“Everyman” ctd.

Goods enter and Everyman repeats his request – can they go with him on hi last journey? “Well, actually, I’d only make the matters worse”, says Goods (I think I have to refer to them in the singular, as they were represented by one actor on stage). “You loved me too inordinately and I’m actually an obstruction to your salvation. If you had given away at least a bit of your money for the poor, you would fare much better”. Goods also repeats Death’s argument about life – just like life, Goods are not ours forever, they are just on a loan. Laughing ironically, Goods exits. Everyman again bemoans his fate and then has a bright idea – he needs to address his Good Deeds. But she (yes, this is the pronoun he uses) is too weak to move – she is so bound by Everyman’s sins. Everyman says he needs her help and Good Deeds she will help him if he does what she says. “Come with me”, says Everyman. “I can’t move”, says Good Deeds. “But why?” asks Everyman. She has just told you, you fool. Let’s say the snappy and logical dialogues are not this writer’s forte. But this play is starting to grow on me, nevertheless. There’s something Beckettian about Everyman’s gradual deprivation in face of Death.

The pronoun “she” used with reference to Good Deeds is unexpected and I wish I knew what to make of it. Allegorical figures tend to be feminine in fine arts, but Goods just a few verses ago was a “he”. Also another interesting feature of medieval language is that God at some point is referred to as Jupiter, although the characters are all the time talking about undoubtedly Christian God. It’s sometimes puzzling how classical learning seeped into medieval culture.


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