The Morality Play: More Than Just A Lesson Learned

1004 words - 4 pages

Morality Plays are allegorical plays that teach moral lessons and were especially popular with the medieval audience. Today, the morality play Everyman, is occasionally performed or read at colleges and church organizations. These productions are usually academic in nature or focused on religious ideology. Ron Tanner, author of Humor in Everyman and the Middle English Morality Play argues that the play has value beyond such narrow focus. A closer evaluation of the plot and characters would support this assertion. Tanner strives to restore the play by unveiling the humor in it and comparing it with two other morality plays, Mankind and Youth.
Morality plays have a reputation of being dreary, grim and didactic, but Tanner knows this not to be true. He begins his argument by expressing his disgust towards the critic’s reviews, he claims that the critics underestimate the use of humor in morality plays and have given them a bad name. He then suggests three examples of humor in just the beginning of the play - Everyman’s attempt to negotiate with death, Everyman’s conversations with Fellowship, then with Kindred and Cousin.
“The playwrights main instrument of humor in these plays is irony, particularly dramatic irony (150),” Tanner explains. Tanner claims that this sets a alliance between the audience and the unaware characters and this, draws the audience in. It also creates empathy from the audience towards the characters which creates humor. Tanner claims that the introduction to the play and Everyman’s defiance would “slightly amuse (150)” the medieval audience. Throughout the article he emphasizes the humor in “stupid, ignorant (154)” characters which allows the audience to feel superior. Irony can also be found is in the first half of the play when Everyman is searching for someone to accompany him on his journey to meet God. While Everyman seeks the help of Fellowship, Kindred, and Goods, humor can be sensed in these exchanges. When Fellowship offers to accompany his friend, saying that even if "thou go to hell, / I will not forsake thee (153)," the audience can understand the irony here for no one would accompany their friend to hell. Meanwhile, the audience is already aware of Everyman’s journey and knows that Fellowship is obviously making empty promises. Fellowship promises near seven times to help Everyman before even hearing of his dilemma. Goods, having told Everyman that he should have used his money to help the poor, says that he must be off to deceive another just as he has deceived Everyman. He leaves saying, "Have good day (Fordham.edu)," as if Everyman was not about to face his death.
Tanner next elaborates on the more obvious humor in the play when Everyman attempts to bribe Death with “a thousand pounds (150)” to come back another day. Everyman is being summoned partly because of his obsession with riches and then has the audacity to attempt to bribe Death who makes it clear that it is the end. Tanner points out that...

Find Another Essay On The Morality Play: More than Just a Lesson Learned

More Than Just A Victim: The Critical Race Theory (CRT)

989 words - 4 pages More Than Just A Victim After reviewing as much informative evidence, a person, with some critical thinking and some educational level, might acquire to see if a confrontation of a white man and a 4 group of black teenagers, which ended with a murder, would give several conclusions. One of the first conclusions that an individual can elaborate is if there would be any difference in the case of assassination if who was assassinated were the

Addiction: More Than Just a Word

1767 words - 8 pages Addiction: More Than Just a Word “Prevention usually is translated as parents having conversations with their adolescent children, pointing out the dangers of alcohol.” (Kramer, LizSprague, Nancy, Alcohol Abuse & Youth: An Overview). Children do not understand the effectiveness of something powerful like alcohol. They do, however, understand that alcohol can cause a person to become intoxicated. From seeing it on TV, they think it is "fun

Trobrianders: More than Just a Dioscorea

1541 words - 6 pages that requires an equal effort on both sides to be productive.Yams should be viewed more as a currency with symbolic value that can be used as a food. The main purpose of the yam is to establish the wealth and power of society members, not for food. The bulk of consumed food is actually grown in the general garden by the wife. The yams given to a man by his in-laws not only show the political backing given by these people, it also provides the man

More Than Just Blue

1521 words - 7 pages supporting the claim other than that it has not been proven to harm. To state that the reader must conclude pornography as not having any harm just because evidence for it has not found it to cause harm, but for where exactly these conclusions come from is not stated. To make such a claim specific information needs to be present in order to validate the sources upon which the speaker is pulling their evidence from. The manner in which the statement

