Everyman-a Medieval Play Review

2976 Words Dec 26th, 2010 12 Pages
A Review of “The Summoning of Everyman”

Everyman is a play which was written to express the importance of morality, to whoever read it or experienced it being performed on stage. Some scholars say that it was written sometime in the late 1400’s, while others insist that it is a translation of a Flemish work called “Elckerlijc”, which was written by Peter van Diest in 1495. Everyman is an allegory play which is heavily based upon Christian religious perspectives; also it is resoundingly similar to the Christian belief of the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into Heaven, after the crucifixion.
The first act of Everyman, opens with a prologue which takes on the form of a
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This play has received a moderate amount of popularity over the past near 500 years; and now today there are some scholars and researchers whom are exceptionally critical, both positively and negatively, of the details as to how it was written.
One criticism of note would have to be one which was voiced by Thomas F van Laan. In referring to the general premise of Everyman, he contends of the writer that “His speech is essentially negative; he focuses solely on the inevitability of death and the destructiveness of sin”. Simply put, Mr. van Laan is stating that at first, the sole purpose of this work appears to emphasize specifically on death and how mankind should feel only sorrow for anything that they do, which goes against the teachings of Christianity.
Another criticism of this work which Mr. van Laan refers to is the point in the beginning when God first speaks. Mr. Van Laan states: “Gods words are wholly negative in force, implying only the difficulty to come, omitting any indication of hope for mankind”. Mr. van Laan is voicing this criticism on the opening section of the play, fundamentally about how he considers Gods words to be too negative in their approach. In expressing this condemnation, Mr. van Laan is adamant about his beliefs that God would probably not be so disconcerting in his approach to dealing with mankind.
However not all that Mr. van
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