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Discuss the play as allegory of spiritual growth; does the use of personification evoke...

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homeworknazi | eNoter

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:21 AM via web

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Discuss the play as allegory of spiritual growth; does the use of personification evoke fundamental realizations for both Everyman and the audience?

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:07 PM (Answer #1)

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Allegory and personification are the obvious literary techniques found in this Medieval morality play.  Because they're so obvious, it's difficult to ignore the message: as the day of reckoning approaches, the things that once mattered are no longer of any consequence. This is a spiritual principal, and it is a clear realization for Everyman as well as a clear reminder for the reader.

Beauty is gone, Strength is gone, Knowledge is gone, Five-Wits (the human senses) is gone...well, you get the idea.  Everyman's only remaining companion at the end of his life is Good Deeds, which is consistent with the Church's belief at the time--what one does matters more than what one believes

Whether or not that is the reader's personal spiritual belief, he is forced to reflect on that idea and decide for himself what will matter to him in the end. Using personified characters makes it difficult to miss that point.  To that extent, "Everyman" does inspire spiritual self-awareness.

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