A Comparison of "Everyman" and Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus"

Topics: Middle Ages, Black Death, God Pages: 4 (1138 words) Published: March 25, 2010
A Comparison of "Everyman" and Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus"

Everyman and Doctor Faustus are both Morality Plays, these are specifically plays that existed within the Medieval period. They were popular during this period as they were intended to instruct the audience in the Christian way and attitudes to life. The morality play is essentially an allegory written in dramatic form. In the fourteenth Century, morality plays were mainly based on the seven deadly sins as in everyman with each character representing each sin. Everyman centers around allegory. It focuses on the allegorical representations of moral issues with the inclusion of figures that represent abstractions of the issues that are confronted.

Doctor Faustus follows the general five-act structure of an Elizabethan Romantic Tragedy. However Christopher Marlowe used the structure of an older Medieval form of English Drama, the morality play as a model. Morality plays tended to show the moral struggle of mans soul and the conflict of good and evil. This is evident in the play of Doctor Faustus who is embroiled in a battle between the temptation of the devil and God. You could argue that Doctor Faustus is not classed as a morality play. Because in the tradition of a morality play God and the devil are external forces that affect the individual. However, in Doctor Faustus it is far more of an internal drama inside Faustus? own mind. Both are entirely didactic in nature, they were made with the intent to educate their audience in one respect or another. There was a moral to each that conveyed similar messages. Therefore the term ?morality play? correctly defines each one.

The medieval time period in which Everyman was written contained a society that revolved around religion (Ecclesiasticism) The fact that Everyman can get nowhere without turning to religion directly reflects on the attitudes of the middle ages. There is constant references to the beliefs and ideas of the Catholic...
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