Anonymous: Everyman

(1508 words)

Everyman is the best known of all the medieval morality plays. Although it is a short play of around 920 lines, it manages to encapsulate the most important aspects of the morality genre. It survives only in printed form: two fragmentary copies survive in the Bodleian Library (1508-25) and the British Library (1525-30) printed by Richard Pynson, and two complete (but differing) editions printed by John Skot survive in the Huntington Library (1528-9) and the British Library (1530-5). Even though all the printed copies of the play certainly date from the early sixteenth century, they are translations derived from a late-fifteenth century Flemish Rederijkers’ (rhetoricians’) play called Elckerlijc. Although …

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Cummings, James. "Everyman". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2004
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]