The medieval play, Everyman, has defined what literature has come to know as The Everyman: the common, average person or character that is meant to represent every person.It is the character that is meant to allow the reader to identify with them.It is the character that represents society in general.Thus, the real message behind the medieval play Everyman is a social critique of what is wrong about The Everyman.
Everyman can be traced back to the fifteenth century where it originated in a Dutch or Flemish play called Elckerlijc authored by Peter van Diest.The version must commonly read today is the sixteenth century English version.At its core Everyman is a morality play.Everyman is the main character who serves as an allegorical figure of the every man.In the play he is summoned by the allegorical figure of death to visit God and account for the life he has been lent by God.On his way, Everyman is told that he must go along, that his friends Fellowship, Kindred, Cousin, Goods and Knowledge will not accompany him.Only Virtue is willing to accompany Everyman and justify him before God.
In the play, a messenger informs the audience that they must listen well, hinting that the play is really a message to them (the Everyman).The play begins with a conversation between God and Death, where God talks about the world's people and the ongoing problem that they are able to sin freely without any thought of consequence.God order Death to go to earth and visit with Everyman and make him understand that his sinning is against God's wishes.
When theyfirst meet, Everyman attempts to bride Death to get more time, but his request is promptly denied.However, Death does allow Everyman to find a friend to accompany him on his journey.The purpose of the friend is to serve as a witness before God and speak to Everyman's alleged good virtues.E