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At the beginning of the play, what does the messenger say that Everyman will...

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hallykins | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 9, 2010 at 5:53 AM via web

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At the beginning of the play, what does the messenger say that Everyman will be about?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 9, 2010 at 10:44 AM (Answer #1)

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At the beginning of the play, the messenger says that since every man will eventually be called to account before God, he should be careful of his actions from the very beginning of his life. The messenger explains that though evil may seem appealing at the time, in the end it will bring pain and ruin to the soul. The play which the audience is about to see is a moral play, one which will teach a lesson, for every man. The messenger says,

The Summoning of Everyman it is called so,

That of our lives and ending maketh show

How transitory we be every day...

Man, in the beginning

Watch well and take good heed of the ending

Be you never so gay!

Ye think sin in the beginning full sweet

Which, in the end, causeth the soul to weep...

For ye shall hear how our Heaven's King

Calleth Everyman to a general reckoning." 

The messenger stresses that life is transitory, and that there is a lesson to be learned from the play about to be performed. It would behoove the audience to pay close attention.

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