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Death is treated and perceived in many societies as the taker of human life. Death is loathed treated with fear and is cruel and unforgiving. Similarly I think of death in the same line because it takes away our loved ones from us, it cannot be stopped, is inevitable and brings pain, grieve and sorrow in people's life's .Death always casts a dark shadow over peoples life. Death is treated as all gloom since an individual is severed from the living. The interpretation of death lies in one belief about death and life. The interpretation of death is relative depending on a persons view point on the same. In the biblical and Christian interpretation the death of a person is defined either as being good or bad depending on the kind of life the person lived. Thus for a person who lived a good life thus his death is good unlike one who led a wicked and bad life. From a Christian perspective those who die in sin will live in eternal pain and suffering in a world of fire and brimstone. However for the righteous they hope for greater and wonderful things in the next life. Theirs will be a life of singing and dancing sharing n the glory of God. To them they will head to paradise.
Thus death can not be classified as bad and cruel if one has lived a righteous and good life. This is so because such a person always plans to move a better place in the future. Thus death is only a stepping stone or means of transition to a better life hoped for. This is a natural part of a person's life, in that what has a beginning will ultimately come to an end. To some extent I think death acts as a deterrent because people fear to do wrong knowing that they will pay ultimately with death. Thus death ensures peace, order and stability is maintained. Death also brings cohesion and a feeling of oneness when people congregate to mourn a loved one. Death thus to this extent ensures that people are in their best behaviors
The manner of death also determines whether death can be classified as good or bad. If an individual dies with peace with himself probably surrounded by family and friends then this may be termed as a good death. On the other hand the opposite qualities as a bad death. Ultimately death is ambiguous to the extent that we are not able to evidence with certainty what happens in the thereafter. What happens after death is debatable and no factual evidence can be adduced to support a person's hypothesis on death.
Everyman is a Christian morality play published in the fifteenth century. This plays strives to explain the need for salvation and seeking God. However the term everyman refers to the common and ordinary man. This is any man upon life's way, irrespective of social status, gender, race or religion. Everyman is an individual who the reader is able to connect and identify with since the reader is also an everyman. Everyman is about native man, the man that existed during the good days gone by. In present day we still have everyman but present everyman is more individualistic and sophisticated to medieval everyman. Therefore a reader of this morality play should relate his perception of everyman with the said time of existence. Thus when looking at everyman I will take into mind the medieval man unlike his modern day counterpart. Therefore the reader should fill himself in the same circumstances as medieval everyman. These differences can be attributed to the science and technology coupled with modernity and unprecedented heights of urbanization. Despite this outstanding differences the perception and treatment of death remains almost the same. Death is the common denominator in all spheres of life and thus an interesting topic.
Everyman is the representation of all man. The morality play Everyman is an allegorical journey that everyman pursues during his life. It takes the view of Christian salvation .This is based on Roman Catholicism the main and dominant church then. During the demise of everyman he will be brought before God and his actions will be weighed on the scale of good and evil. Thus man should pursue good over evil to attain eternal life. Good words and subscribing to Roman Catholicism are the tickets to heaven and in extension in the after life. Everyman also attempts to bring other everymen to his fold and accompany him on his way to eternal life. However these fellowships are not ready to face death with everyman instead they will feign various reasons as not to accompany everyman. The various characters in the morality play display conflicting interests of good and evil. Some characters display material possessions, knowledge and even fellowship. This is a representation of the battle between god and bad. Death is also a representation of what is bad and wicked however angels and God signify good.
In everyman death is the cruel and inevitable messenger that ultimately takes mans life. Death is Gods agent that brings everyman to account for his action on earth. God is furious with everyman pursuit for riches and material possession. Man forsakes God thus he sends death to man. "On thee thou must take a long journey: Therefore thy book of count with thee thou bring; for turn again thou can not by no way, And look thou be sure of thy reckoning..." (Garner1987).Death is what brings everyman from his stupor and he now thinks abut the choices he made and the kind of life he was leading. Everyman perception and how he treats death is filled with fear, confusion and distress. This is so because man realizes that he has not led a good and righteous. Everyman is not ready to die and thus tries all means to convince death to give him a second chance and even longer time to make everything right. However death being the cruel and unforgiving agent that it is gives everyone no second chance to account for himself.
