Everyman: Morality Play Characters
MessengerThe 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.
GodAppears 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.
DeathGod'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.
EverymanThe 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.
FellowshipRepresents 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.
KindredA 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.
CousinA 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.
GoodsGoods 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 DeedsGood 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.
KnowledgeGuides Everyman from around the middle of the play, and leads him to Confession. 'Knowledge' is perhaps best defined as 'acknowledgement of sin'.
ConfessionAllows Everyman to confess and repent for his sins. There is some confusion in the text about whether Confession is male or female.
BeautyOne of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.
StrengthOne of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.
DiscretionOne of the second group of characters who deserts Everyman in the second half of the play.
Five WitsRepresents 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.
AngelAppears at the very end of the play with Everyman's Book of Reckoning to receive Everyman's soul.
DoctorA 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'.
Everyman: Morality Play Essays and Related Content
- Everyman: Morality Play: Major Themes
- Everyman: Morality Play: Essays
- Everyman: Morality Play: Lesson Plan
- Everyman: Morality Play: Questions
- Everyman: Morality Play: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- Anonymous - Everyman: Biography
- Everyman: Morality Play Summary
- About Everyman: Morality Play
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Quotes and Analysis
- Summary and Analysis of Section 1 (l.1-183)
- Summary and Analysis of Section 2 (l.184-462)
- Summary and Analysis of Section 3 (l.462-650)
- Summary and Analysis of Section 4 (l.651-922)
- The Morality Play
- Religious Drama
- A General Note on Character
- Related Links on Everyman: Morality Play
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 5
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources