Compare and contrast two of the set texts from two different periods "Everyman" and "Doctor Faustus"

Essay by siobhan3University, Bachelor'sC, May 2004

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Both Everyman and Doctor Faustus are plays. They are written within different time

Periods, with Everyman written in the medieval era and Doctor Faustus written in the


Everyman and Doctor Faustus are both Morality Plays, these are specifically plays that

existed within the Medieval period. They were popular during this period as they were

intended to instruct the audience in the Christian way and attitudes to life. The morality

play is essentially an allegory written in dramatic form. In the fourteenth Century,

morality plays were mainly based on the seven deadly sins as in Everyman with each

character representing each sin. Everyman centers around allegory. It focuses on the

allegorical representations of moral issues with the inclusion of figures that represent

abstractions of the issues that are confronted.

Doctor Faustus follows the general five-act structure of an Elizabethan

Romantic Tragedy. However Christopher Marlowe used the structure of an older

Medieval form of English Drama, the morality play as a model.

Morality plays tended to

show the moral struggle of mans soul and the conflict of good and evil. This is evident in

the play of Doctor Faustus who is embroiled in a battle between the temptation of the

devil and God. You could argue that Doctor Faustus is not classed as a

morality play. Because in the tradition of a morality play God and the devil are external

forces that affect the individual. However, in Doctor Faustus it is far more of an internal

drama inside Faustus' own mind. Both are entirely didactic in nature, they were made

with the intent to educate their audience in one respect or another. There was a moral to

each that conveyed similar messages. Therefore the term 'morality play' correctly

defines each one.

The medieval time period in which Everyman was written...