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Conjunction Junction, what's your function?

Anonymous, ''Everyman'' -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)
"Everyman: My cousin will you not with me go.
Cousin: No by our Lady; I have the cramp in my toe."

I almost laughed out loud when I read this quote. I was surprised by how much potential humor there is in this play. Maybe it's just because I find it humorous that all these abstract concepts are being represented by actual people walking around on a stage, but I think that whoever wrote this had a little bit of fun. It's good that it's not just a very somber Sunday school lesson, which I thought it might be because it's a very old religious play. It's a lot easier to teach people moral lessons if you lighten up a bit and use humor to draw them in. This play actually reminded me a little of Schoolhouse Rock, where there is a literal representation of a bill singing about how he gets passed in Congress. I love those cartoons. I used to watch them all the time. I had so much fun I didn't even realize I was learning, just like those medieval people who were watching Everyman!

Comments (4)

That's a great assessment of the aesthetic value of these plays.

Chera Pupi:

I totally agree. If this play weren't interesting and easily understood, there's no way it would have gotten its message across to the illiterate people watching it.


To read stuff like this play, I need to read a lot of it out loud to focus on the story, and on many occasions did laugh at the dialogue. I agree with you totally. I thought that the personification of the abstract concepts made this play more interesting and even funny.

Margaret Jones:

I guess I never really noticed the humor in this play until just after reading your blog. And now that you mention it, this does remind me of the Schoolhouse Rocks videos, and you are right, it's a lot easier to learn if you're having fun with it.

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