What is the moral of Everyman??

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tisjay | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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'Everyman' is a morality play. Morality plays were some of the earliest types of plays to be performed and were intended to convey a Christian moral to the audience. Morality plays were almost always allegorical. Hence the characters in the play represent certain universal qualities and therefore are representative rather than individualized figures. Thus the hero of the play, Everyman, represents every man. Every man (and every woman) must die one day; and though we know this truth, we tend to forget it in the business of living. Everyman is like every other man. In the process of living, he has forgotten his spiritual life and concentrated on accumulating wealth (Material Goods) and had a good time with friends and relations (Fellowship, Kindred and Cousin). All of a sudden he is confronted by Death who gives him a warning that he is coming for him. He panics and in his fear, tries to get his habitual companions (Material goods, Cousin and Kindred) to accompany him on this journey, but they all refuse to do so. Finally however, it is only his 'Good Deeds' that will accompany him. Thus the moral of the story is that one must not lose sight of one's spiritual life - because ultimately we all have to die. For a Christian audience, there is a reckoning of one's good deeds and bad deeds after death - and so one's life must be spent in doing good deeds and not in running after wealth or a good time.

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