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Themes and Colors
Personification and Morality Theme Icon
Death Theme Icon
Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World Theme Icon
Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Everyman, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Personification and Morality

Everyman, which belongs to the genre of the morality play, is meant to instruct readers in matters of morality and religion. A common form of medieval drama, morality plays often feature a protagonist who represents humankind as well as other characters who personify abstract ideas such as different virtues and vices. The interaction of such characters demonstrates the possibility of human triumph over sin, thus instructing the play’s audience to lead more moral, godly…

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Although the character Death disappears after delivering his message to Everyman, death itself remains one of the play’s primary themes. The Christian Bible teaches that one of the consequences of the fall from grace (that is, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden) is that God made humans mortal. Therefore, death is simply part of what it means to be human. As the character Death proclaims at the beginning of…

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Sin, Human Nature, and the Material World

The purpose of any morality play is to warn its audience against sin, and Everyman is no different. At the beginning of the play, Everyman’s life is filled with sin, which, at first glance, appears to be represented entirely by his friends, who serve to enable Everyman’s sins. For example, the character Fellowship reveals that, while he won’t die for his friend, he is more than willing to help him “eat, and drink, and make…

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Salvation, Humility, and the Catholic Church

From the beginning of the play—when Everyman learns that the time of his death has come—Everyman is deeply concerned with the subject of salvation. Although Everyman initially searches for salvation in the form of someone to accompany him on his pilgrimage (to death), he eventually begins to question how he can save his soul from damnation. The answer, he finds, is through the Catholic Church and Good Deeds—the only friend that agrees to…

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