Talking about Middle Age culture, it is necessary to underline the role of religion. The morality play Everyman is based on its principles and gives moral lessons to reader. This is a story about how an ordinary person is afraid of death and how he searches companions (fellowship, family) for his trip in kingdom come. Such notions as “Deeds” and “Goods” appear in the context in order to show reader the difference between them. Goods contribute to luxury life, but they cannot share with Everyman his trip to God. As for Deeds, they are insufficient as opposed to Sins of Everyman. All things that a person piles up through his life then come next in the text, one by one like in the chain: Knowledge, Confession, Beauty, Strength, Discretion, and Five Wits. All together they prepare Everyman for a trip to God and support facing the Death, but only Good Deeds follow him to the very end thanks to confessions and penitence about wrong deeds.
Increasingly, this play requires social meaning in contemporary culture. There is modern translation and edition. The keynote is that a person needs to think more about his spiritual inner world and follow the rules of honor, because all the acquired and material is not to be taken to the God.
Modern life is full of human vices. Sometimes, unconsciously, a person chooses a certain pattern of behavior rather than to deal with his negative features. This is the story of eight different people and their lives: Avail, Happiness, Mind, Silliness, Greed, Pride, Laziness, Envy. Readers can observe the characters from childhood to adulthood, and then make conclusions and get lessons. These examples, which are presented here, are constantly met in real life and, as a rule, correspond to the descriptions.
Once upon a time, there was a family of Benefit: father, mother, grandmother and daughter. They lived together, moreover, understood each other perfectly. For example, when father came home from work and said: “I have today was a good day”, the whole family understood that he had made successful bargain.
One day a girl Benefit went to school and immediately met girl Happiness, which is sometimes called the sun because of her friendly appearance. Seeing her girlfriend, girl Happiness began rejoice, and the joy was so strong, that big bright rays went in all directions.
- Let's go after school to the cinema to watch a new cartoon, – she said.
- And what will I benefit from this? – asked girl Benefit.
- I don’t know, – confused Happiness.
Then they came to math lesson.
- Today we will explore the complex addition, – said the teacher.
“This addition is useful to me, it is a good lesson”, – immediately calculated girl Benefit, and prepared to listen attentively.
For an neighboring desk sat a boy Mind and a girl Silliness. Silliness always spied on girl Benefits and followed her totally. If Benefit listened to the teacher carefully, Stupidity did the same. Boy Mind kept telling her not to imitate Benefit, but to have her own point of view.
Moreover, a girl Silliness stood out among classmates by her bright clothes. Her mother dressed in such a manner, too, and they both believed that the brighter a person is dressed dressed, the better. As for her make-up, the situation was the same.
A girl Greed sat at the last desk and was along. Nobody wanted to get on with her, and the only person who treated well to Greed was Happiness.
Silliness was the most beautiful girl in school, thus a girl Pride decided to be a friend of her. Pride put herself above all. When Pride bored to be friends with Silliness, she offered friendship to Benefit. But girl Benefit refused her because considered this communication to be unuseful.
Always sleepy, untidy and unkempt Laziness, sat next to Envy, but was lonely nevertheless. She was too lazy to make friends. Envy was an outcast among all the classmates, because she was always in a bad mood. Even Happiness tried to walk her away. Envy was a week and skinny girl, she suffered from poor sleep and loss of appetite.
One day a school director announced that the school is held a charity fair and each student must bring a toy or a book for children from the orphanage.
Happiness brought all her toys and books, she wanted to pleasure orphans. Boy Mind has brought different puzzles and encyclopedia for a purpose to aid children to become smarter. Pride brought an expensive new doll, which her parents bought specially for the fair, and proudly handed to the director.
Benefit thought for a long time whether to participate in the fair or not. Finally, she consulted with her grandmother. The mother said:
- It is necessary to participate. On the one hand, it is be beneficial when people consider that you are a good person. But on the other hand, it is not profitable to share your things, because they can be useful to you.
Therefore girl Benefit brought to school a whole bag of old things. It was a doll without legs, a bear without eyes, old railroad and uninteresting books.
Director, seeing how many things Benefit had brought, firstly smiled, but when he opened the bag, he was angry.
Laziness brought nothing, because she was too lazy to look for toys.
Greed and Envy began to look worse with time. Their complexion had changed. Envy became greenish, while Greed's face became grayish.
Greed set a goal to finish the Economic University for a pursue to make career and take a good position. “With the money I can all! I will do a pretty face, I'll dress by the most fashionable tailors and buy the most expensive car!”
When Envy knew about Greed’s plans, she lost appetite. A lade began to get thinner and thinner very quickly
Pride sneers, listening to classmates about the plans. Her father was going to send her daughter to study to prestigious university.
Happiness rejoiced for everyone. She herself was going to be a teacher of literature to teach children to enjoy good books and beautiful language.
Benefit became a nice girl in all respects. To make profitable acquaintances, she had to pretend to be kind and sympathetic. Unfavorable actions spoke a pain in her heart, but she endured for the sake of the future, which is linked with an advantageous marriage.
After school, with consulting with his family, she entered Medical University.
- You'll heal our family, so we will save on doctors – said her aunt.
- People trust doctors, so you can sell all kinds of food additives. It is beneficial – said her Dad.
Benefit spent all her free time on studies. She was busy to make a personal life. But one day she met a well-known professor in a hospital, who was a widower. Benefit was not confused about big age difference. She immediately realized that being the wife of such a man is very profitable. The woman married him soon, but their life was difficult and full of incomprehension.
Benefit considered unprofitable to have children, though in old age she regretted it.
Greed eventually married a person like she. Before the wedding, they made a marriage contract and lived all their family life in harmony. They save money all the time for future. But there is no happy future without children. But to have children is too expensive, they considered.
When finished Oxford, Pride went to his father's footsteps and began politician. There she met a proud man and tied with him her fate. But their marriage was not happy. It turned out that two proud people cannot get along.
The only happy marriage was the marriage of Happiness. She became a great teacher. Then woman gave birth to five children. Later she had a big family with great amount of grandchildren. They brought a lot of smiles.
1. Cawley, A. C. (1989), "Everyman", Dictionary of the Middle Ages
2. Banham, Martin, ed. (1998), The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, Cambridge: Cambridge