Advertising - Selling a Lot More than Just a Product

2696 words - 11 pages contrary, are more likely to be represented as a father figure or spouse and in family units throughout primetime than they were on weekend segments. Primetime can consequently be signified as the ‘marked’ class, because it does not overuse typecasts, which are when characters are cast in roles that require characteristics similar to those already possessed by the performer. Certainly the primetime ads in this illustration were established to

More than Just a Pretty Face, and with the Heart and Stomach of a King

2434 words - 10 pages paid you. In the meantime, my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble or worthy subject; not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people (Levin 143). Elizabeth’s reign is successful for the reasons previously mentioned: she took England out

Is the concept of rights a more appropriate instrument than utilitarianism in determining morality?

2194 words - 9 pages that concerns itself largely with a few key principles. These are namely the protection of minorities against the masses, sometimes regarded as protection against the tyranny of the majority yet also incorporates the prevention of acts by states, societies or even individuals to harm directly or indirectly the lives of others. Rights theory often shields itself under the banner of what is moral and just, and more often than not what is considered

Dr. King Had More Than Just a Dream

1059 words - 4 pages Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., most recently memorialized on the National Park grounds in Washington DC, indeed had more than just a dream. Dr. King spoke over several years in many different places and about many different situations that arose in America and abroad. His common theme for his words of wisdom to his fellow country men, or as he so often put – his brothers and sisters, was that of equality, peace and unity. As I reflect and read back

William Shakespeare's "Othello" is more than just a tragedy. Discuss

1032 words - 4 pages William Shakespeare's Othello is more than just a tragedy. A tragedy is a play characterized by the treatment of misfortunes or death of the main characters. Tragedies result in great loss and misfortune. Shakespeare portrays the themes of jealousy, reputation and honour, and love but it is through tragedy that Shakespeare explores these themes. Othello encapsulates the actions and consequences of tragic circumstances and exemplifies what

Running a Successful Business Takes More Than Just Good Luck

676 words - 3 pages . Running a business sometimes also needs good luck. For instance, some business investors earn a huge amount of money only by occasionally purchasing a good stock. However, to build a successful business takes more than just good luck; people still need to have perseverance, to accept help and advice, and to build employees' self-esteem.First of all, the most valuable characteristic is perseverance to succeed in one's business. Perseverance is the

Is Catcher in the Rye more than just a story of Holden's New York adventure?

1183 words - 5 pages nevertheless we can all relate to him in some way. In this essay/analysis I will go through some of the underlying themes of the novel, that create it more than just a story about some kid in New York. Painful Experience vs. Numbness Perhaps the strongest theme of the novel involves the relationship between the physical pain of an actual experience and and the painful feeling of one's feelings. After the death of Allie, Holden essentially shuts

Similar Essays

The Bus: More Than Just A Bus?

1056 words - 4 pages Laws were created on the belief that the God chose and mandated that white Americans were the chosen people and that African Americans were damned by God to always be slaves. The creators of this law also use Social Darwinism to reason that what they were doing was right. These separated whites and blacks in everything they did. Separate bathrooms, water fountains, buses, and restaurants were just a few of the simple things that whites and blacks

More Than Just A Major Essay

1214 words - 5 pages place for example, every time I complete one class worth of homework I can take a nap or watch Netflix. That should give me some motivation along with me needing to make good grades, because after I graduate I get to have my dream job, and that’s the goal. My third fear is more complicated than the other two for this one its not just about school its also about life, and in life we make mistakes and aren’t good enough sometimes. That is something

More Than Just A Place Essay

1016 words - 4 pages More Than Just A Place It takes some people a long time to get there and others no time at all. It is a place where a person should feel relaxed and comfortable, in harmony with their environment. It is a place of refuge and its doors should always be open. It can be where you go to after a long day of work or what you land on to win the game for your team. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it as “one’s place of residence, the social unit

The Role Of A Coach: Much More Than Just Sports

1588 words - 7 pages increasing at an astonishing rate. A coaches’ goal is to support their athletes in completing their full potential. It is their responsibility to prepare athletes in a sport by examining their performances, teaching skills, and encouraging. However, a coach can be so much more than just a leader on the court or field. A coach can be a mentor, friend, confidante, advisor, supporter, and so much more. A coach’s role is to create an setting that an