43 pages 1 hour read

Anonymous

Everyman

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1485

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Before Reading

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. What is a morality play? Consider other morality plays you may have encountered; if you have never encountered any, what do you think a morality play might be? What are some of the qualities and themes you associate with morality plays? How are morality plays different from other dramatic genres?

Teaching Suggestion: Morality plays were a type of religious play popular in Europe and England in the 15th and 16th centuries. These plays typically used allegory and personification to explore Christian beliefs such as repentance, sin, and salvation. Morality plays are related to “miracle plays” and “mystery plays,” which dramatized religious events. Such religious plays reflected the religious preoccupations of their time. They are thus very different from classical drama (such as tragedy and comedy), which explored character and secular issues in a very different way. By the end of the 16th century, religious plays would lose popularity in Europe to be replaced by a modernized version of classical drama spearheaded by dramatists such as Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Corneille.

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