Everyman's Journey Essay

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Everyman's Journey

Everyman, a short play of around 900 lines, portrays the best surviving example of the Medieval Drama known as the morality play, which evolved side by side with the mystery plays, although written individually and not in cycles like the mystery play or ritual play. The morality play was a form of drama that was developed in the late 14th century and flourished through the 16th century in British Literature. The characterizations used in the works were typically based on the personifications of good and evil engaged in a struggle over the morality of the soul.

Everyman is every man’s journey to the spiritual unknown and the eventual reflection of one’s positive and negative actions in life, which dictate the
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Yet, other scholars believe that the play to be Everyman in its original form, which later constituted the translation to the Flemish play. As of date, there are four surviving versions of Everyman, but two of them are fragmentary manuscripts, which challenges the plays questionable past as a song of orality.

Everyman possesses orality features within its "patterning" of words in consistent rhythmic formulae. The lines in the play appear to be written in an end-stopped metrical sense with either couplet end-rhyme or in a similar format to the Shakespearean sonnet rhyme scheme: abab, cdcd, eded, (gg).

(I.e. couplet end-rhyme)

(Everyman) "…The time passeth: Lord, help, that all wrought!

For though I mourn, it availeth nought.

The day passeth and is almost ago:

I wot not well what for to do.

To whom were I best complaint to make?

What and I to Fellowship thereof spake,

(I.e. Shakespearean Sonnet rhyme scheme)

(God) "I perceive, here in my majesty,

How that all creatures be to me unkind,

Living without dread in worldly prosperity.

Of ghostly sight the people be so blind,

Drowned in sin, they know me not for their God.

In worldly riches is all their mind:

They fear not of my righteousness the sharp rod;

My law that I showed when I for them died…"

The verse appears to vary in reference to character "set speeches" as seen with the difference in rhyme scheme. For instance, when any "heavy" character speaks, the

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