Everyman loathes death and the idea of living the world. Everyman even attempts to bride death by giving him a thousand pounds but he declines saying that if he wanted wealth then all wealth could be his. This is so because he could be receiving bribes from all those who wanted to avoid death. This indicates that when death comes beckoning no wealth, persuasion or amount of coercion can prevent him from taking away life. Everyman asks whether he will be allowed to come back to the earth after he renders his account to God. He is told he cannot come back ones he lives the earth. This shows that one has only one chance to live. Thus one should live a righteous and exemplary life. Thus whichever day death comes knocking one will be ready to live and with no regrets. Instead one will be happy and rejoice as he prepares to cross over to paradise.
Death is also perceived as bringing alienation and loneliness thus no one wants death. Everyman realizes that death is unforgiving and won't give him a second chance but allows everyman an accomplice in death. Thus everyman convinces his friends and family to go with him but they are not willing to follow him in death. Everyman is ready to enjoy life on earth but the idea of death is resisted with much firmness. This shows that everyman will ultimately face death and judgment alone and neither his friends nor family nor material possessions can come to his rescue. Thus the earthly and worldly are left on earth and judgment is passed on an individual alone. The physical body is also left on earth and instead the soul goes to the other world. The earthly is represented by material goods, everyman's cousin, kindred and fellowship.
Everyman realizes that death won't go away and is so afraid. So in turn he seeks to do right and good. However good deeds unfortunately cannot accompany him to death since all this years everyman has always rejected. Good deeds lack the strength or motivation due to years of neglect and abandonment. However Good deed asks his sister Knowledge to go with everyman. This is where everyman seeks forgiveness and atonement of his sins. However everyman is punished with a scourge for the sins committed during his life. The Virgin Mary together with his son Jesus prays and intercedes for God to forgive everyman. When everyman atones and confesses his sins good deeds is rejuvenated and strong again Everyman is donned and dressed in a robe that is a symbol of him being a new repented being. Everyman is now clean from sin and eternity awaits him. This shows that for everyman to be accepted in Gods kingdom he has to be righteous, repentant and clean in the eyes of God. Similarly no man can acquire eternal life without salvation and repentance.
Later everyman is accompanied by his five wits, discretion, beauty and strength. This are meant to give him strength to meet his death. However he realizes that is as far as they can go. They cannot go with him to the after life. Before he dies everyman receives the last sacrament. These sacraments signify the various rituals conducted by Catholics .This s also known as the Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist.
Everyman life is about to come to an end and before it does he prays to God and ask him to commend his spirit. Later everyman joins others in heaven and he hears angel's singing. He realizes that this far he has come only good deeds are with him. Everything else he leaves behind. These go to illustrate that worldly possession and vice are in fact a hindrance in attainment of eternal life. Thus poses the question. Is it important for one to gain everything and the world and loose his or her soul? Everyman cannot take with his earthly possession to the after life. Instead this earthly possessions were better off if he had helped the under privileged and less fortunate in society.
Everyman should strive to live for tomorrow. Life is not about the earthly only but there also exist another more promising and happy life. Everyman should seek eternal life by doing good actions, confessing his wrongs and praise God. This way he will receive paradise as everyman will be judged by his actions on earth. Everyman should not gain the material wealth at the expense of spiritual gain. Material possessions are irrelevant in he eyes of God instead the spiritual is what is of importance.
Despite everyman inadequacies God still loves man and gives him a chance to repent. God is all merciful and wants everyman to come back to him. However everyman is adamant and thus when death catches up with everyman. Everyman is so occupied and busy with earthly pleasures that he ignores Gods call to him. Everyman never even repents or atone his sins. This is when death beckons and ultimately judgment follows there after. Here everyman has to give an account of all his life. No everyman can escape this Day of Judgment. When the moment comes everyman will be weighed on he scales of his actions. "And he that hath his account whole and sound, High in heaven he shall be crowned; Unto which place God bring us all thither That we may live body and soul together. Thereto help the Trinity, Amen, say ye, for saint Charity" (Banham 1998).