everyman's journey

01 - Everyman

From: Everyman

Genre: Morality

Topic: Journey, alone, help

Character: Neutral

Alas, I may well weep with sighs deep;
Now have I no manner of company
To help me in my journey, and me to keep;
And also my writing is full unready.
How shall I do now for to excuse me?
I would to God I had never be gete*! *been born
To my soul a great profit it had be;
For now I fear pains huge and great.
The time passeth; Lord, help that all wrought;
For though I mourn it availeth nought.
The day passeth, and is almost a-go;
I wot not well what for to do.
To whom were I best my complaint do make?
What, and I to Fellowship thereof spake,
And show him of this sudden chance?
For in him is all my affiance;
We have in the world so many a day
Be on good friends in sport and play.
I see him yonder, certainly;
I trust that he will bear me company;
Therefore to him will I speak to ease my sorrow.
Well met, good Fellowship, and good morrow!

4

Martin is quite adamant in rejecting the characterization that he plays the ‘Everyman’; he sees this at best as a lazy generalization and as minimizing the roles he plays and the skills he exhibits as an actor. But should he take offence?  The Everyman as a central character is the character the audience identifies with, the character about whom the audience says 'if I were in this story, then that would be me’.  The Everyman, when well written, is not the character to whom things happen, the Everyman is the character who finds that he can make things happen, who finds his strengths and weaknesses in making those things happen, who is changed by his journey.  The Everyman is not along for the ride, the Everyman is the ride. And it takes a skilled actor to be that ride.  

 It takes an actor who is not defined by his good looks, or his action hero physique.  If Tim Canterbury, Dr. John Watson, Bilbo Baggins and Lester Nygaard are each an 'Everyman’ then the roles of the Everyman are more varied and disparate than those of the leading man or the super hero.  So it takes a chameleon to play the Everyman over and over, because the Everyman is everyone who, caught up in the day to day humdrum of life, breaks free from it by chance or choice or design and goes down one of the million unknown and surprising paths that make a good story.