Everyman | Critical Essay by William Munson

This literature criticism consists of approximately 27 pages of analysis & critique of Everyman.
This section contains 7,914 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William Munson

Critical Essay by William Munson

SOURCE: Munson, William. “Knowing and Doing in “Everyman.Chaucer Review 19, no. 3 (1985): 252-71.

In the following essay, Munson examines Everyman in terms of the play's dramatic rhythm in which the main character alternates between learning something and then acting on that knowledge.

Until recently criticism has stressed the dramatic distinction of Everyman more than thematic reasons for its atypicality as a morality play.1 A recent reading, however, argues for a special connection of the play with Bernardine humanism, in which man is “an active agent in the work of his own redemption”:

The playwright, like Bernard, does not characterize his penitent's acquisition of knowledge as a passive acquiescence to a force imposed from without, but as the logical fruition of an internal probing, a psychologically intelligible ascent through three successive stages...

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This section contains 7,914 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by William Munson
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