Everyman: Morality Play

what annoucement does the messenger make to the audience


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The Messenger’s prologue asks the audience to give their attention and listen to the “matter” (the content) of this “moral play”. The Messenger then announces the purpose of the play:

That of our lives and ending shows

How transitory we be all day. (l.5-6)

The play will show us our lives as well as our deaths (“our ending”) and how we humans are always (“all day”) transitory: changing from one state into another. Clearly, from the very beginning, the play is clear that it is to be a play about the human experience, as well as one with an absolute focus on morals.

The Messenger continues to tell the audience that, though sin initially might seem sweet, it will cause “the soul to weep” eventually, when you are dead and the body “lieth in clay”. He also informs us that Fellowship, Jollity, Strength, Pleasure and Beauty will fade away from us “as flower in May”.