Struggle Between Good and Evil – Everyman Essay
Life is a struggle between good and evil. This concept is clearly shown in the play “Everyman.” In this play, God summons Death to search out Everyman and tell him that he must make a pilgrimage to his final reckoning to decide if he could enter paradise or not based on his
actions while he was alive. Death promises to catch everyman who lives outside God’s law. While searching for everyman, Death notices Everyman walking unconcerned about anything except treasures, Death orders him to stand still and asks if he had forgotten his God. Death then goes on to say that God has asked to him to tell Everyman that he must to make a long journey, and he is to take with him his “full book of accounts.” Finally, Death warns Everyman to be careful because he has done many bad deeds and only a few good ones.
Everyman argues saying that death was the farthest things from his mind at that moment and tries to bribe death into giving him more time. Death then says no man can bribe me regardless of worldly goods or rank, when summoned by god all men must obey. Everyman cries in vain for more time then asks if he must go on the long journey alone. Death says that everyman is allowed to take any companions who wish to make the journey with him. Reminding him that his life is only his on loan, Death advises that he will return soon, and in the meantime Everyman has an opportunity to find any possible companions for his journey.
Unable to find an accomplice for the journey, Everyman turns to Goods, whom represents worldly treasures and greed, whom he has loved all of his life. Goods listens to his plea and offers to help him until he learns that the journey is travel far and wide. Goods promptly refused saying “I am brittle and would break easily.” But Everyman argues that Goods was suppose to solve all problems. Then goods argues that he would only make Everyman look worse in the eyes of god because bringing goods would only make Everyman look greedy.
Consumed in self pity, Everyman calls aloud to Good-Deeds and asks for help. Good-Deeds answers feebly, since he is lying on the cold ground, bound by sins. Good-Deeds knows of the journey everyman has to take and wants to go along, but he is too weak. Good-Deeds tells his sister, Knowledge, to stay with Everyman until he regained his strength. Knowledge then guides everyman to Confession, who gives everyman a penance. After getting the penance, Good-Deeds is able to get up from the ground, cured of sickness, and declares himself able to go on the journey and promises to help Everyman tell his good deeds before god. Then Good-Deeds also gets his friends to counsel Everyman Strength, Beauty, Discretion, and the Five Wits.
Finally, Everyman is prepared to meet Death with all his friends. Then suddenly one by one his friends all leave except Good-deeds. Then an angel comes and takes Everyman to paradise and then the play ends with a doctor reminding everyone that only good deeds will help men at final judgement and no one else.