Perception of Death in the Play “Everyman" Essay

1101 Words 5 Pages
In the play “everyman” death is depicted as something that is terribly feared as no one seemed ready for it, death is perceived as something that takes one away from the pleasures of this world.
Everyman is a classic play written in the 15th century whose subject is the struggle of the soul. This is a morality play and a good example of transition play linking liturgical drama and the secular drama that came at the end of English medieval period. In the play, death is perceived as tragic and is intensely feared. The protagonist; Everyman, is a person who enjoys the pleasures of life and good company. When he is unexpectedly called by death to account to God for his actions on earth, he is thunderstruck. He is filled with sorrow and
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Everyman’s reaction is a statement that death is an individual journey on which nobody can accompany another. It is also a statement that all your supposed allies cannot help nor save you when death strikes.
The perception of death as a tragedy is also manifested in Kindred’s and Cousin’s reaction to Everyman’s plight. Being relatives, they rightly enquire Everyman’s destination, promising to live and die with him. Everyman informs them of God’s summon through Death for him to go and give an account of his deeds on earth. To Everyman’s disbelief, they turn down his request. Kindred says:
“Take good heart to you, and make no moan.
But one thing I warn you, by Saint Anne:
As for me, ye shall go alone”. (Frohnman 19)
Cousin says: ‘No, by our Lady! I have the cramp in my toe’. (Frohnman 19). In the moment of death, a person may bank on relatives for consolation, but Kindred’s and Cousin’s reaction is a testament that not even relatives can save anyone from the stark reality of death. Good’s reaction to Everyman’s summon by death further lend credence to the premise that death is perceived as a tragedy and is feared. Everyman informs Good’s of his imminent journey to heaven and requests him to accompany him on the journey to heaven. Everyman thinks he can bribe God. He says: “For it is said ever among,
That money maketh all right that…