The messenger? Death. The message? God has summoned you to stand before Him and give a reckoning of your life. What do you do?
The protagonist of this play, the shocked and distraught Everyman, faces this exact issue. But he is granted a day’s grace to gather together anyone who will travel with him and help him at his judgment. As this moral allegory unfolds, however, poor Everyman learns that neither possessions, nor accomplishments, nor character traits will follow him to the grave. He must face his reckoning alone…
Perhaps because Everyman’s problem is our problem, this play, one of the earliest extant dramas in English, still provokes thought and discussion nearly 700 years after it was written.