The Unscheduled Appointment with Death

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Sheila Orr Mrs. Meng ENG 102-B68 08 March 2013 The Unscheduled Appointment with Death Anonymous Morality Play “Everyman” In the Morality Play Everyman written in the late fifteenth-century the play opens with a Messenger announcing that everyone give attention to the play “The Summoning of Everyman,” called to give an account and reckoning for their lives. God in heaven is disappointed in man’s unkindness to Him, indulgence of sin and attachment to worldly goods causing them to forget Him as their God. Because Everyman lives for himself thinking nothing of their lives God calls for a reckoning of Everyman by summoning Death as His messenger to call Everyman into account (Adu-Gyamfi and Schmidt). Death, perceived as God’s messenger is unknown, protested and unprepared for, reveals the ignorance of man when death appears. While Death is responding to God’s instructions Death notices in a distance Everyman taking a walk not even thinking about Death. Death responds to God’s call as a servant ready to do whatever he is asked. Throughout literature Death has been perceived as the grim reaper lurking in the shadows waiting to take family members and friends. Everyman did not recognize Death when he called him (line 85). Everyman responding to Death’s call and engaging in a conversation with someone he perceives as a stranger shows that throughout any given day man encounters Death unknowingly. Man’s ignorance of death causes him to be blind to what Death really is. According to Phoebe Spinrad, author of the book The Summons of Death, “Death is the first of Everyman’s instructors, although Everyman is still so ignorant of the lesson that he cannot formulate… and cannot understand” (70). Because Death is unknown to man and can appear in any form. For example: Showing kindness by picking up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a serial killer. Setting an appointment to

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