What is a Morality Play?
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Medieval Drama: Morality Plays Ollin Trejo Period 2
What is a Morality Play? A morality play is an allegorical drama in which the characters personify moral qualities (such as charity or vice) or occurrences (as death or youth) and in which moral lessons are taught.
Medieval Drama: Morality plays There were three types of plays in the Medieval Period : the Miracle plays, The Mystery plays, and the Morality plays. Morality plays were usually serious in tone and style. In 1500, the Church no longer sanctioned morality plays due to the fact that it incorporated elements such as the Devil and his assistant, making what was usually “moral edification” humorous.
Medieval Drama: Morality plays This type of play originated in medieval Europe, first appearing in the 1400s. The basic premise of the morality play, is that the main character — who represents all people and to whom audiences can relate — makes a journey and is influenced by characters along the way. This archetype is still common in many works of theater and film.
Titles of Morality Plays include: The Pride of Life The Castle of Perseverance Wisdom Mankind Everyman
Everyman is one the most famous Middle-Age plays. It is a poem, and the main character represents us all.
The story is that death comes for Everyman, and at first he tries to avoid it. He even offers death money to delay. When death is unwilling, he then seeks a companion to go to judgment with him. The play takes the opportunity to remind us that only our deeds will follow us into the next life.
Euery man. Why askest thou Woldest thou wete. Dethe. EverymanWhy do you ask? Ye syr I wyll shewe you Would you want to In grete haste I am sende to the know?DeathYea, sir, I will show From god out of his mageste you; Euery man. What sente to me. In great haste I am sent to you Dethe. From God out of his Ye certaynly. majesty.EverymanWhat, sent to Thoughe thou haue forgete hym here me?DeathYea, certainly. He thynketh on the in the heauenly spere Though you have forget him here, As or we departe thou shalte knowe. He thinks on you in the heavenly Euery man. sphere, What desyreth god of me. As we depart, you shall Dethe. That shall I shewe the. A rekenynge he wyll nedes haue Without ony lenger respite
know.EverymanWhat does God want from me?DeathThat shall I show you; A reckoning he will need to have Without any longer delay.
Mankind “Mankind” is an allegory about the vulnerable situation in which most people find themselves — torn between good judgment and the temptation to misbehave. Its theological message is that God’s mercy is available to even the most extreme sinner until the moment of death.
MANKIND: MANKYNDE. What, aske mercy 3et onys agayn? Alas, yt were a wyle petycyun. Ewyr to offend and euer to aske mercy, yt ys a puerilite. Yt ys so abhominabyll to rehers my iterat transgrescion, I am not worthy to hawe mercy be no possibilite.
Can I beg for mercy again and expect to receive it? It is a vile practice ever to offend and then beg mercy; it is childish. I am embarrassed to repeat my abominable transgressions, and I am not worthy to receive any more mercy. MERCY:
MERCY. O, Mankend, my singler solas, þis is a lamentabyll excuse. The dolorous terys of my hert, how þei begyn to amownt! O pirssid Jhesu, help þou þis synfull synner to redouce! Nam hec est mutacio dextre Excelsi; vertit impios et non sunt. Aryse and aske mercy, Mankend, and be associat to me. Thy deth schall be my hewynesse; alas, tys pety yt schwld be þus. Thy obstinacy wyll exclude the fro þe glorius perpetuite. 3et for my lofe ope thy lyppys and sey "Miserere mei, Deus!" MANKEND. The egall justyse of God wyll not permytte such a synfull wrech To be rewyvyd and restoryd ageyn; yt were impossibyll. MERCY. The justyce of God wyll as I wyll, as hymselfe doth precyse: Nolo mortem peccatoris, inquit, yff he wyll be redusyble.
Oh, Mankind , my source of solace, that is a pitiful excuse. The sorrowful tears of my heart are multiplied. Oh Blessed Jesus, help move this sinner to repent! For by the right hand of the Most High the wicked will be overthrown. Arise and ask for mercy Mankind, come back to me. If you die I shall be so sad, it is a pity it should be thus. Don't let obstinacy exclude you from heaven. Lift up your voice and say "Have mercy on me Lord." MANKIND: The just law of God would not permit such a miserable wretch to be forgiven again and again. It is impossible. MERCY: The justice of God will permit forgiveness. God has no joy in the death of the wicked, especially if he could repent.
Works Cited "Britannica Online Encyclopedia." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
"Cambridge Collections Online : Welcome." Cambridge Collections Online : Welcome. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
"Everyman: A Modern, Public Domain Translation." Everyman. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.
"Text of EVERYMAN (Middle English Morality Play; Medieval Drama)." Text of EVERYMAN (Middle English Morality Play; Medieval Drama). N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2013.