The Conflict of Mercy and Mischief Essay

777 Words 4 Pages
Mankind, one of the medieval morality plays, is a play contrasting the ideas of good and evil. Throughout the play, a recurring idea present is the conflict between Mercy, the character that represents “good” and Mischief, the character that represents the idea of “evil”. The conflict between good and evil are created to serve one purpose which is to influence mankind. Mercy influences Mankind to focus on God’s judgment so that Mankind can spend eternal life in heaven. On the other hand, the three evil vices, Nowadays, Nought, and Newguise, want Mankind to focus on earthly possessions and feelings rather than God’s judgment. The overall theme of Mankind is the corruption, rise and fall of Mankind due to the influences of both good and …show more content…
Plays mix worldly vanities with worship forcing people to associate vanity and worship together. Finally, the sixth objection is that plays are made in order to delight the body. The live, elaborate images of the play are associated with a man’s vanity. Even though Mercy’s speeches provides insight towards why one should turn to the power of God rather than giving into temptation, the author Tretise would still object the ideas presented by Mercy. Mercy states, “In good works I advise you, sovereigns, to be perseverant/to purify you soul that they be not corrupt,/For you ghostly enemy will make his avaunt,.Your good conditions if he may interrupt,” (25-28), warning the audience not to give into evil ways. While the play is convaying a “good” message, the author of Trestise would argue that plays were more about providing bolily pleasures then learning a lesson on the conditions of mankind. The play was a place where a member of would seek enjoyment and not take the lessons of the play serious. The members of the audience would focus on enjoying and remember the ridiculous, comical actions of the three vices rather than the religious information passed on by Mercy according to the author of Tretise. The play displays Mankind’s resistant of temptation, Mankind’s fall and ultimately Mankind’s redemption. The final, lasting message of the play is that Mankind can be redeemed by the power of Mercy. The play

Related Documents