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Compare Between Everyman and Doctor Faustus Plays

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    A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of scripted dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading, and I am going to introduce two plays , the first one is named Everyman play and the other one named Doctor Faustus. First, Everyman play is probably the finest and best known of the morality plays of the Middle Ages that have come down to us. Consensus of critical opinion agrees that it is a translation from the Dutch made probably toward the end of the 15th century.

    Its popularity in England of that day is attested to by the fact that it was printed four different times early in the 16th century. In this play The Lord God looks down on Everyman from on high. He sees that Everyman in his seeking for riches and pleasure has forgotten God and He is much displeased. He calls His messenger, Death, and bids him take to Everyman the message that he must go on a long journey; that he must prepare to make his accounting before the Almighty God.

    Everyman first invites Fellowship to join him in the journey of Death, Fellowship promptly declines and hastens away then Everyman next bethinks himself of his kinsmen, when the kinsmen find, however, that it is for the journey from which there is no returning that Everyman desires companionship, they beg to be excused. At last he recalls his Good Deeds. She is so weak and helpless by means of Everyman’s neglect that she cannot stand. Only after Everyman is taken to Confession and does penance for his sins does Good Deeds get strength enough to accompany him.

    Good Deeds and Knowledge advise him to take with him on the journey Discretion, Strength, and Beauty, and, as counsellors, his Five Senses. Everyman receives the Last Sacrament and sets out on his journey with these companions. But when he actually reaches the grave, Beauty makes haste to depart and is promptly followed by Strength. At last only Knowledge and Good Deeds remain by his side. Good Deeds accompanies him to the Heavenly realm to plead his cause before his Maker, and Knowledge, remaining behind, hears the joyful songs of the angels.

    Although there are numerous amounts of theme in Everyman the one that prevails most is the one of atonement.. Atonement in the play is seen as Knowledge because in order for Everyman to atone for his sins he must first see the sees he has committed . By acknowledging that he has been living a sinful life, so in other words, by having knowledge on his side Everyman is able to see what he has been doing wrong and is then able to go to confession. Confession advises Everyman every step of the way, and makes it clear that if he wants to be purified he must do penance and without knowledge Everyman would have never been forgiven by God.

    Knowledge and Confession go hand in hand because Everyman cannot get to “heaven” without having both. On the other hand ,we have Doctor Faustus Play which is a Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story, in which a man sells his soul to the devil for power and knowledge. Doctor Faustus was first published in 1604, eleven years after Marlowe’s death and at least twelve years after the first performance of the play.

    There is an Ethical issues which are important to Doctor Faustus. Even Faustus knows that justice demands he be punished for selling his soul to the devil, though his pride blinds him to the fact that divine mercy could in time forgive his transgression and also, the issue of knowledge occupied a central place during the Renaissance: what kinds of knowledge should be pursued, how far, by whom, and for what purposes? Faustus seeks knowledge—something we might see as good—though that knowledge only leads him to destruction; this is not the fault of the knowledge but of the knower.

    Marlowe partially implies, however, that there should be limits to human knowledge. Both the Bad Angel and the Chorus at the play’s end seem to suggest that man can only know so much without falling to evil, but other voices in the play suggest that knowledge is good if it is understood and used within proper contexts. The issue seems to be not what should be known but how one distinguishes valuable, accurate knowledge from useless error. Ironically, Act I suggests that Faustus’s theological misunderstandings stem from misreading the bible.

    Faustus’s pride prevents him from learning. Instead, he concentrates on what he already knows—or believes he knows—rather than what he has to learn—from the Bible, from the devil, and from the Good Angels who hope to save him. In several scenes, discussions between Faustus and Mephistopheles address the central issues of the human condition: who made the world? What is the purpose of human life? Why does evil exist? The devil’s replies fail to satisfy Faustus, who only wants to hear what he already believes to be true.

    Those who will not learn cannot be taught, and Faustus learns the truth about the spirituality which underlies the human condition too late to avoid destruction. In addition, Faustus, throughout the play searches for the meaning of life, but his search is inhibited because he believes he knows what life is all about. His search for the truth fails because of his own incorrect preconceptions and beliefs. Finally, Faustus’s experiences illustrate the maxim: be careful what you wish for—you just might get it. He successfully obtains his desires.

    Ironically, however, his power over the devils and material world leaves him unfulfilled and empty. His material success fails to make him happy, and his pact with the devil makes spiritual happiness impossible. His is an empty success, based on actions which are selfish and immature. 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.

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