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The Song Remains the Same: Crossing Intersections to Create an Ethical World via an Adaptation of Everyman for Everyone

from I - Ethics and Medievalism: Some Perspective(s)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2014

Carol L. Robinson
Affiliation:
Kent State University
Daniel-Raymond Nadon
Affiliation:
Kent State University
Nancy M. Resh
Affiliation:
Kent State University
Karl Fugelso
Affiliation:
Professor of Art History at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland
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Summary

Medieval English morality plays had the same general agenda as contemporary American community theatre has now: to teach values in the face of the challenges of a fundamentally and generally unethical world. In the former, the performance is intended to be more overtly didactic by promoting a particular Christian doctrine of ethics and by working to enforce the development of an ethical soul, all within the further proactive development of an ethical community that has been developed by the Church clergy. In the latter, the performance is more subtle and complex, as it promotes a more general doctrine of ethics and encourages the development of an ethical self, within the proactive development of an ethical community that has been developed by both members and non-members of any number of religious and secular institutions. The specific agenda of a particular medieval morality play and its contemporary adaptation should thus be expected to be different, if only for the reasons of a vast distinction in time, location, and culture.

In the case of the English medieval morality play Everyman, the character Everyman faces the unethical acts of his life as a member of the merchant guild, within the corrosive environment of a growing medieval merchant class that prizes capital investments over spiritual growth.

Type
Chapter
Information
Studies in Medievalism XXIII
Ethics and Medievalism
, pp. 31 - 44
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

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