The Summoning of Everyman” is a morality play that was written in 1845 by an unknown author. It was introduced during the sixteenth century in England.
This play describes the journey of the character of death. It depicts a voyage of a man sharing in the ups and downs of his own life, just to be looked with his normal end. He is unprepared to confront the certainty of death. No one is exempt from death. The characters are suitably named symbolically to assert the fundamental life exercise. “Moral story alludes to a literary and rhetorical style that uses invented people, things, and occasions, or to abstract ideas such as “the Christian life” or virtue” (Harrington, 2012).
- Thesis Statement
- Structure and Outline
- Voice and Grammar
“The Summoning of Everyman” is a useful example that bargains with the basic facts concerning life and passing. The characters symbolize the corrupt wants and materialistic standards of “Everyman” which misses the mark to incorporate the important things in life. Everyman, yet working in his very own carnal wants, resorts to intimidation and would like to control the result without any result.
The desire for total control is the desire that Everyman will win. You win when you face death and make it to Heaven. The playwright is an apparent genius because “Everyman” represents every man in a symbolic way. Every character in the play battles with strongholds and fights between the flesh and the spirit. Good and evil are on every side and you must choose well to get good results. During the discussion between Death and God, God expresses his apparent dismay in humankind and the disregard for his sacrifice. God is tired of our sinful and selfish nature. God knew that we would yield to our flesh and sin, so he gives us the opportunity to repent.
He then gives death permission to announce Everyman’s appointed time. Death begins its journey “Lord I will in the world go run overall, and cruelly out search both great and small” (Anonymous). In the book of Job God gives Satan permission to attack Job. God gives Death permission to go on this journey. The journey is one that cannot be changed. There is an appointed time for all. “Death is a moral story in this ethical quality play from the fifteenth century, where Death is viewed as the figure of a man in a monk’s robe” (The calling of everyman Video file, 2008), and later going as a voyage that every man must make.
God calls Death his mindful flag transport, an emissary. End describes himself as a transport individual, remorseless, energetic, a searcher, and pioneer of all, “both astounding and little . . . no man spareth” (Anonymous, 1485).
The play has much disconnection and amusingness in “Everyman’s endeavored trades with Death; and his discoursed first with Fellowship, by then with Kindred and Cousin: Scenes which display humor,” (Tanner, R., 1991). Death causes the urges, Everyman, to bring before God a record of his awful deeds. Everyman requests additional time and Death appears to concur, at any rate, stamps Everyman and gives him the straggling scraps of the day to discover somebody to keep running with him (Tanner, R. 1991).
The play obliges the get-together of people an opinion of control, and of being more mindful of what is going on than Everyman in light of the path that toward the start of the play, they hear God’s exchange with “Death, His emissary” to call “Everyman to a general comeback” (Tanner, R. 1991). Death does not have to win.
Every man can take the sting of death away. Death meets with Everyman and questions his motives for his disobedience to God. Death speaks to Everyman and gives him clarity, lets him know that the time has come to face death and give the full account on his life and how he lived it. The Bible also speaks of this in Romans 14:13 “So then every one of us shall give an account of himself to God” (The Holy Bible, KJV). It was Everyman’s time.
Everyman did everything to bribe death to postpone what was destined and preordained to happen. “Alas shall I have no longer respite? I may say Death giveth no warning” (Anonymous). Death is an appointment that every man must keep. There is no cancellation or postponement. It is only us who can give in account for ourselves. Everyman wants a company to join him in judgment. Death gives Everyman his desire.
This is when the rubber meets the road. An eye awakening experience comes when Everymen realizes no one would even consider taking this journey with him. He was all alone on this journey. “First, Everyman is deserted by his false friends: his casual companion, his kin, and his wealth” (Jokinen, A., 2010). Good Deeds and her sister Knowledge decide to join him. Knowledge comes along to help Everyman with repentance.
Knowledge visits with the character of Confession to make confession of his sins. Death is coming quickly at the request of Knowledge. Strength, Discretion, Beauty and his own Five Wits are invited by him and neither accepts the invitation.
Everyman comes to his senses and understands that everything and everyone that he depended on could not help him. False love and relationships were nowhere to be found when Death came to the door. We come into this world alone and will leave alone. The journey of death is one that has to be dealt with individually. In “The Summoning of Everyman the author sees death as a journey that everyone will take. The character death shows no emotion. His purpose is to sting briefly and escort one’s soul to heaven or hell. Death has no favorites.
He escorts everyone. Death is a puzzle that many wishes would never be solved. The writer makes sure that we understand that no one will travel this journey. God sends for Death and commands for the should of Everyman to be collected according to his time and purpose. Psalm 139:16 tells us “Thine eyes did see my substance yet being imperfect, and in thy book, all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them” (KJV).
God knows what everyone’s ending will be. Those without a relationship with Christ will have judgment. Life and Death are in the hands of God. It is because of the first Adam that everyone has an appointment with Death. There is a time to live and a time to die. Everyman knew and had been informed that Death was soon to come. God told Death to take the soul of Everyman according to his time and purpose.
The author provides him with the last opportunity to see his mistakes and change before he breathes his last breath. Salvation is offered to all who receive it. It is a gift from God. Once Death comes, and you have not accepted Christ; you are without excuse or reason. You will not have another opportunity. The interaction between each character goes back and forth, but in the end, Everyman repents, confesses his sins, receives Christ as Savior, takes Communion, and gives half of his good to charity. He does a last-minute cry and still expects Good Deeds, Knowledge, Confession, Five Wits, Beauty, and Strength to accompany him to the grave and they all realize he has to go for himself except for Good Deeds who says, “Fear not I will speak for the” (Anonymous, 1485).
Good Deeds cannot go with man or woman to the grave. The angel speaks “Now thy soul is taken thy body fro. Thy reckoning is crystal clear; Now shalt though into the heavenly sphere” (Anonymous, 1485). Death has no use for material things in the world. Death has a mission according to Revelations 1:18 “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (KJV). The Bible gives us great encouragement when it comes to death. Psalm 23 describes death as only a shadow. Taking everything into account, “The Summoning of Everyman” is an exceptionally heartfelt and thoughtful piece that makes you consider what comes next throughout everyday life.
“The irony in the play helps the audience to view this with humor, but the story is very serious.” (Tanner, 1991). The piece makes you face the reality that selfishness will lead to nowhere. Materialism from Death is a waste. Good works and obedience are a must. You must seek and find God. Death cannot be argued with, bribed, or caught up with.
Death is an encounter that everyone must go through. In this writing, it is reiterated several times that you should live according to the word of God and accept Jesus as your personal Savior. The choice is yours. Everyone must face Death, walk along the journey and make the right choices for Heaven to be your home. Death is not the end.
Heaven is the end that all should desire.