In our current Language Arts unit, Daughter Crysta is studying the morality play “Everyman”. This play, thought to be written anonymously in the late 1400’s is a wonderful example of Medieval allegorical drama. Although it is not as deep, nor based as truly to Scripture, as Bunyon’s “Pilgrim Progress”, this play is about Death coming to Everyman – and Everyman’s journey.
If this type of reading interests you, as it does me, an online copy can be found here.
Below is MESSENGER’s Prologue:
I pray you all give your audience,
And hear this matter with reverence,
By figure a moral play–
The Summoning of Everyman called it is,
That of our lives and ending shows
How transitory we be all day.
This matter is wondrous precious.
But the intent of it is more gracious,
And sweet to bear away.
The story saith: Man, in the beginning,
Look well, and take good heed to the ending,
Be you never so gay!
Ye think sin in the beginning full sweet,
Which in the end causeth the soul to weep.
When the body lieth in clay.
Here shall you see how Fellowship and Jollity,
Both Strength, Pleasure, and Beauty,
Will fade from thee as flower in May.
For ye shall hear how our Heaven King
Calleth Everyman to a general reckoning.
Give audience, and hear what he doth say…..