Major Allegorical Themes in Everyman
By paying careful attention to the way in which the action takes place, the author has ensured that linguistic issues are correctly interpreted to mean what he intended for them to mean. These concepts are reinforced by yet further lexical means that support and underlie the main concepts or allegories as they are intended. The structure of the play provides the final piece in ensuring that the allegories are received as planned. Throughout the play, these three allegories of Death as a journey rather than an end, the worthlessness of earthly goods and the redeemable nature of man are conveyed through the action, the language and the structure of the finished production.The concept that Death is a journey rather than an end is immediately apparent in Everyman as God sends the character Death to bring Everyman to account for his life on earth at the opening of the play. Despite the obvious allegory of the names involved, this is not merely a base idea involving a few symbolic characters. As God recounts the various ways in which he has provided every man with the ability to enjoy life in his own image, he also laments the ways in which every man has forsaken his memory and his sacrifice, instead choosing to focus on developing the earthly riches he discusses. Thus, he sends Death with the commandment that he must bring Everyman to his final reckoning. A pylgrymage he must on hym take, / Whiche he in no wyse may escape. / And that he brynge with hym a sure rekenynge / Without delay or ony taryenge. (68-71). The playwright’s use of the word ‘pilgrimage’ indicates that death is not a final state, but rather a spiritual journey, a voyage that cannot be delayed or avoided during which his final destination will be made clear. To help determine what that final destination might be, Everyman is instructed to bring with him a sure reckoning (70) indicating that there are some things that Everyman can bring that might help provide him with a favorable destination.