Everyman: Morality Play Characters

Character List

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Messenger

The first character to appear. The Messenger has no role within the story of the play itself, but simply speaks the prologue outlining what the play will be like.

God

Appears only at the very beginning of the play. Angry with the way humans are behaving on Earth, God summons Death to visit Everyman and call him to account.

Death

God's "mighty messenger", who visits Everyman at the very start of the play to inform him that he is going to die and be judged by God.

Everyman

The representative of "every man" - of mankind in general. He dresses in fine clothes, and seems to have had led a wild and sinful life. Throughout the course of the play, he is told that he is going to die (and therefore be judged) and undergoes a pilgrimage in which he absolves himself of sin, is deserted by all of his friends apart from good deeds, and dies.

Fellowship

Represents friendship. Everyman's friend and the very first one to forsake him. Fellowship suggests going drinking or consorting with women rather than going on a pilgrimage to death.

Kindred

A friend of Everyman's, who deserts him along with Cousin. 'Kindred' means 'of the same family', so when Kindred forsakes Everyman, it represents family members deserting him.

Cousin

A friend of Everyman's, who deserts him along with Kindred. 'Cousin' means 'related', so when Kindred forsakes Everyman, it represents family members - and perhaps close friends - deserting him.

Goods

Goods represents objects - goods, stuff, belongings - and when Everyman's goods forsake him, the play is hammering home the fact that you can't take belongings with you to the grave.

Good Deeds

Good Deeds is the only character who does not forsake Everyman - and at the end of the play, accompanies him to his grave. Good Deeds represents Everyman's good actions - nice things that he does for other people.

Knowledge

Guides Everyman from around the middle of the play, and leads him to Confession. 'Knowledge' is perhaps best defined as 'acknowledgement of sin'.

Confession

Allows Everyman to confess and repent for his sins. There is some confusion in the text about whether Confession is male or female.

Beauty

One of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.

Strength

One of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.

Discretion

One of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.

Five Wits

Represents the Five Senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell. One of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.

Angel

Appears at the very end of the play with Everyman's Book of Reckoning to receive Everyman's soul.

Doctor

A generic character who only appears to speak the epilogue at the very end of the play. His equivalent in the Dutch play Elckerlijc is simply called 'Epilogue'.