life of a representative mankind figure in which his spiritual struggle is portrayed as a conflict between personified abstractions representing good and evil". For example in "Everyman" all the characters have been personified as "Good Deeds" and "Kindred". This description although somewhat accurate is not the whole truth as some characters are personified abstractions but others are generalised types, while others act in propria persona. Furthermore in Morality plays, the protagonist is not so much a representative of mankind but as a representative of Christianity. This is because morality plays attempt to encourage religious beliefs on the audience. The morality play "Everyman" set in the late 15th century tells the story of Everyman and his spiritual journey of redemption. The characters in the play are all allegorical; that is, each character personifies an abstract idea. The conflict between good and evil is dramatized by the interactions between characters. ...read more.


This is similar to "Everyman" as death is also introduced early in the play. "Almighty God, I am here at your will, Your commendation to fulfil". From this quote it is revealed that a death will also carry the plotline for this novel. Furthermore from the stage directions at the start of "Everyman" an image of Good Deeds being near to death is portrayed "Good Deeds flattered and weak on the ground.......mutilated books of Everyman's deeds". The violent use of the adjective "mutilated" symbolises very early that Everyman's death is near as a part of him is already nearly dead. The journey to death is also revealed to be inescapable very early "which he in no wise may escape". However although inescapable the quote "Except that Alms be his good friend" reveals religious aspects of his journey to death and that as he begins to realise that he may only take with him what he has done in his life and not what he owns he will begin to become a good Christian. This is contrast to the spiritual journey which takes place in "Morality Play" as Nicholas Barber is able to have several companions on his path. ...read more.


As "Everyman" progresses though we see the clear contrast as Everyman is attempting to rectify the way he has lived his life by doing as many good deeds as he can to avoid damnation. In conclusion both "Everyman" and "Morality Play" share both several comparisons. The play and novel both have the protagonist go on a journey of spiritual enlightenment which occurs due to a death or impending death. Furthermore we see that both the play and novel although written in different periods share the themes death, religion, corruption and sin. The way these themes are portrayed is also very similar, death is portrayed through the journey they both undertake and corruption is symbolised in both protagonists at the start of their journeys as both have lived sinful lives. This corruption is then turned to religion as Everyman accepts his fate and tries to perform as many good deeds as he can before he dies and Nicholas Barber solves the mystery of the Thomas Wells death and saves the girl from death. Furthermore the portrayal of religion in both texts is similar as both protagonists at first reject religion but then as the story's come to a close they accept the power of religion. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hasan Khalifah English Literature ...read more.

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