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

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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

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 10, 2020