How might one compare and contrast Everyman and Doctor Faustus as morality plays?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Everyman, composed in the late 15th century by an unknown author, is a good deal more simplistic in its presentation of good and evil than Christopher Marlowe's 1592 play Doctor Faustus. The Everyman character is, as his name suggests, just an ordinary man, someone with whom the audience of a late medieval morality play would instinctively identify.

Everyman is a straightforward allegory which presents its audience with a clear message as to what they must do if they're to be saved. Allegorical characters such as Beauty, Strength, and Discretion leave the audience in no doubt as to the values endorsed and of the relative importance of each such value in determining whether or not Everyman's pilgrimage from this world to the next is successful. In Everyman the message is morally uplifting and clear, and the ending happy.

In Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, however, there is no such happy ending. Faustus is ultimately torn limb from limb by devils before his mortal soul is carried down to hell. If Everyman

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1055 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on