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What is the theme of "Everyman"?It is either Everyman has many faults or good...

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irishbrit | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 12, 2008 at 4:31 AM via web

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What is the theme of "Everyman"?

It is either Everyman has many faults or good deeds mean more. They both seem like they would make sense, but I guess I don't know which one is the best answer...

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 12, 2008 at 5:27 AM (Answer #1)

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The basic theme of this morality play is the lesson of how to correctly and morally live your life here on earth.  Everyman absolutely has faults.  This is the whole purpose of the play...God is dissatisfied with Everyman's behavior and He sends Death to tell Everyman that his days are numbered. 

Everyman attempts to bargain for more time, and then sets out to seek a partner for the journey.  The moral, then, is that everyone and all things (material goods, beauty, wealth, friends, relatives, etc.) will forsake you except for knowledge and good deeds.  However, only knowledge can accompany you into the grave to speak on your behalf. 

"Everyman" was produced at a time when most people were unable to read for themselves and they depended on the plays, sculptures, and stained glass windows in churches to teach them about the stories in the Bible and the correct way to act in their daily lives.

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